Korpiklaani - Manala (Nuclear Blast Records)
By: Mike Sloan
[5.5/10] Add another empty bottle of booze onto that shelf, me boys! Another Korpiklaani album, another album full of the exact same songs that preceded it, which preceded that, which preceded that, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. This whole folk/polka/hoompa/cheesiness has gotten very old and stale, but don’t bother telling these Finns that because they are stuck on autopilot.
If you’ve heard one Korpiklaani song, you’ve heard them all and, like every other album from this band, it becomes redundant and boring halfway through. Their use of keyboards and other folk instruments is ever present and their style of hoppy-boppy festive silliness is on full display on Manala, the band’s eleventh full-length, and nothing new has been brought to the table. Obviously there is quite an audience for Korpiklaani or else they wouldn’t still be cranking out albums like a factory.
The music on Manala is okay in spurts, but the constant “Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum” styled metal just falls flat and comes off as some sort of joke. Surely the band is having plenty of fun and they’ve achieved a sizeable amount of success; it’s just puzzling as to why this is when so many other better bands get passed up.
As you can tell, I’m not exactly a huge fan of Korpiklaani (or Finntroll or others of this ilk for that matter). People who share my tastes will know to not even bother with this one. However, there is a massive niche audience for bands like Korpiklaani and once this one is available for consumption, it’ll be guzzled up immediately. Anybody who fancies himself a fan of Korpiklaani will instantly be in love with Manala. I am not one of those types, therefore I am looking to break up with Korpiklaani and move on to greener pastures.