The Black Waltz review by Kalmah

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  • Released: Mar 27, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (33 votes)
Kalmah: The Black Waltz

Sound — 10
"The Black Waltz" is the fourth historic album of metal that Kalmah has graced us with by releasing earlier this year. The first release was more then enough to establish themselves as an up and coming underground metal band. Being underground, their albums are unfortunately hard to come by. As can be seen by my username, Kalmah would have to be my favourite band since I began listening to them. They are with Spikefarm records and the music that brothers, Pekka and Antti Kokko write, continues to amaze me and everyone else I'm sure. I say this because these guys have an endless arsenal of solo's. They are continually shredding throughout every song. The sound Pekka has managed with his vocals throughout this and all of their albums I believe has accencuated their style of music. Unless you were a true metal fan, you would most probably agree that Pekka's inaudible vocals take away from the song. Well if that's what you think you're dead wrong and should stop reading right now. It's quite the opposite. This is one extremely talented band. Kalmah did have a casualty between their 3rd album 'Swampsong' and their latest release, 'The Black Waltz.' The loss of their fantastic keyboard player Pasi Hiltula. The band was prepared to go on without filling this position. But there was no question when as to whether this place should be refilled when Marco Sneck auditioned.

Lyrics — 9
Time Takes Us All deals with political issues. Bitter Metallic Side talks about lessons in life and the to take risks. To The Gallows has a bit of a short story. It talks about a man facing justice for a crime that he committed and for 'resisting the law.' The lyrics for 'With Terminal Intensity' sound like they're talking about the anti-christ. So Kalmah have pretty much tried all avenues in songwriting both lyrically and musically. The lyrics could be categorised and probably are, as death metal. Of course vocals are ultimately what categorises them. Picture, Kalmah's exact same line-up, minus the singer. You would be listening to would be a symphonic composure of music. As I was saying earlier, you can't understand Pekka's vocals but that's not the point. His style of singing, although a signature growl, is very unique, (when compared to other current Scandinavian/European metal bands) so much so, that it almost sounds as if another instrument is present. This, I find is one of Kalmah's many perks. And I would probably categorise them as Heavy Symphonic Death Metal for those reasons.

Overall Impression — 10
Compared to previous albums Swamplord, They Will Return & Swampsong, the vocals are somewhat deeper. The musicianship is still as skilful and talented as before but with more sexy riffs and solo's. The best songs on this album would have to be "Defeat" (the intro takes off with a nice riff combined with Marco on the keyboard. Ending up with a really good counterpart followed by a solo to finish off with a very good song. There's a lot of energy in this song), "Bitter Metallic Side" (a song I tabbed with guitar pro, is another very good song that used the riffs from an unreleased demo (posted on their website) under the same name, into this song), "Time Takes Us All" (has a powerful intro. You start to lose interest when he starts singing. Then the next riff enters and keeps you right were you are. Has very nice solo's and is worth listening to), "To The Gallows" (very catchy intro riff that leads to the chorus. The vocals complimenting this song as it's another one that will get you going), "Groan Of Wind" (also used unreleased material from a demo called 'Infernal Death.' I'm telling you this because it was very interesting to see how they intergrated the riffs from those demo's into the finished song. Some of the original riffs were used here and there. But some were mixed up and used in different parts. A good result), "Mindrust" (another great song. Skilful intro. Keyboard makes some nice sounds and starts off a solo, followed by Antti on ripping it up on his axe. Every song is pretty much a favourite. That's how much I like the album. All in all, I'd have to say the musicianship on this CD is 10/10). What do I love about it? Well I'm listening to Kalmah right now and I own every album they've done. What I really love about Kalmah is that even their chorus riffs are complicated. If their killer riffs aren't enough, Kusmin's drums turn a classic into a masterpiece. I haven't been disappointed by any of their albums and doubt that I ever will be. I hope that Kalmah continues to release albums and tours Australia! If the CD got stolen I'd buy another 2! One for storage and one for the CD player. When a band has the abilities and talents of Kalmah, the CD is a must. Of course you don't know that unless you've already heard them before. So this should get you into them and rocking out to some swamp metal. If you have not heard of Kalmah, I hope that this review has given you some insight into their music. If you have, I hope you agree with me. This band truly kicks ass. Swamp Metal for ever.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The only thing about the new album that got some fans dissapointed was the change in vocals, but personally, I love both styles. I wish they could've blended each style of vocals but other than that I guve this a 9.5/10
    nice review, checked them out and like you said, sweet main riffs.... i love good guitar work
    Kalmah deserved this review and much more to spread the word on how good they are. Glad my review helped some people and I hope it converts others
    Fantastic band. These remain one of my favourite bands. I love melodic death metal with good guitarwork. Other bands that are similar: Children of Bodom (duh), Norther, Scar Symmetry, Old InFlames, Dark Tranquility.
    If someone fan is active please i want to have tabs to groan of wind
    I forgive you. Some lyrics are crap. But their new album apart from everything stepping up again, is way above par in the lyrics department. I must say.
    there's tabs to groan of wind, I think someone should do Man of the King or Mindrust XD... though there's a Defeat tab, I agree, that the keyboard + riff on Defeat kicked ass, it's what hooked me into the album lmao, ;D I love the keyboards in Defeat, great album, dude I could actually understand Pekka's vocals on this album and not the others, weirdest thing eh? I was like "HOLY SHIT I CAN UNDERSTAND HIS VOCALS" when I first heard Defeat, lmao
    Yeh, its good a few more tabs have popped up from their recent album. But hey kalmah fans, I have just posted Bitter Metallic Side as normal text tablature. So if it gets added, those who dont have guitar pro can enjoy it too. Rock on til next time
    The Black Salts
    I First heard Black Waltz before buying all their albums. These guys have to be in my top 5 favourite bands of all time. Heaviness plus symphonic melodies inspire me to write my own music.
    I own all 4, amd this is my favorite... they finally got THEIR sound, and it sounds great!!
    The Black Salts
    Admittedly, though, their lyrics are and always have been crap haha. I mean, ok, political themes are fine, but damn, they seldom make much sense. Yes, I know, they're not english, but neither are Behemoth and Amon Amarth and both are a par above Kalmah lyrically. Bad lyrics don't necessarily make Kalmah worse, and at least they're not as shit as Bodom's, but don't just be nice because you like everything else about the band haha.
    The Black Salts
    wow my comment above there is pretty negative. In the name of the swamplord forgive me for I have sinned.