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Korpiklaani- Spirit of the Forest (Album Review)

Updated on August 17, 2012
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Artist: Korpiklaani

Album: Spirit of the Forest

Year: 2003

Score: 85/100

“A Good Folk Metal Album”

Korpiklaani have always been one of those bands that are generally loved for their fun music and good songwriting. They do have a layer of depth, however, mainly because of the excellent musicianship and cool atmosphere on their albums. If you’ve read my review for “Voice of the Wilderness”, then you know how much I liked that one. “Spirit of the Forest” is the band’s debut album, and seems to be widely regarded as one of their better releases. It’s moderately long, with 14 individual songs across the span of the album.

Instrumentally, the album is good. It’s not technical or anything, but the guitars are prominent and driving. Something that I was particularly surprised about was that there were several guitar solos, and good riffs as well. Even though the songs are comprised around the folk elements (which are very good, despite being a little cliché), the guitars are still a powerful and prominent part of the music. The songs themselves don’t rely on good folk melodies. Many would still be fine with just guitars. Speaking of the folk portions, they’re very good. At times, the melodies do come across as lacking or unoriginal but this is not a huge problem. The individual instruments are not as audible (from a production standpoint) as on the release that would follow and they do seem blurred at times. Nevertheless, they’re an integral and enjoyable part of “Spirit of the Forest”. There’s not much to say about the bass and drums, because neither is flashy or extremely impressive. I can’t, however, detract this from the music in general. Maybe if they had been stronger I would have given this a higher score, but they’re just fine as they are. Like on many of Korpiklaani’s releases, the vocals are really good. They rest on the line between a true harsh vocal and a true clean voice. I can’t really complain about the vocals at all. There are some awkward sounding vocal passages on the album, but it doesn’t really take away from my enjoyment of the release overall.

The song "With Trees".

Review Continued


The atmosphere of the album isn’t nearly as impressive as the one that came afterwards. Despite the less clear production, the album doesn’t give off much of a mood at all. It doesn’t feel wild or raw or anything that I’d expect from Korpiklaani. It’s generally a happy sounding album, but many of the songs simply lack a great emotional mood. Luckily, this issue was corrected with the second album. The only song that really conjures up a good atmosphere is “With Trees”.

The songs don’t feel extremely diverse. Most of them are moderately fast and feature similar types of guitar riffing. Though this isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, I can’t help but feel that the album would have benefitted from a more diverse collection of faster and slower songs. Diversity was what impressed me about “Voice of the Wilderness”, and I’m pretty disappointed to find that it wasn’t nearly as present on this debut album.

Something else notable about the album is that there is an abundance of instrumental tracks. I think instrumental tracks can really mar a lot of folk metal albums (cough…cough…Eluveitie), but Korpiklaani’s instrumentals are generally quite enjoyable. There are five on the whole album, and all of them are at least decent. I do, however, think it’s odd that the band placed two instrumentals back to back in the middle of the album. It’s almost like listening to one song. Despite this, I do really like “Pixies Dance” which is the first song in the pair. Additionally, the closing instrumental “Mother Earth” goes on for far too long.

The music video for "Wooden Pints".

Review Continued


“Wooden Pints” is easily a folk metal classic. The lyrics are quite dumb, but the song is just so catchy! It’s an example of a great folk metal song. “Before the Morning Sun” is a more aggressive track, and it’s excellent as well. The guitars at the beginning are fantastic. “With Trees” is one of the most serious songs that the band has ever made. The folk instruments in this one sound great. It’s almost a ballad at some points, though I still find it really enjoyable. “With Trees” is also one of the greatest from the album, and one of the most creative and interesting from the band in general. “God of Wind” is decent, but the chorus is very repetitive and makes the song stand out less than some of the others on the album. It is a faster sort of track, which is always good to hear from Korpiklaani. Their fast tracks are always good in some regard. “Man Can Go Even through the Gray Stone” is ridiculous. I’ve always found the vocals on the song to be irritating; they ruin the song as a whole. It’s rather disappointing, because the guitars and folk instruments are great. I do like the drums in it. “Pixies Dance” is my favorite of the instrumental tracks. It never fails to put a smile on my face, and I can’t complain about that at all. The rest of the songs are really quite mediocre. I don’t mind “Crows Bring the Spring” or “Shaman Drum”, but they don’t really stay with me either. “Mother Earth” is an instrumental that drags on for way too long.

Upon completion of the album, I can’t help but feel that the band has left something out here. It seems that so many of the songs are pointless and lacking a little substance. I still say that “Spirit of the Forest” is a good release, but I’m a little disappointed since I had high hopes from listening to “Voice of the Wilderness”. The album gets an 85/100 because it’s definitely a great one, but it lacks in some areas. There are many pointless short tracks like “Hengettomilta Hengilta” and “Man Can Go Even through the Gray Stone”. There are also a few too many instrumentals. Some of these are really good, and yet others are either boring or too short. I think folk metal fans will find something to like on this release. There’s some good stuff to be found. I would recommend listening to “Wooden Pints” for people who don’t want to go for listening to the whole thing. It’s one of the best and most famous folk metal songs out there.

Best songs: “Wooden Pints”, “Before the Morning Sun”, “With Trees”, “Pixies Dance”.

Worst songs: “Man Can Go Even through the Gray Stone”, “Hengettomilta Hengilta”, and “Mother Earth”.

This review was originally posted by me at: http://theheavyreview.blogspot.com/2012/02/korpiklaani-spirit-of-forest.html

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      Gizem 2 years ago

      I have now completed the Cal Tjader dirsogcaphy, but session-based, not album-based due to the scattered release pattern of several Fantasy albums album-based dirsogcaphy does not really make sense, especially since there are some tracks that never were released on LP. An abridged version will be part of the upcoming Tjader biography by Duncan Reid, due out in late spring 2013; I hope to make available the elaborate version on my website in January. I had planned to put it online this month (December 2012) but a move within town made this impossible. I will post details here.I could incorporate the cover images in the album index, however I will get back to you as soon as possible, probably sometime in late January.

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      Tridev 2 years ago

      Thanks for the update Mike. I'm mkiang a few changes within my various sites, so I want to keep everything organized if I can. I'm moving this forum to a new group of forums I've set up, mainly to take advantage of far better (aka professional ) forum software, with plenty of cross-links so everyone can find their way back here.

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      Dalila 2 years ago

      It's Over ?This hurts because I still love my ex wife and we have cedilrhn together, but we have had our share of ups and down over the last 5 years. We have made up and broken up several times due to lack of communication. Whenever I want to talk about the problems she shuts down and nothing gets resolved. Either way I still love her she confessed that she still does as well however she has been talking to the new guy online (in whom she has never ever met before) who lives in Australia when we live in West Palm Beach Florida. I know that she is my ex wife but considering that I still love her it bothers me even though he is miles and miles away. Last night I went to spend time with the babies and I wanted to talk with her to find out what really happened and how come we never really tried to fix our relationship. She is mad with me because I have left many times and I told her the reason why I have left. The reason why I have left is because she takes me for granted and when I start to call her on it she shuts down because she thinks that Im either starting a fight (when all I want to do is fix things) or that Im insecure and that I just want to Nag . When she does this I get turned off and then communication goes out the window and we act like neither of us are there and then that's when I decide to leave and break up. So as I was saying last night I tried to speak with her about this issue and she looked at me and said it's over. So im like ok, we never cheated on each other the years, I put her before me in everything, with what little I had I gave, and I was her emotional and physical support whenever she needed me but it was not enough. And now she is chatting online with this guy who lives in Australia that she has never ever ever met and she says that it's over . What can I do to get her back. We have been here before and we reconcile but now she says it's over. When all I have ever wanted to do is fix our relationship and get back to that place we once had. I have tried to move on and date but its hard for me because she still has my heart, and it hurts to hear her say that its over and that she is talking to someone she has never met. I don't even know if he is a rebound guy, because he lives in another country! Is it really over?

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