Kalmah - Seventh Swamphony
Spinefarm Records
Melodic Death Metal
8 songs (41'17'')
Release year: 2013
Kalmah, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Jared
Album of the year

Over the years, Kalmah has proved to be major players in the melodic death metal scene. There are many people who I come across who are into melodic bands such as In Flames and Dark Tranquillity but fail to even mention or to even know the band Kalmah. In terms of melodic death metal, Kalmah are at the top of their game in many aspects. They have delivered some truly fantastic albums to put under their rather impressive resume. Kalmah are a band that will easily hook you with many of their albums. They have never disappointed me to this day despite feeling a bit indifferent towards the album For the Revolution at times. Their newest release, Seventh Swamphony, is one killer record and is a top contender for best melodic death metal for the year.

The band this time around has one major line-up change. Their old keyboardist, Marco Screck, has left and has been replaced by Veli-Matti Kananen. Needless to say, Marco has left some pretty big shoes to fill, but Veli-Matti has entered the band showing that he can play right along with the other members extremely well. Dueling guitar and keyboard solos from albums such as 12 Gauge were such a prominent feature and this new album contains all the same.

The album takes no prisoners from the get go. Immediately, the album unleashes melodic death metal fury incorporating that great “swamp metal” sound their fans know and love. In comparison to 12 Gauge which was a bit more on the thrash side, this album still feels along the same lines with that style but being pulled back just slightly. Solos can be absolute face melters, and the rhythms of the guitars are definitely solid and well written. The brother guitar duo, Pekka and Antti Kokko return once again as one of the most enjoyable melodic death metal duos in recent memory.

I was a bit surprised that the shortest song on the album, Deadfall, ended up being my favorite track. The song writing is tight and just plain appealing as well as every track on the disc. It has moments of manly chanting during choruses and a heavy palm muting guitar moment in which a memorable keyboard section roles in setting the song to great symphonic metal heights.

The vocals on the album might sound a little familiar as their previous record 12 Gauge. Pekka Kokko once again growls to menacing and aggressive levels but also at times hints his voice to their earlier albums with higher shrieking moments. He even takes his cleaning singing voice out for a spin this time in the song Hollo. To my knowledge, this is Kalmah’s longest song to date and is quite impressive. It may be on the slower side of things, but it is a track I couldn’t help but go back for more. His clean singing sounds more on the haunting side, but it is very brief during the song. The song Windlake Tales takes the album to more aggressive and faster moments which Kalmah has always been so great with. The song has some incredible soloing that may be easily my favorite for the entire year. Relentless drumming, guitar, and bass, with a keyboard to grace all the mayhem at once, it is one of the best tracks on the album.

Another standout song, Wolves on the Throne, is another track which may be a bit slower, but has one of the catchiest guitar rhythm patterns on the album. The song does, even at a small instance, get a little darker sounding which is a feature I love in all my metal music. The last track also ends very memorably. It made me me sit and take it all in once I had finally gotten through the little over than 40 minutes of completely stellar melodic death metal pandemonium.

Kalmah to me is one of, if not the finest, melodic death metal bands today and have released some spectacular albums since their debut back in 2000. They are a band that is easy to love even after one listen and the release of Seventh Swamphony once again reestablishes them at the foothold of melodic masters.

Killing Songs :
Jared quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Kalmah that we have reviewed:
Kalmah - 12 Gauge reviewed by Jared and quoted 88 / 100
Kalmah - For The Revolution reviewed by James and quoted 83 / 100
Kalmah - The Black Waltz reviewed by Jason and quoted 89 / 100
Kalmah - Swampsong reviewed by Jay and quoted 88 / 100
Kalmah - They Will Return reviewed by Danny and quoted 70 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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