Picture of Kalmah


Kalmah - Swamplord ©2001 Spikefarm/Century Media
1. Evil In You
2. Withering Away
3. Heritance Of Berija
4. Black Roija
5. Dance Of The Water
6. Hades
7. Alteration
8. Using The Word

While bands that do very little to stylistically differentiate themselves from their influences or heroes rankle me to no end, I can also say that any band who does an extremely good job at it will ultimately still get a favorable nod in their direction. Case in point is Finland's Kalmah, whose debut effort Swamplord, is going to have fans of the better known Children of Bodom raising an eyebrow at the many apparent similarities between the two outfits.

Simply put, Kalmah takes the Children of Bodom method of fusing a classic metal workmanship to Scandanavian melodic death metal and puts it to very good use. The band goes out of their way to come up with catchy and memorable riff after memorable riff. Behind the shine of the guitars lies a very sly and subtle layer of keyboards that add very minute but important depth the same way Soilwork goes about that sort of thing. Like Children of Bodom, you constantly get the feeling you're listening to a classic metal band at work, only with a few pots of strong coffee being consumed before practice. Kalmah, however, tends to restrain the over the top mentality of Children of Bodom and focuses more on the song at hand rather than flying off the handle. The short album (which is over in a bit more than a half hour) is nothing more than a quick wallop that'll leave listeners hankering for more.

Although Scandanavia from one end to the other is quite frankly too full of bands trying to imitate the better known artists out there, Kalmah transcends mere idol-worshipping status and actually gives listeners a strong case for getting their grubby hands on Swamplord. Kalmah, along with Soilwork of earlier this year, have given new vitality to a scene that many have written off as a closed book.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2001

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