Kalmah have always been one of the bands that never quite broke into commercial success compared to others in the melodic death metal genre (Note: In Flames, At the Gates, Children of Bodom etc) but they have always provided truly outstanding melodic death metal. Unlike others in the genre Kalmah’s approach to melodic death metal has somewhat focused towards a darker nature of the combination of keys mixed with the death metal sound. Three years have passed since the band’s last studio output, ’12 Gauge’, and now they have returned with their seventh record entitled ‘Seventh Swamphony’. Will this new record escalate Kalmah amongst the other greats in the genre?
‘Seventh Swamphony’ is typically what one can expect from Kalmah, hard hitting melodic death metal with subtle elements of orchestra and melody. This new record surely does not break the mould Kalmah have established over their 15 year career, ‘Seventh Swamphony’ is filled with melody through the combination of twin guitar play provided by brothers Pekka & Antii Kokko but at the same time presents true ferocity with bellowing growls from Pekka himself.
This record is a hard hitter, with ‘Pikemaster’ truly showcases some slick riffs encouraging the listener to suffer from a serious case of whiplash after an intense session of serious headbanging. As with most bands in the melodic death metal genre the true secret on this record that makes it truly stand out is the combination of ferocity with melody. Unlike Insomnium and other bands that utilise the ‘melody’ to create a truly emotional experience Kalmah utilise it to add a subtle yet powerful sense of awe and power. Veli-Matti Kananen’s duties on the keyboard is a absolute stand out here presenting the extra level of immersion which really showcases what Kalmah’s music is all about; melody crafted with pure power.
‘Seventh Swamphony’ is just another great addition to Kalmah’s discography, a continuation of their sound that all started back in 2000 with ‘Swamplord’. This continuation, whilst not bringing anything new to the genre, showcases the pure enjoyment contained within melodic death metal. Kalmah have crafted a truly fantastic album here which again further showcases their outstanding musicianship. A strong contender for album of the year indeed!