Kalmah – “Palo” (Spinefarm Records)
Oh wow man, if you like your metal shredding while dripping in blood red passion, then Finland’s Kalmah have the meat that meets the mustard on this stunning 8th album! Cutting their teeth in Ancestor before forming Kalmah – derived from the Karelian for ‘to the grave’, this excellent band form the backbone of Finland’s elite melodic death metal bands. Heavily inspired by Children of Bodom, the music features high speed guitar wizardry driven by double bass speed runs but all the while soaked and steeped in some of the most catchy and passionate melodies that you’ll ever hear! As such the 10 tracks on “Palo” resonate power and grace in one awesome package along with some epic moments across the tracks too. The undoubted talent of the band is due to their 26 years of experience, including touring in far off places like Canada, South America, Japan and mainland China which also explains the slick performances and very live sound of this release, with much of the material being easily adapted for the concert setting. From the opening glory of ‘Blood Ran Cold’ the majestic melodies are unleashed, led by the Kokko brothers on those blinding guitars and backed by the hammering drum work of Janne Kusmin while on ‘The Evil Kin’ the dirtier, chundering riffs allow keyboardist Veli-Matti Kananen to shine with his own dazzling melodies to the overall flowing passionate theme of the song very much in Alexi Laiho style. Brilliantly showing their epic measure on ‘Paycheck’ mixing addictive spiralling melodies with chopping riffs and blast beats along with slower, more passionate passages, the band go out in fine style on ‘Through The Shallow Waters’ which exudes even more aggressive guitars along with Pekka Kokko’s matching growls but equally graced with yet more melodies and galloping beats to sound off this excellent release bar none. The word of Kalmah has indeed been spoken!