Seventh Swamphony

1. Seventh Swamphony
2. Deadfall
3. Pikemaster
4. Hollo
5. Windlake Tale
6. Wolves on a Throne
7. Black Marten's Trace
8. The Trapper

Pekka Kokko − vocals, rhythm guitar
Antti Kokko − lead guitar
Veli Matti Kananen − keyboard
Janne Kusmin − drum
Timo Lehtinen − bass guitar

Swamplord (1998)
They Will Return (2002)
Swampsong (2003)
The Black Waltz (2006)
For the Revolution (2008)
12 Gauge (2010)


Jens Bogren – mastering, mixing
Kalmah – arranger, producer
Juha Vuorma – cover art
Janne Peltonen - Layout
Recorded at Tico-Tico Studios, Finland

Released 2013-07-17
Reviewed 2013-09-06


Which band do you give credit to? Kalmah came shortly after Children Of Bodom and didn't sound too different from their countrimen but time has changed them very differently. Children Of Bodom has changed plenty since then, developed one might say and hence sounds pretty different today. Kalmah, on the other hand, has not changed much and sounds pretty similar today compared to how they used to. So which band do you give credit? The band that's true to their style, their fans and their heritage or the band that has developed, grown and renewed themselves? Well, that's a good question but I suppose both bands are true to themselves and their spirit so I guess there's no right or wrong here - it's the result that counts and when it comes to Kalmah I feel the results have always been pretty much the same. I'm not talking about the sound now but the fact that all albums have been good but none has been unforgettable yet.

Unsurprisingly 'Seventh Swamphony' is the seventh album by Kalmah and just like before we find them at the biggest hard rock label in Finland - Spinefarm. My first impression is that 'Seventh Swamphony' feels slightly darker and harder than previous albums and it's reflected in the pitch black cover art with only white contrasting. The music in the first part of the album is definitely a dark part of Kalmah while the second is more to the "lighter" sound we're used to and here we find plenty of those screaming guitars that I normally always credit - you know when the guitars sounds like a woman screaming of pleasure… or perhaps yourself doing it. Either way, the real climax is found in the very last song, called The Trapper, which is a really nice one! Come to think of it, I think this whole album is pretty much like an intercorse. It starts of hard and fast, gets faster, change position and becomes a bit different, then tries something new again and just as everything starts to feel good for real it's over.

Now, I'm not saying that 'Seventh Swamphony' is like sex of course… that would be a silly thing to say! Sex rarely have growling in it… unless the girl bites, of course *been there* because then it might be some growling. However, when it comes to this album it's pretty hard, fast and aggressive in the first part, then it gets slightly softer and I personally like this part best. There's only eight songs but the album is still covering most of what you'd expect from the melodic death metal genre and the total playing time is still a full 41 minutes, which I think is pretty long for an eight track album. One of the reasons for the total playing time being this long is the song called Hollo in the middle, which is more than seven minutes long. And to make it even worse (or better) it's also a slow song, probably the slowest on the album. The fastest song I'd say is the opening title track as well as Windlake Tale that comes after Hollo. By the end of the album is where we find the best tracks, though, in the goosebumping instrumental orgies we call Wolves On The Throne, Black Marten's Trace and previously menthioned closer The Trapper. With such an ending to an album you only want to play it again and again everytime you reach that part but infortuneately everytime I do I get a bit disappointed by the first part of the album that despite not being anything but good still doesn't feel good enough. This album just is at its best when it's cut in to a trio.

I wouldn't say 'Seventh Swamphony' is either the best nor not the best Kalmah album so far. They've made many good albums so far and this is definitely one of them and in the swamp of Finnish death metal they are definitely one of the bands I'd say belongs in the very top part of the field. But there is one thing they're still missing - that real sharp edge of an album. The Trapper is another example of Kalmah doing songs that has that sharp edge - they've made quite a few of these now, but still not an album with only these kind of songs. 'Seventh Swamphony' just isn't an album I can consider as revolutionising, ingeniously or refining to perfection - but it is another album that is good, really good!




Label: Spinefarm Records
Three similar bands: Children Of Bodom/Norther/Eternal Tears Of Sorrow
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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