Review: "Swampsong" the 3rd studio album by the awesome Finnish metal band Kalmah
How good of an album is Swampsong?
Finnish metal band Kalmah pretty much solidified their place as one of the finest melodic death metal bands in the world since the release of their awesome debut album Swamplord in 2000. In 2003, they released their 3rd studio album called "Swampsong". This is the last album to feature the raspy vocal style of Pekka Kokko. It is not as good of an album as Swamplord or They Will Return but Kalmah returned two years after their 2nd album to create another enjoyable melodic death metal album.
The front album cover for Swampsong
The song called The Third, The Magical
Swampsong gets off a very solid start
The first song called Heroes to Us is actually a song that criticizes the free market capitalist system. As a result of this free market capitalist system, wars are started and people die because of those wars. If there is production at any price there is “admiration for those who earn” as the song says. In much of the Western World particularly the US, money is a big factor that determines whether people earn respect or not. In the song, there is a roar that sounds like a growl and this is what will end up dominating the vocal parts from 2006 onward. Burbot’s Revenge has an interesting bass sound as well as softer raspy vocals by Pekka. Kalmah has now been active for 26 years first as Ancestor from 1991 through 1998. They deserve a tribute for the remarkable job that they have done especially from the years 2000 through 2002. Swampsong may be their weakest album musically but Kalmah still shows why they are so great. When we get to the great song Tordah you will see why this is the case.
How are the songs Cloned Insanity and The Third, The Magical?
Cloned Insanity is a song about what will happen if you take a frog’s eye, give it to a man and create a sort of robot or a cyborg. That cyborg may end up doing more harm to the world than doing good.
The keyboard driven song The Third, The Magical is about someone who has been searching for the answers to some of life’s biggest questions. He begins to wonder who he really is on a deeper level. Then that magical third day comes and he feels like he is born again and revived on the level that he can finally solve the mystery that has been confusing him for so long.
Swampsong: songs 5-7 including the awesome song Tordah
The melodic song Bird of Ill Omen is about a man that takes a ride on this bird that flies through the air spreading nothing but pessimism into the minds of the poor and those that have been affected by the decline of the economy in many nations. It is important to emphasize that we must have hope if we are to make our circumstances better.
The song called Doubtful About it All is a song that describes what happens when governments around the world use surveillance to keep track of what their citizens are doing as these people are spied upon, never really having the freedom that they think they have. Once again, Kalmah’s melodies are impressive. Then Tordah, the best song of the album comes and this is a song about an alcoholic who knows that he will eventually succumb to his problem but he is willing to take his place at the bottom with his buddies. The song has one of the most impressive riffing that I have heard in my life!
The song called Bird of Ill Omen
Final thoughts about the album Swampsong
The song called Man With Mystery is about a man that works with a chainsaw in the fields as he is busy chopping up millions of pieces of wood. He wonders what he has done to deserve this kind of hard job. But he is a man of mystery because there is no telling whether he will continue to do this physically grueling job or whether he will choose to work in another field. The last song Moon of My Nights starts with some piano playing and Pekka sings in a way that doesn’t really sound like a growl. Even though Swampsong is the weakest album that Kalmah has written, the melodies, guitar work, and overall musicianship is so great that it is hard to give anything less than 85 points for this album out of 100.
The song called Tordah
© 2017 Ara Vahanian