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  KALMAH
'Seventh Swamphony'
(Spinefarm Records)


jools green

Jools Green



kalmah seventh swamphony

After 15 years together and with six full length albums behind them, Finnish quintet Kalmah, the "Masters of Swamp Metal" are back with studio album number seven, the aptly named 'Seventh Swamphony', the follow-up to 2010s '12 Gauge'.

I was pretty excited about the prospect of hearing 'Seventh Swamphony' as I enjoyed their two previous releases, 2008s 'For The Revolution' and the afore mentioned '12 Gauge'. Add to that, the news that the legendary Jens Bogren had been called in to do the mixing and mastering, I had high expectations.

Also with the album being promoted as "eight tracks featuring their trademark frantic, yet melodic death Metal style, tempered here by a new-found 'epic mournfulness', I was full of anticipation and intrigued as to the difference to this album a change in line up, with the arrival of new keyboard player Veli-Matti Kananen, taking over from Marco Sneck would make.

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My initial reaction, after my first listen, was one of slight disappointment, but not every album will make an impact on its first listen and after the fourth listen I had a much better feel for it. The keyboards play a much greater role, which is good; it adds an orchestral and at times epic feel in places.

The album opens well with title track and album single, 'Seventh Swamphony' an epic, frantic number that introduces the previously mentioned orchestrated feel from the keyboards, which I liked and for me, was the best song of the album. Next and also good, 'Deadfall' continues in this vein with some great guitar work midway. 'Pikemaster' has a folky feel to the chorus that sits well with the frantic tempo of the main body of the composition.

The only track that didn't gel with me was the longest 'Hollo'. I liked the slow, haunting opening with its mournful pace but I found the cleaner vocals a bit odd and it also felt a bit too long, however the second half was better that the first.

kalmah

The tempo comes back up for 'Windlake Tale' which has some great guitar work and at one point it even feels like the guitars are having a face off against the keyboards, a catchy, memorable and epic song.

The other standout track was 'Wolves On The Throne', slower, dark and brooding but at the same time interesting, with good directional changes, the keyboards are their best here and look out for the short but sweet bass segments.

'Black Marten's Trace' begins on a gentle tinkling keyboard opener, but this is a builder that soon gallops away and keeps galloping right to its end.

Finally, 'The Trapper' with its reflective intro, is much more sedate and the tempo is that of a plodding builder that overall has a slower, thought provoking quality and an emotive feel to the vocal and guitar mix.

Overall this is a good album, a lot of time, effort and passion has gone into its making and if like me, you don't gel with it immediately give it another three or four plays to get the feel as it will grow on you.

'Seventh Swamphony' was recorded at Tico-Tico Studios in Kemi, Finland.




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18.6.13





WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

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Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

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MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

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Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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