Rating:
6.7
Kalmah - 12 Gauge
24 February 2010


01. Rust Never Sleeps
02. One Of Fail
03. Bullets Are Blind
04. Swampwar
05. Better Not To Tell
06. Hook The Monster
07. Godeye
08. 12 Gauge
09. Sacramentum
10. Cold Sweat [Thin Lizzy cover] [Japanese bonus]


Melodic death metal
Finland
Spinefarm Records

Line-up on the CD:
Pekka Kokko - vocals, guitar
Antti Kokko - lead guitar
Timo "Lede" Lehtinen - bass
Marco Sneck - keyboards
Janne Kusmin - drums


Alas, the almighty swamp metal titans Kalmah grace us with their sixth full-length release, entitled 12 Gauge. (Before listening to this album I was immediately turned off by the name of the album.) Ever one to worry about band's changing directions for the worst (see: Cryptopsy's The Unspoken King), the hairs stood up slightly on my neck upon reading the title of an album named after everyone's least favorite gun to use in Counter-Strike - next to the Ingram MAC-10 at least. Needless to say, I was pleased to discover Kalmah continued with their efforts regarding melodic death metal, further establishing themselves as one of metal's most popular and talented outfits.

So what gives? I know one should never invest such an interest in the title of an album (looking at you, Ozzy fans), but Kalmah have made a career based on their self-appointed swamp metal, and now we're listening to an album named after a gun that doesn't even relate to the grime and gruel of a swamp?! Bah! Onto the music...

12 Gauge is an incredibly energetic release from the outset - "Rust Never Sleeps" kicks things off with epic melodies, P. Kokko's immense growls, and some very nice (though slightly cheesy) keyboard work. And those are the defining characteristics on which this album is built: melody, growls, keyboards, rinse and repeat. Throw in some of the edge from thrash metal and we're good to go.

Early Children Of Bodom anyone?

Kalmah's strongest asset is undoubtedly their intensity, which is ever present, made more so by the battle-anthem worthy "Bullets Are Blind" and the self-titled track's fist-pumping conclusion. While the album contains various filler tracks throughout, there is enough aggression and charisma to surpass the somewhat disappointing For The Revolution, though this is still a far cry from the grandeur of their back catalog. There seems to be an overall shortage of outstanding moments on this album, and unfortunately that hampers the efforts of these renowned Finns. It isn't completely generic or over-the-top "been there, done that", but the addition of another instrument or vocalist could shake things up enough for Kalmah to continue as a relevant melodic death metal outfit. That, or focus on improving the guitar solos. A. Kokko has proven his capability as a guitarist and inherently as a talented soloist, but his work on this release seems forced and uninspired.

Without any indication of evolution, Kalmah is poised to become the next Dark Tranquillity: repetitive song structures and unaltered production, but somehow still accessible enough to please the vast majority of metalheads.

Maybe the band members are preparing something special for their next release.

Maybe the swamp has finally dried up.


Website: http://www.myspace.com/kalmahofficial

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7


Band profile: Kalmah
Album: 12 Gauge


 



Written on 25.07.2010 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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elseif - 25.07.2010 at 06:18  
A little bit harsh
Troy Killjoy - 25.07.2010 at 06:19  
Written by elseif on 25.07.2010 at 06:18

A little bit harsh

What makes you say that?
elseif - 25.07.2010 at 06:29  
I think it's not uninspired, they tried to evolve while keeping their sound and introduced a new intrument for the "Rust Never Sleeps" intro.

And I also think that this is a very clean and energetic album, well I enjoy this album!
Necrodamus - 25.07.2010 at 08:37  
I agree that their formula is beginning to become more and more repetitive with each album. Still there are much worse releases on the market, and this is not a bad album by any means. A good effort nonetheless.
moe5512 - 25.07.2010 at 13:10  
I agree on the most parts
Troy Killjoy - 25.07.2010 at 14:16  
Written by elseif on 25.07.2010 at 06:29

I think it's not uninspired, they tried to evolve while keeping their sound and introduced a new intrument for the "Rust Never Sleeps" intro.

And I also think that this is a very clean and energetic album, well I enjoy this album!

One song with a new instrument isn't enough to make up for the rest of the album sounding samey in my opinion. And I agree that it's a high-energy album, although perhaps the "clean" aspect is what turned me off - I like my Kalmah swampy, as I'm sure most of their fans do.

Written by Necrodamus on 25.07.2010 at 08:37

I agree that their formula is beginning to become more and more repetitive with each album. Still there are much worse releases on the market, and this is not a bad album by any means. A good effort nonetheless.

Technically a 6.7 doesn't make this album the worst I've heard this year (far from it in fact), and by the MS rating system it's just above average. I think the band put forth an album worth listening to once or twice, but at the end of the day I wouldn't recommend listening to this over any of their previous efforts (aside from For The Revolution of course).

Written by moe5512 on 25.07.2010 at 13:10

I agree on the most parts

Glad to hear it!
Vitriolic Hate - 25.07.2010 at 15:14  
Without any indication of evolution, Kalmah is poised to become the next Dark Tranquillity. I agree on that.
BudDa - 25.07.2010 at 16:50  
I thot this was a good record.(and not just an above average one) I didn't find the A. Kokko's work 'forced'. I actually found it great. Like, heavy-thrashing-headbanging great!! Uninspired?!..erm..I wouldn't want to call it that. I would probably call it 'characteristic' or...'signature-ish'?!lol. Anyway, this is a solid album, I would give it atleast a 7.4 which according to the MS rating system is slightly just above good!
Enigma - 25.07.2010 at 17:04  
I entirely disagree with this review. I think 12 Gauge is one of the best albuns of Kalmah. And solos here are very inspired, in my opinion. One of the best albuns of 210.
vezzy - 25.07.2010 at 18:38  
I agree with this review. I guess I'm biased though, because I dislike melodeath in general.
BlueMobius - 25.07.2010 at 19:03  
Haha, well before you do a review, you should probably research the title a little bit. The Kokko's are hunters, they use that type of shotgun for hunting, probably around there swamp areas they live near.

Second, there always seems to be a sense of unhappiness with progression or the lack there of. Its a lose lose situation for bands.

People cry fowl when bands like Iron Maiden don't write songs like they did in the 80 and change their sound...or bands like Children Of Bodom, In Flames, etc.
Then there are those bands that stay true to the sound they created for themselves like Dark Tranquillity and people call them a one trick pony.
I think that Kalmah, yes, do maintain a similar style for each album, but really listen to each album and I think they have changed a lot from album to album. Let's face it, judging evey album based on whether it is groundbreaking or not is kind of biased. Everything can't be groundbreaking. If that were the case, then bands like amon amarth should receive lower ratings for each album, because they aren't really changing either.
Troy Killjoy - 26.07.2010 at 02:06  
Written by BlueMobius on 25.07.2010 at 19:03

Haha, well before you do a review, you should probably research the title a little bit. The Kokko's are hunters, they use that type of shotgun for hunting, probably around there swamp areas they live near.
That's a nice bit of trivia you have there - something that would have made ranting about the title in my review irrelevant!

Second, there always seems to be a sense of unhappiness with progression or the lack there of. Its a lose lose situation for bands.
Couldn't agree more - if a band changes, people are going to be upset about it; if a band re-releases the same material over and over, people will be unhappy. On the other hand, both events will also lead to their fair share of appraisal.

I think that Kalmah, yes, do maintain a similar style for each album, but really listen to each album and I think they have changed a lot from album to album. Let's face it, judging evey album based on whether it is groundbreaking or not is kind of biased. Everything can't be groundbreaking. If that were the case, then bands like amon amarth should receive lower ratings for each album, because they aren't really changing either.
Again I agree: While there is nothing groundbreaking about this release, Kalmah have shown again their ability to change and that proves they aren't willing to rest on their laurels. That being said, it would be nice to see them progress and change while maintaining what made them unique and groundbreaking during their earlier years.

Thanks for the response.
Liquidus_Animus - 26.07.2010 at 03:31  
I think it was a great album, although some lyrics are quite cheesy or weird (think One of Fail and Swampwar). I do agree that Kalmah are following the steps of DT in the stucture and repetiveness department but hey, Kalmah is great at what they do. Death infused Powerish Metal.
warrior_of_ice - 26.07.2010 at 07:03  
Personally, i love this album. this review was really unfair
AngelofDeth - 26.07.2010 at 08:02  
Def a great album
Troy Killjoy - 26.07.2010 at 13:35  
Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 07:03

Personally, i love this album. this review was really unfair

What was unfair about this review? Just because you would rate it higher doesn't mean I didn't analyze it objectively.
Darth Roxor - 26.07.2010 at 14:57  
These two first paragraphs sure are useless, and the Counter-Strike reference is just... let's call it silly and redundant. Kalmah have always been very high on politics, and titling an album after a firearm is no stranger than giving it a name about revolution.

Early Children of Bodom? No friggin' way. Children of Bodom was way too centred around cheesy keyboard overflow, guitar wankery, 'faux growls' and general 'angst', none of which can be found in Kalmah. Growls are 'proper', keyboards aren't that jarring and the guitarists are not wannabe Malmsteems. The only 'CoB-ish' track I could pinpoint would be One of Fail.

Shortage of outstanding moments? That could be possible if the whole second half of the album never existed. Sacramentum is quite possibly one of the best songs this band has ever recorded. Godeye, Hook the Monster and the title track are also real damn great. Better not to Tell and Bullets are Blind are the only tracks I'd consider 'filler'.

I'll also completely disagree with the 'lack of evolution'. Kalmah changed considerably over the last years. Compare their first albums with Black Waltz, for instance. The first ones are pretty much typical CoB clones, while they added a lot more edge for Black Waltz. I won't comment on For the Revolution 'cause I think I listened to that album twice before deciding that it's not worth my time, but 12 Gauge is also different from Black Waltz, it's more energetic, less 'grim' and with a bit more melodic approach. But don't get me wrong, this is nothing exactly groundbreaking, yet I wouldn't call it generic either. However, 12 Gauge is still a solid record, as solid as it can get.
warrior_of_ice - 26.07.2010 at 17:16  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 26.07.2010 at 13:35

Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 07:03

Personally, i love this album. this review was really unfair

What was unfair about this review? Just because you would rate it higher doesn't mean I didn't analyze it objectively.


how can you say you analyzed the album objectively? it is clearly YOUR opinion, therefore subjective. Objectivity refers to observable information such as: taste, smell, touch, etc. something being able to be described and as close to the truth as you can get...

subjectivity= opinions, judgments, beliefs.

To which category do you think a 'REVIEW' would belong to????
!J.O.O.E.! - 26.07.2010 at 17:32  
Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 17:16

Written by Troy Killjoy on 26.07.2010 at 13:35

Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 07:03

Personally, i love this album. this review was really unfair

What was unfair about this review? Just because you would rate it higher doesn't mean I didn't analyze it objectively.


how can you say you analyzed the album objectively? it is clearly YOUR opinion, therefore subjective. Objectivity refers to observable information such as: taste, smell, touch, etc. something being able to be described and as close to the truth as you can get...

subjectivity= opinions, judgments, beliefs.

To which category do you think a 'REVIEW' would belong to????

Then by your own definition ALL reviews are unfair as they are reviewed by humans, so your initial point has been rendered pointless.
warrior_of_ice - 26.07.2010 at 17:45  
Nice try with your faulty deductive reasoning. i was arguing that his review is not objective. no where in my reply did i mention 'ALL reviews'. And no, my initial point has NOT been rendered pointless despite what you make believe. Have you read previous posts of members who believe Troy's review was harsh and unfair? I am by no means attacking Troy as a person, rather the subjective nature of his review.
Secondly, the objective vs. subjective comparison was by no means, 'MY OWN DEFINITION'. Better luck next time....
!J.O.O.E.! - 26.07.2010 at 17:55  
Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 17:45

Nice try with your faulty deductive reasoning. i was arguing that his review is not objective. no where in my reply did i mention 'ALL reviews'. And no, my initial point has NOT been rendered pointless despite what you make believe. Have you read previous posts of members who believe Troy's review was harsh and unfair? I am by no means attacking Troy as a person, rather the subjective nature of his review.
Secondly, the objective vs. subjective comparison was by no means, 'MY OWN DEFINITION'. Better luck next time....

Then maybe you should be a little clearer instead of flying off the handle; he asked you to clarify why you thought his review was unfair, your response was to question his objectivity, which is a subjective notion in its own right amusingly enough. Reviewers by their very nature review with what they believe to be as objective a view as is possible. The fact that you haven't given any insight into why you think his review lacks objectivity just suggests you're, as they say, "butthurt" because he reviewed an album you like in a less than a positive manner.
warrior_of_ice - 26.07.2010 at 18:11  
(As they say "butthurt".) I congratulate your exquisite choice of words there. Here are some reasons why I do not agree with this review.

1) I don't see whats wrong with the album title, '12 Gauge'.
2) The comparison to early works of Children of Bodom is utterly confusing, I do not here any similarities between the two bands at all.
3) I don't agree that there is a shortage of outstanding moments in the album. I enjoy it from start to finish and am in complete awe of the catchy rhythm/lead guitar sections.
4) Do not agree with the assertion that Kalmah are to become the next Dark Tranquility with repetitive song structures and unaltered production. Have you heard this album through KRK studio profiles?

Indeed, these are my own opinions, therefore subjective.
!J.O.O.E.! - 26.07.2010 at 18:15  
Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 18:11

Indeed, these are my own opinions, therefore subjective.

Not that it's any of my business anymore but well done, you get a pat on the head
warrior_of_ice - 26.07.2010 at 18:19  
Your lack of respect towards Metal Storm members through your condescending nature sadness me.
!J.O.O.E.! - 26.07.2010 at 18:23  
Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 18:19

Your lack of respect towards Metal Storm members through your condescending nature sadness me.

Managed to get a cogent response out of you though, for that metalstorm should be respecting me.
vezzy - 26.07.2010 at 18:27  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 26.07.2010 at 18:23

Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 18:19

Your lack of respect towards Metal Storm members through your condescending nature sadness me.

Managed to get a cogent response out of you though, for that metalstorm should be respecting me.


+1

Oh, except the latter part of your sentence.
!J.O.O.E.! - 26.07.2010 at 18:29  
Written by vezzy on 26.07.2010 at 18:27

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 26.07.2010 at 18:23

Written by warrior_of_ice on 26.07.2010 at 18:19

Your lack of respect towards Metal Storm members through your condescending nature sadness me.

Managed to get a cogent response out of you though, for that metalstorm should be respecting me.


+1

Oh, except the latter part of your sentence.

What can I say? I'm an irrepressible egomaniac.
Xnoybis - 26.07.2010 at 19:59  
It's always hilarious when someone who disagrees with a review goes after the "objectivity" of the reviewer. the whole point of a review is to provide a an opinion on an album they've listened to so that others who have not experienced it will get an understanding on what to expect and whether or not it might be something that interests them. this is best done by combining a degree of objectivity with a healthy dose of subjectivity.

let's face it, an objective review of anything would be not only boring, but worthless.

i'll try to give it a shot below. i have not listened to it, so i am inserting "X's" and "Y's" in for factual measurements that are currently unknown to me:

____________________

Kalmah - 12 Gauge. AN objective review.

"12 Gauge" is the sixth release from the Finnish act*. The band at the time of recording consisted of five member arrayed as follows: two guitarists (one who also does vocals), one bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist. The album consists of nine songs played over (XX) amount of minutes. The Japanese version contains an extra track, a cover of "Cold Sweat" by Thin Lizzy.

The guitars were distorted during the recording process. This album also had YY guitar solos. The vocals were mostly performed in what is referred to as a growling style.

Songs did not maintain a constant speed and varied from tempos measuring from XX bpm at slowest to YY bpm at fastest.

This album was recorded at (location) and released on February 24, 2010 by Spinefarm records.


_______________________

hope that review, stating fact and avoiding opinion, helps.

*you'll notice i must refer to them as "an act" rather than a specific genre or sub-genre, as it's subjective whether they are "extreme power" or "melodeath"... we wouldn't want to be subjective and classify them into one now, would we? Of course, the classification of metal is subjective, so calling them a metal band could be construed as the author forming an opinion.

it's the subjective/opinion part of the review that gives it any flavor.

peoples tastes are different, just because you like something doesn't mean others will. if you don't like someone else's review of something (whether positive or negative) you are better served to state your own counter-argument as to why you feel differently and what about said piece pleases/displeases you than you are attacking a reviewer... unless the reviewer is clearly out of whack and has an agenda. (i.e. someone admitted to reviewing the new christopher lee piece and scoring it absurdly high because others had scored it low... )
Deadsoulman - 26.07.2010 at 20:06  
Written by Xnoybis on 26.07.2010 at 19:59

It's always hilarious when someone who disagrees with a review goes after the "objectivity" of the reviewer. the whole point of a review is to provide a an opinion on an album they've listened to so that others who have not experienced it will get an understanding on what to expect and whether or not it might be something that interests them. this is best done by combining a degree of objectivity with a healthy dose of subjectivity.

let's face it, an objective review of anything would be not only boring, but worthless.

i'll try to give it a shot below. i have not listened to it, so i am inserting "X's" and "Y's" in for factual measurements that are currently unknown to me:

____________________

Kalmah - 12 Gauge. AN objective review.

"12 Gauge" is the sixth release from the Finnish act*. The band at the time of recording consisted of five member arrayed as follows: two guitarists (one who also does vocals), one bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist. The album consists of nine songs played over (XX) amount of minutes. The Japanese version contains an extra track, a cover of "Cold Sweat" by Thin Lizzy.

The guitars were distorted during the recording process. This album also had YY guitar solos. The vocals were mostly performed in what is referred to as a growling style.

Songs did not maintain a constant speed and varied from tempos measuring from XX bpm at slowest to YY bpm at fastest.

This album was recorded at (location) and released on February 24, 2010 by Spinefarm records.


_______________________

hope that review, stating fact and avoiding opinion, helps.

*you'll notice i must refer to them as "an act" rather than a specific genre or sub-genre, as it's subjective whether they are "extreme power" or "melodeath"... we wouldn't want to be subjective and classify them into one now, would we? Of course, the classification of metal is subjective, so calling them a metal band could be construed as the author forming an opinion.

it's the subjective/opinion part of the review that gives it any flavor.

peoples tastes are different, just because you like something doesn't mean others will. if you don't like someone else's review of something (whether positive or negative) you are better served to state your own counter-argument as to why you feel differently and what about said piece pleases/displeases you than you are attacking a reviewer... unless the reviewer is clearly out of whack and has an agenda. (i.e. someone admitted to reviewing the new christopher lee piece and scoring it absurdly high because others had scored it low... )


I lol'ed. I'm only quoting you because I believe posting this message once was not enough.
Troy Killjoy - 27.07.2010 at 00:35  
Written by Xnoybis on 26.07.2010 at 19:59

...i'll try to give it a shot below. i have not listened to it, so i am inserting "X's" and "Y's" in for factual measurements that are currently unknown to me...

MétalNoir - 27.07.2010 at 00:40  
Good arguments, but no, it's not a slightly above average album, I think it stands perfectly on the edge between pre and post-Swampsong albums, and it has an old school something that's quite new, in the production, I mean. I really enjoyed this one, particularly after the boooring For the Revolution
BlueMobius - 28.07.2010 at 15:22  
Well almost every other metal site gave this album a 80% or higher, so this one slightly negative review is just a drop in the bucket.
vezzy - 28.07.2010 at 15:24  
Written by BlueMobius on 28.07.2010 at 15:22

Well almost every other metal site gave this album a 80% or higher, so this one slightly negative review is just a drop in the bucket.


So-called "professional" metal review sites tend to overrate albums for some reason. Maybe it's a conspiracy to promote bands?... Nah.
Ozman - 28.07.2010 at 15:32  
Written by vezzy on 28.07.2010 at 15:24

Written by BlueMobius on 28.07.2010 at 15:22

Well almost every other metal site gave this album a 80% or higher, so this one slightly negative review is just a drop in the bucket.


So-called "professional" metal review sites tend to overrate albums for some reason. Maybe it's a conspiracy to promote bands?... Nah.


I have seen this album get about 60-70 in several printed magazines
BlueMobius - 29.07.2010 at 03:58  
Written by Ozman on 28.07.2010 at 15:32

Written by vezzy on 28.07.2010 at 15:24

Written by BlueMobius on 28.07.2010 at 15:22

Well almost every other metal site gave this album a 80% or higher, so this one slightly negative review is just a drop in the bucket.


So-called "professional" metal review sites tend to overrate albums for some reason. Maybe it's a conspiracy to promote bands?... Nah.


I have seen this album get about 60-70 in several printed magazines


No magazines I've seen, but that's probably because they aren't big enough to get distributed in the U.S.
GT - 29.07.2010 at 09:08  
Written by Xnoybis on 26.07.2010 at 19:59

It's always hilarious when someone who disagrees with a review goes after the "objectivity" of the reviewer. the whole point of a review is to provide a an opinion on an album they've listened to so that others who have not experienced it will get an understanding on what to expect and whether or not it might be something that interests them. this is best done by combining a degree of objectivity with a healthy dose of subjectivity.

let's face it, an objective review of anything would be not only boring, but worthless.

i'll try to give it a shot below. i have not listened to it, so i am inserting "X's" and "Y's" in for factual measurements that are currently unknown to me:

____________________

Kalmah - 12 Gauge. AN objective review.

"12 Gauge" is the sixth release from the Finnish act*. The band at the time of recording consisted of five member arrayed as follows: two guitarists (one who also does vocals), one bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist. The album consists of nine songs played over (XX) amount of minutes. The Japanese version contains an extra track, a cover of "Cold Sweat" by Thin Lizzy.

The guitars were distorted during the recording process. This album also had YY guitar solos. The vocals were mostly performed in what is referred to as a growling style.

Songs did not maintain a constant speed and varied from tempos measuring from XX bpm at slowest to YY bpm at fastest.

This album was recorded at (location) and released on February 24, 2010 by Spinefarm records.


_______________________

hope that review, stating fact and avoiding opinion, helps.

*you'll notice i must refer to them as "an act" rather than a specific genre or sub-genre, as it's subjective whether they are "extreme power" or "melodeath"... we wouldn't want to be subjective and classify them into one now, would we? Of course, the classification of metal is subjective, so calling them a metal band could be construed as the author forming an opinion.

it's the subjective/opinion part of the review that gives it any flavor.

peoples tastes are different, just because you like something doesn't mean others will. if you don't like someone else's review of something (whether positive or negative) you are better served to state your own counter-argument as to why you feel differently and what about said piece pleases/displeases you than you are attacking a reviewer... unless the reviewer is clearly out of whack and has an agenda. (i.e. someone admitted to reviewing the new christopher lee piece and scoring it absurdly high because others had scored it low... )

Thumbs up man...and like Collin I'm actually just quoting you to make sure the post is on the second pages as well
Aladin - 31.07.2010 at 12:32  
I actually really enjoyed this album, when I want to listen to Kalmah, 8 in 10 times I pick 12 Gauge
BlueMobius - 02.08.2010 at 06:36  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.07.2010 at 06:19

Written by elseif on 25.07.2010 at 06:18

A little bit harsh

What makes you say that?


I respect your opinion on the album even though I enjoyed this album a lot, but there are a couple of things I don't like about your review.

1.

"Maybe the band members are preparing something special for their next release.

Maybe the swamp has finally dried up."

I don't like it when reviewers make future assertions about a band while reviewing an album. You're here to review the album, not to be a fortune teller. This isn't an article about guessing where Kalmah is going next.

"A. Kokko has proven his capability as a guitarist and inherently as a talented soloist, but his work on this release seems forced and uninspired."

Yeah, the solos weren't super, but when reviewers start saying things like forced and uninspired, i think you also need to explain that. A. What do those two words mean to you? B. How do you know what his inspiration or lack there of was? C. How do you know that those aren't the kind of solos he was "inspired" to write?

What other instruments should they add to become more relevant? They added trumpets already on this album.
Troy Killjoy - 02.08.2010 at 06:54  
Written by BlueMobius on 02.08.2010 at 06:36

I don't like it when reviewers make future assertions about a band while reviewing an album. You're here to review the album, not to be a fortune teller. This isn't an article about guessing where Kalmah is going next.

I did review the album - that final bit was regarding why this release felt so generic. Maybe it's a label-pleasing release, i.e. Spinefarm/Spikefarm says "we want an album in 2010 Kalmah", and then there was 12 Gauge. Ergo, maybe Kalmah are able to do better in the near future, or maybe this really is all they can muster up these days.

I wasn't trying to "predict the future", I was just trying to hammer in my opinion that this album = not up to my standards as a semi-fan of the band.

Quote:

Yeah, the solos weren't super, but when reviewers start saying things like forced and uninspired, i think you also need to explain that. A. What do those two words mean to you? B. How do you know what his inspiration or lack there of was? C. How do you know that those aren't the kind of solos he was "inspired" to write?

What other instruments should they add to become more relevant? They added trumpets already on this album.


forced /fɔrst, foʊrst/ [fawrst, fohrst] -adjective
1. enforced or compulsory: forced labor.[/s]
2. strained, unnatural, or affected: a forced smile.
3. subjected to force.
4. required by circumstances; emergency: a forced landing of an airplane

Regarding my use of the word "forced", I simply meant that the guitar solos on this album seem "strained, unnatural, or affected". As in they are out-of-character, go nowhere, and aren't memorable - something that can hardly be said about any of their pre-For The Revolution albums.

un·in·spired /ˌʌnɪnˈspaɪərd/ [uhn-in-spahyuhrd] -adjective
not inspired; not creative or spirited: an uninspired performance; an uninspired teacher.

Regarding my use of the word "uninspired", I simply meant that the guitar solos on this album seem "not inspired, not creative or spirited". As in they [insert aforementioned explanation verbatim].

I don't know what his inspiration was. Nobody does but him, possibly his band mates, and possibly some close friends and label owners. Beyond that, do you honestly expect every review to go in depth as to how one knows the damn source of inspiration for every single aspect of a band member's choice of musicianship? That's asking a little much (unless of course you want to pay for a plane ticket for me to visit their recording studio and chat about why they wrote Song A one way and Song B another).

My apologies for the sarcasm. You can of course ignore my comments and write your own review about why this album isn't as generic as I reviewed it to be (and all the Kalmah fans on this site will praise you for it).

Hopefully that answers your questions.

EDIT: Regarding the trumpets: it's one song, and only the introduction to that one song. Maybe a piano would have been nice, some violins? Maybe change up the mixing/mastering process so the bass is more in the forefront, or vice-versa. Lots of stuff can be done to "change things up". This album is a shadow of their previous works.
Dangerboner - 02.08.2010 at 06:55  
@bluemobiusx - I think you're nitpicking a little bit too much. He sufficiently explained his thoughts on the album, and even though I don't agree with the swamp drying up, it was just a creative way to close a review. I used to review albums for a metal webzine a few years ago and it only took a few reviews (for me at least) before struggling with word choice.

As for the album, I liked the first listen, but I haven't played it enough yet to have a full opinion. Some songs kicked ass, while others lacked.
BlueMobius - 02.08.2010 at 07:35  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 02.08.2010 at 06:54

Written by BlueMobius on 02.08.2010 at 06:36

I don't like it when reviewers make future assertions about a band while reviewing an album. You're here to review the album, not to be a fortune teller. This isn't an article about guessing where Kalmah is going next.

I did review the album - that final bit was regarding why this release felt so generic. Maybe it's a label-pleasing release, i.e. Spinefarm/Spikefarm says "we want an album in 2010 Kalmah", and then there was 12 Gauge. Ergo, maybe Kalmah are able to do better in the near future, or maybe this really is all they can muster up these days.

I wasn't trying to "predict the future", I was just trying to hammer in my opinion that this album = not up to my standards as a semi-fan of the band.

Quote:

Yeah, the solos weren't super, but when reviewers start saying things like forced and uninspired, i think you also need to explain that. A. What do those two words mean to you? B. How do you know what his inspiration or lack there of was? C. How do you know that those aren't the kind of solos he was "inspired" to write?

What other instruments should they add to become more relevant? They added trumpets already on this album.


forced /fɔrst, foʊrst/ [fawrst, fohrst] -adjective
1. enforced or compulsory: forced labor.[/s]
2. strained, unnatural, or affected: a forced smile.
3. subjected to force.
4. required by circumstances; emergency: a forced landing of an airplane

Regarding my use of the word "forced", I simply meant that the guitar solos on this album seem "strained, unnatural, or affected". As in they are out-of-character, go nowhere, and aren't memorable - something that can hardly be said about any of their pre-For The Revolution albums.

un·in·spired /ˌʌnɪnˈspaɪərd/ [uhn-in-spahyuhrd] -adjective
not inspired; not creative or spirited: an uninspired performance; an uninspired teacher.

Regarding my use of the word "uninspired", I simply meant that the guitar solos on this album seem "not inspired, not creative or spirited". As in they [insert aforementioned explanation verbatim].

I don't know what his inspiration was. Nobody does but him, possibly his band mates, and possibly some close friends and label owners. Beyond that, do you honestly expect every review to go in depth as to how one knows the damn source of inspiration for every single aspect of a band member's choice of musicianship? That's asking a little much (unless of course you want to pay for a plane ticket for me to visit their recording studio and chat about why they wrote Song A one way and Song B another).

My apologies for the sarcasm. You can of course ignore my comments and write your own review about why this album isn't as generic as I reviewed it to be (and all the Kalmah fans on this site will praise you for it).

Hopefully that answers your questions.

EDIT: Regarding the trumpets: it's one song, and only the introduction to that one song. Maybe a piano would have been nice, some violins? Maybe change up the mixing/mastering process so the bass is more in the forefront, or vice-versa. Lots of stuff can be done to "change things up". This album is a shadow of their previous works.


First off, I wasn't being hostile with my comments, just pointing some stuff out, so I see your sarcasm and the tone of your reply as a little disrespectful. Second, I know the definitions of those words, and I justed wanted your "definition." There is no need to quote Websters or whatever dictionary site you pulled that from.
You can take my criticism or leave it, but you don't have to be an asshole about it.
Troy Killjoy - 02.08.2010 at 15:06  
Written by BlueMobius on 02.08.2010 at 07:35

First off, I wasn't being hostile with my comments, just pointing some stuff out, so I see your sarcasm and the tone of your reply as a little disrespectful. Second, I know the definitions of those words, and I justed wanted your "definition." There is no need to quote Websters or whatever dictionary site you pulled that from.
You can take my criticism or leave it, but you don't have to be an asshole about it.

Admittedly my response was more or less sarcasm-laden, but I won't admit to my answer as "being an asshole about it". I answered your questions the best way I could - you asked for my definition of words so I pulled the definitions from dictionary.com and explained how their definition mirrors my own, and how that same definition applies to this album. So in my opinion there was a need for that as it helped further get my point across. (Better than just saying they're uninspired and forced without backing it up, no?)

I understand you weren't being hostile and were merely critiquing my review, but for the most part that critique was targeting elements I have/had more or less no control over (such as how I know or don't know whether or not the guitar solos were written the way they were for a specific reason).

I'll take any criticism after analyzing the suggestions, and for the most part I don't see any of my future reviews changing as a result of our conversation. That being said, I will be on the lookout to make sure I don't use words that have been abused my reviewers around the world because that has obviously led to a misunderstanding of definitions.
Ragepocalypse - 04.08.2010 at 15:25  
This to me was a great album Much better than for the revolution! been a person who first got into kalmah through the Black waltz and then worked backwards i think this album is a great blend of both new and old sounds. Highlight Track - sacramentum
Troy Killjoy - 04.08.2010 at 16:13  
Written by Ragepocalypse on 04.08.2010 at 15:25

This to me was a great album Much better than for the revolution! been a person who first got into kalmah through the Black waltz and then worked backwards i think this album is a great blend of both new and old sounds. Highlight Track - sacramentum

I agree this is a major step forward from For The Revolution, but I don't think of it as a blend of new and old sounds. To me this is purely melodic death with thrash-influenced guitar leads whereas their earlier works were more melodic death and "extreme power" as it were.
Fane - 04.08.2010 at 22:48  
I would 100% agree that the album is unimpressive. Not bad, but unimpressive. Even forgettable when you own (as I do) their other albums which are filled with unique songs and riffs that haunt me even in my dreams.

I like the old Kalmah a lot. Catchy, harsh and one heck of an impressive guitar work. 12 gauge is tame compared to those works. Also it repeats itself, making it easily forgettable and guitar work is average. Still I must admit that this album is a step towards better tomorrow from their previous album.

Oh and the title! I thought the same as Troy, haha. The Black Waltz, For The Revolution, 12 Gauge... wait wat? Even if it is a reference to member's hunting activity, it's not a good name. It instantly reminds of me of brutal death metal bands.

Overall I would give it a 7.

[offtopic]I accept that people should respect each other in MS, but after reading those (hilarious) comments, I must say people are slightly too sensitive. A bit of sarcasm doesn't hurt anyone, small disputes are just fun and making sharp comments of others (with good taste) is imo totally acceptable.
I totally agree with BitterCOld about the review thing, haha[/offtopic]
Anttizhang - 16.08.2010 at 06:22  
I agree some points in the review...not a bad album but...far from great!
Gory Sid - 06.09.2010 at 13:19  
I still think this is a great album.......
sure they have been inspired by early bodom but listening to the songs makes me fell so damn good
LONG LIVE KALMAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:banger2:
Bushwookie - 06.09.2010 at 19:45  
Uhm... 6.7? I'd atleast give this album an 8.

Sure, they kind of strayed from their original sound but not too far. I find this is one of those albums that really grow on you..
iMPERiAL_iCE - 09.09.2010 at 17:24  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 02.08.2010 at 06:54

EDIT: Regarding the trumpets: it's one song, and only the introduction to that one song. Maybe a piano would have been nice, some violins? Maybe change up the mixing/mastering process so the bass is more in the forefront, or vice-versa. Lots of stuff can be done to "change things up". This album is a shadow of their previous works.


totally agree to that, I believe a lute could've also changed a lot. and the mastering sounds a lot like For The Revolution, I hope they'd start mixing in 5.1 surround for a change :Calling on Steven Wilson for the rescue:

Now about the review, well done Troy (except for the album name part, I mean c'mooon this is not the worst name out there :pointing at Children Of Bodom - Are You dead Yet? and laughing: and after reading about the Koko's and their hunting and stuff it started to sound pretty relevant ). as for the rating, ur a bit unfair, I'd give it 7+ at least, and finally u'd want to cut down on the sarcasm in order to avoid being bashed by fans who don't appreciate it hehehehe

All in all good review
mige - 03.07.2011 at 03:58  
This review = bullshit ,,,,,,how they let you wrote this!!!!!!
this is the second review that i read and the level of this site is fucken shallow !!!!

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