Kalmah’s ‘Seventh Swamphony’

Photo courtesy: spinefarmrecords.com

On June 17, Kalmah released their full-length, Seventh Swamphony. The album offers a traditional Kalmah sound; it also remains relative to similar bands within the sub-genre, possibly calling to mind, later Amorphis as well as Catamenia. 

The Finns’ band name, Kalmah, roughly translates from Karelian to “To the death,” which has supplemented their grim themes of swamp lore and the like. Kalmah is: Veli-Matti Kananen, Timo Lehtinen, Janne Kusmin and brothers, Antti Kokko and Pekka Kokko.
Seventh Swamphony conveys a promising packaging of songs. The tracks are consistent and do not stray too far from the original template of Kalmah; the album offers adequate doses of blast beats, growling vocals and harmonious, saddened guitar riffs. 

The album is wisely announced with “Seventh Swamphony,” which provides a clear passageway into “Deadfall” and “Pikemaster.” Nothing too extraordinary happens until “Hollo” appears, beginning with a slow, somber guitar presence; it develops into a balance of mellow clean singing with growls and vague chants atop a common tempo. The arrival of “Windlake Tale” takes an abrupt turn, relying on speed and thunderous drumming. 

A slight groove can be detected at the heart of “Wolves on the Throne,” relishing in rhythm but includes quite an expressive bass break and guitar solo. “Black Marten’s Trace” stretches its blast beats near its ending. “The Trapper” modestly brings the album to a halt with an average sound. 

The outlook for Seventh Swamphony is moderately high. The songs speak of a classic Kalmah. At eight tracks, the listening experience does not fade into a stale territory. More specifically, the band toyed with creativity in some spots, which did not extend beyond expectations of existing listeners of Kalmah and new listeners are in for a unique combination of melody and death metal. Kalmah has an unwavering stance in the extreme metal sect, and their latest effort has secured this notion. 

 

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