Finland is one of the best destinations for metal fans, not only do they have the highest number of metal bands per capita, but many bands from the country and really damn good. One of these bands is “Kalmah”, who play a style of melodic death metal that takes heavy influence from power and folk metal. Their most recent album, “Palo”, came out today (4/6), and is something that shouldn’t be missed. “Blood Ran Cold” is the opener, and is a great one at that. This song has a nice epic opening, setting up the epic tone that carries throughout the whole release. The writing on here is really tight, and the lead guitar carries this song, as it does with many other songs on the album.
“The Evil Kin” is next, and brings in a lot of the folk influence that populates this album. This song is a bit heavier than the previous one, and the solo on here is well done. A soft keyboard opens up “The World of Rage”, before launching into a melodeath assault. This song is very heavy, and the power metal keyboard is a nice variation from the normal melodeath formula. This song contains another good solo, and the guitar work continues to be solid overall. Up next is “Into the Black Marsh”, which has a very heavy opening riff. The lead guitar is really well done, and the band once again puts the folk influence front and center. This one is again fast and heavy not sacrificing any of melodeath’s charm, even when power and folk metal have the reigns. “Take Me Away” opens with a soft piano, and has some of the tightest writing on the album. The lead guitar is textbook melodeath, and solo and heavy outro end this track on a great note.
The folk metal influence opens “Paystreak” This song is another fast and heavy track. The writing is again solid, and the nice melodic section in the middle is a nice change of pace. The good guitar work continues in the opening of “Waiting in the Wings”, this one is epic as hell, even compared to the band’s standards. This is partially due to the lead guitar, which is great, but the writing and composition does a good job creating the epic tone. “Through the Shallow Waters” is next, and has an opening guitar that is a great dose of power metal. The riffs on here are great, and the writing does a great job emphasizing the heavy side of the band’s sound. Another good riff kicks off “Erase and Diverge”. This song is a bit softer, allowing the power metal to really shine through. This one is fast, and concludes right after a great solo. “The Stalker” ends this album, and is a great ending to this album. With a soft opening guitar, leading into a solid riff with a nice rhythm section, this song is a culmination of the band’s sound, ending the album on not only a good note, but one that feels complete. This is a good album. The production was a little lacking, and some ideas feel like they overstay their welcome a bit, but the quality of the material is still extremely strong, and fans of melodeath and power metal should both scope this out. This epic, heavy, and worth your time.
Overall Score: 8.0/10
Review by Sam Hookom