Korpiklaani - Manala
Nuclear Blast
Folk Metal
Disc 1: 12 songs (45'47) Disc 2: 11 songs (39'23)
Release year: 2012
Korpiklaani, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Olivier
Finnish smile-bringers Korpiklaani are back with an 8th studio album - 10th if you take into account the days they were calling themselves Shaman - entitled Manala (Underworld, the place where all souls go in Finnish mythology). The European digipack is a 2-CD release, the first one being sung in Finnish, the second one in English (the songs are exactly the same however). The regular version is Finnish only.
Now to get straight to the point, this album is no Spirit of the Forest, Tales along this Road, or Tervaskanto. It is hardly a surprise since the band has not been up to these heights for eons. But after a few listens, it is also impossible to say Manala is a bad album. And actually, it is quite good.

From the opener and catchy as hell Runnia to the heavy Petoeläimen Kuola, there is a lot of material in this album to make you shake your head, jump, swing your fists and shout (at the same time). Does these songs have the depth and beauty of the aforementioned previous albums? No. But they are enjoyable nonetheless, since you still can find the folkish/polkish rythms, the joyful accordion, the tickling violin, and the raging guitar. Although there is no alcohol-themed song in this album (a sort of tradition in Korpiklaani albums), some tracks seem to be designed to be enjoyed the most while being drunk (Rauta), or at least in the company of exhilarated friends (Ruumiinmultaa, Uni). Uni especially is a tune I would be more than willing to lose my voice on. The highlight of the album would probably be Ievan Polkka though, a metallized version of the old popular Finnish song that is nowadays known worldwide "thanks to" the viral Youtube meme Loituma Girl. Yet another song meant to be enjoyed in a crowd.

Korpiklaani are casting the same old spell with this album, and do not make an attempt to reinvent themselves. Is it well made? Yes (besides, the production is faultless). Is it, as usual, a fun experience? The answer is also "Yes". Does it make you want to gather with friends and shout until you run out of brains cells? Ooh, hell yeah. There is even an English version, just to make sure you have no excuse!
In a nutshell, this is a highly recommended album for Korpiklaani fans, and for those who just look for a good time, a beer or three in the belly. It is not the best Korpiklaani album, far from it, but it certainly is an improvement over the last album, Ukon Wacka.

Rauta (Official video, Youtube)

Killing Songs :
Runnia, Petoeläimen Kuola, Ievan Polkka, but the rest is good too.
Olivier quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Korpiklaani that we have reviewed:
Korpiklaani - Noita reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Korpiklaani - Ukon Wacka reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
Korpiklaani - Karkelo reviewed by Kyle and quoted 64 / 100
Korpiklaani - Korven Kuningas reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
Korpiklaani - Spirit Of The Forest reviewed by Kayla and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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