A Review of the Album Seventh Swamphony Kalmah’s 7th Studio Album
The Album Cover for "Seventh Swamphony"
With Seventh Swamphony, Kalmah Shows That They Are Still a Great Band
Finnish melodic death metal band Kalmah came up with a very special name for their 7th studio album but the music on it is what shows just how amazing these Finnish guys are. Seventh Swamphony released in 2013 is the 7th album for this band in what has been an impressive display of musicianship, melody, aggression, power and creativity. The title track has a very nice acoustic section very reminiscent of the melodic death metal band Shadow. However, this part is more progressive in nature as the lead guitars become faster and a feel of Yngwie J. Malmsteen is heard by me.
Review of the Songs Deadfall and Pikemaster
Deadfall is the next song and the fast riffing takes over as the song is about how to deal effectively with adversity when a period of darkness ensues and there is a war of attrition going on. Pikemaster is about an older man who is trying too hard to catch fish so he can eat it. However, he is pushing and pulling to hard so if he doesn’t take it easy he will stumble.
"Hollo" and "Windlake Tale"
Hollo has an interesting lyrical theme to it. It is a song about a person that has a pail in their hands and they go into a swamp in search of cloud berries but they cannot find any. They put up a hammock to rest and the gnats get on them. For the first time in Kalmah’s career, since 2001 we hear the introduction of clean vocals. I recall the last time I heard clean vocals in this band was the whispering vocals in the song called My Nation. Near the end of the song, I detect a Dark Tranquillity style guitar part as the lead guitar is impressively mixed in with it. This is one of the qualities that makes Kalmah a better band than Children of Bodom or Norther. Windlake Tale has the feel of fast Iron Maiden type riffing such as what I heard in the song called “The Duellists” except in this case, the actual Iron Maiden style synth or the melody isn’t there even if the riff may sound like them. I know it’s kind of a weird thing in music that happens.
"Wolves on the Throne"
Wolves on the Throne really describes what has happened to human nature over time as they have exercised control like a bunch of demons and the consequence has been raping, pillaging, and killing others for their own personal gain. The Lord GOD did not create the world for this purpose but unfortunately because of the sinful nature of human life especially in some Western countries, many different vices have become the norm. Wolves on the Throne is a song that can imply that the large powerful countries such as the US or the UK prey on the smaller nations because of their need to dominate and control resources. The US does not have a monarchy but its capitalist system certainly makes the wealthy wealthier while the poor are preyed upon. Kalmah’s lyrics are not always dark and gloomy but they are realistic.
"Black Marten's Trace" and "The Trapper"
Black Marten’s Trace has a symphonic part in the beginning which Kalmah normally has not done but this part is like 2003 Children of Bodom, however, Kalmah has been better than Children of Bodom after 2002 or so. The Trapper is a song about the journey of a brave man as he is looking for the areas where a fox has left its marks. He is going fox hunting. He cannot wait anymore and before dawn hits the land, he is up out of bed and on the journey to catch foxes. How is Seventh Swamphony as an album overall? It is good enough that it is hard for me to say whether even this one is their worst. Worst would imply that there was something terrible enough about the album that it deserved ridicule and shame.
"Black Marten's Trace"
Favorite Kalmah Album
What is your favorite album by Kalmah?
Final Thoughts About Kalmah's 7th Album
What are the best songs on this album? They are Seventh Swamphony, Pikemaster, Deadfall, Hollo, and The Trapper. Even if their weakest album is 2003’s Swampsong, Kalmah has had an outstanding career spanning more than 26 years as of 2017. They were formed around 1991-1992 as the band Ancestor and they stormed out of the gate with their brilliant debut Swamplord and they have not really weakened since.
If you release seven albums as a band and never really show any weak spots in your music, then you are an elite band as far as I’m concerned.
Rate the Album Seventh Swamphony
© 2018 Ara Vahanian