Ukon Wacka

Written by: EW on 20/03/2011 15:38:13

Now surely of the biggest metal bands currently going, a new Korpiklaani album manages to be a big deal despite the frequency with which we have been granted them since the alcohol-obsessed Finns first brought their humppa folky tidings to the world. "Ukon Wacka" (which I keep thinking is a tribute to Wacken festival, but is apparently not) is the 7th full length since 2003's "Spirit of the Forest" debut and a fitting tribute to the phrase 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

I don't feel it's worth yours nor my time to explain in detail any developments to the Korpiklaani sound as "Ukon Wacka" is the same festival-friendly, drinks-in-the-air folk metal that has been refined but never equalled to since 2006’ "Tales Along This Road", for my money the best of Korpiklaani's career. Underground purists will argue that this style is contrary to the real feelings of folk-inspired metal (an argument in which I sit somewhere on the fence) as songs like "Tequila" (a tribute to the band's South American fanbase) and highlight "Lonkkaluut" are the closest the genre gets to pop music, being full of bounce and summery energy all the while lacking in a real emotional depth. True charges though they are I find it hard to deny the jovial spirit of the band and throughout this effort there is no let up in the passion or energy of "Surma" and "Vaarinpolkka", and even through the slower moments to be found in the title track and elsewhere.

In "Koivu Ja Tähti" an effort to incorporate small nuances of differentiation to at least the background percussion represents as much experimentation as you are likely to find in a Korpiklaani record these days and a few listens to "Ukon Wacka" is ample enough to justifiably declare it a guaranteed pleasure for any fan of festival folk metal, though I hasten to add we are unlikely to see anything groundbreaking from this troupe again. Worry not, there's plenty to keep the drunken Wacken hordes happy with this one…


Download: Lonkkaluut, Surma, Vaarinpolkka
For The Fans Of: Turisas, Týr, Finntroll
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 04.02.2011
Nuclear Blast Records

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