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Album Review: KORPIKLAANI Rankarumpu


Welcome back Korpiklaani – some of the finest purveyors of danceable metal since 2003. The jaunty folk metalists are coming swinging into 2024 with their 12th studio album Rankarumpu . Featuring their signature blend of energetic, fast-tempo tunes mixed with fiddle-carrying melody lines, Rankarumpu easily slides into their discography as yet another fantastic entry.

I’m happy to report that Korpiklaani haven’t slowed down or become wearily predictable. While they keep a trademark sound, Rankarumpu isn’t stale by any means. It’s exciting to hear them make music that has integrity and thoughtfulness. There isn’t a throwaway track on the entire album. Each song has it’s own unique hook and memorable moments. Whether it’s a break-down with chanting, an intriguing intro, or slower melodic moments, Rankarumpu is a great evolutionary step for a band with such a carved-out reputation proceeding them.

Korpiklaani really chiseled out for themselves and many to come a memorable slice of the metaldom pie. Their spirited approach to making metal is downright infectious. You can’t help but smile when you listen to Rankarumpu. If you’re a long-time Korpiklaani fan, this album will not disappoint. Each track is relatively shorter in length and special in it’s own way. The incorporation of very “unmetal” instruments like the accordion is so charming. I like the mental imagine of their non-standard instrumentalists just going to town on their respective equipment, giving their all to keep up with the pace of the music.

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There is a nice change of dynamics strewn throughout the album with some tracks offering more emotional, sorrowful feelings. Songs like “Kalmisto” are a little more dramatic and serious in tone. There is something magical about Rankarumpu and it’s title track, “Rankarumpu”, feels epic and inspiring. Founding member Jonne Järvelä reflects upon the album by stating, “Whenever I start writing something new, the material always finds its own path without any forcing – that stuff just comes from somewhere deep inside me, completely naturally.”

And, that sentiment is evident in Rankarumpu. Each song does feel effortless and the whole album is easy to enjoy. Tracks like “No Perkele” tell their own little story. For that matter, the album feels like a collection of short stories – each like an episode of a fairy tale cartoon. There’s nothing childish about the music, it’s just that you can’t help but feel a sense of whimsy while listening to Rankarumpu.

The album has more polish than some of their previous releases. The songs are complete and the mix is spot on. Ending track “Harhainen Hoyhen” is a great closer – it reminds me of a night at a bar winding down for the evening with hearty hugs, heart-felt stories shared, and the burning embers of a dying fire. It can be argued that this is perhaps Korpiklaani‘s catchiest album to date. I thought they had a lot to live up to with tracks like “Trollhammaren” and I am happy to report that Rankarumpu does not disappoint. If you’re looking to grab a drink, gather some mates, and have a good time – consider putting on Rankarumpu as your gathering music. You’re bound to have a blast.

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