My first introduction to Finnish metallers Kalmah came with 2002's 'They Will Return.' Even though I'm not a fan of traditional death metal and dirty vocals, I was impressed by the depth of the music. There was melody mixed with power and thrash metal, some subtle keyboards and great guitar work by Antti Kokko. Even with my disdain for dirty vocals, with trained ears and age, I could, for the most part, ignore Pekka Kokko's raspy, nearly unintelligible vocals. I found that I liked their sound. Kalmah is not a band that I would listen to on a regular basis, but they do have talent and enthusiasm. I quickly found their previous release 'Swamplord,' and, though a bit unpolished, it also caught my interest. I entirely missed 2003's 'Swampsong' and 2006's 'The Black Waltz' (probably for the aforementioned reasons), but I wondered recently 'whatever happened to this band.' Kalmah returns in 2008 with 'For The Revolution' and it is consistent with the earlier material with which I'm familiar. Consistency is never a bad thing; however; yet, with 'For The Revolution' the old adage of 'nothing new under the sun' applies.
Again, if you can discipline your ears to ignore the dirty vocals, you will find the Kalmah's metal to be strong and impressive. Antti Kokko still shines on guitar and the songs move at a blistering pace. 'For The Revolution,' 'Holy Symphony Of War, 'Ready For Salvation,' and 'Towards The Sky' verify the band's skill when delivering melodic heavy/power/thrash metal. Antti's guitar work on 'Holy Symphony Of War' is particularly astonishing. Again, it's the death metal dirty vocals that spoil the performance. Honestly, I think they should give it up; but, hey, that's my opinion: I still like my vocals clean and I will not apologize for that. I've learned to listen to the music as a coherent whole and Kalmah can bring some very rich and persuasive metal.
Kalmah's 'For The Revolution' is a strong and consistent effort in their discography. This is by far their most polished recording even if it is more of the same. But sameness does not mean mediocrity. To repeat, for me, the music is strongest attribute and you must get over or simply ignore the dirty death vocals to truly enjoy Kalmah's efficient and aggressive metal.
- Craig Hartranft
Kalmah's 'For The Revolution' is another consistent metal album from this Finnish band. Combining melodic elements of thrash, heavy, and power metal with the dirty vocals of death metal, Kalmah delivers more of the same. But, this is not a bad thing nor mediocre. The music is entirely convincing. However, you will probably need to ignore the dirty death vocals to truly appreciate the the talent here.
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