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A Review of the Very Heavy Album "The Black Waltz" by the Band Kalmah

Updated on February 5, 2018
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Ara is currently an Accounting student at Glendale Community College in Glendale. CA. His main goal in life is the enjoyment of it.

A photo of guitarist Antti Kokko

Guitarist and band co-founder Antti Kokko seen here playing live on stage in Finland in 2008.
Guitarist and band co-founder Antti Kokko seen here playing live on stage in Finland in 2008. | Source

Track Listing for The Black Waltz

  1. Defeat
  2. Bitter Metallic Side
  3. Time Takes us All
  4. To the Gallows
  5. Svieri Doroga
  6. The Black Waltz
  7. With Terminal Intensity
  8. Man of the King
  9. The Groan of Wind
  10. Mindrust
  11. One from the Stands

The major difference between The Black Waltz and band's earlier albums

Finnish melodic death metal veterans Kalmah return with another heavy melodic death metal album but this time there is an obvious and noticeable difference. Guitarist and vocalist Pekka Kokko uses a low, guttural vocal growl that is really deep. This is a departure from the low, raspy style that he used in the band’s first three albums. This album is also the first one to feature Marco Sneck as the keyboardist. Janne Kusmin and Timo Lehtinen handle the drum and bass duties respectively. People have made comparisons between Kalmah and famous Finnish band Children of Bodom saying that Kalmah is responsible for sounding like them. Well, that is certainly not the case with this album. And while Alexi Laiho has a more raspy vocal style, Pekka as I mentioned has a lower kind of growling voice. And Children of Bodom has recently become less of a melodic death metal band and they have gotten more into a slower kind of music with less melody compared to their earlier days. I personally enjoy Kalmah’s music much more. This album is VERY heavy and hard hitting so be prepared for what is to come. How is “The Black Waltz as we listen to it in 2018? It is incredible to know that Kalmah switched to these rough death metal like growls over the raspier death metal growls and made it fit into the songs.

The song called Bitter Metallic Side

Kalmah Band Photo

This photo shows the band members of Kalmah sitting in a big boat as they try to row through a lake. Sitting in the front of the boat is a very wise man.
This photo shows the band members of Kalmah sitting in a big boat as they try to row through a lake. Sitting in the front of the boat is a very wise man. | Source

Review of the album The Black Waltz Part 1

Immediately, the opening track features heavy guitars, fast drumming, and a little bit of an Iron Maiden type influence in the song. So many bands have been influenced by those British greats. The next song Bitter Metallic Side features some choral type of vocals and once again features some fast drumming known as blast beats. This is one of the features that Kalmah uses to their advantage. You could say that Kalmah can be considered a melodic thrash band with heavy, low growling vocals. With the third song “Time Takes us All” Pekka once again demonstrates his low vocal growls. That song describes what happens as a man starts with a vision, a plan with which he will try to implement as he takes power in his country. Sometimes over time, he becomes a person that feels like he has to control everyone which is what a dictator tries to do.The song “Svieri Doroga” is just a short instrumental using acoustic guitar.

The Black Waltz Review Part 2

The listener does not have much time to relax as the title track comes in and is one of the slower songs on the album. Man of the King which is the 8th song in the album features some rhythms that the band Slayer would use and it adds an interesting mix to the music. The song is pretty melodic. “Groan of the Wind” is also one of the slower songs on this album but once again the melodic side of the band is featured here and it is obviously something for fans of the band to enjoy. “Mindrust” features some great use of the keyboard by Marco Sneck. The album loses a few points because the songs “With Terminal Intensity” and the mentioned 9th track could have been written better. But this album is still a pretty good one to listen to. It is however not as good as their debut called Swamplord. This album is recommended for those that wish to experience high quality melodic death and thrash metal.

The song called Defeat

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The song called To The Gallows

The song called Bitter Metallic Side

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© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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