Though considered a mere Children of Bodom clone early on their career, Finland’s Kalmah have gone on to have a decent discography that one could argue is more consistent than the band they were supposed to be ripping off. Through 7 albums, only 2008s For the Revolution stands as a slightly sub-par album (my opinion only mind you-melodic death metal as a whole was in a bit of a funk back then) with everything else being a solid to stellar example of energetic Finnish melodic death metal.

Album number eight, Palo (Fire) sees the same consistency and quality through its 10 song, 46 minute run time, despite the 5 year lay off There are no risks, no real envelope pushers, just an enjoyable predictable, professional and enjoyable album of bouncy, Finnish melodic death metal that still has some Children of Bodom isms melded with some crunchier , sterner, Omnium Gatherum tones.

First single “Blood Ran Cold” opens things up with typical gusto and flare layered with soaring synths crisp guitars, lots of solos and Pekka Kokkos mix of standard rasps an lower register Finnish growls. It’s a band that’s confident and skilled at their craft and it shows throughout until the echoes of the albums longest cut, the more somber closer “The Stalker”.

But along the way, there are some real standouts. Third track “The World of Rage”, might be the best song the band has penned with epic blast beats and sweeping synths to die for. How good is thing song? I was dead asleep on a plane with headphones and my subconscious mind recognized how good it was and I awoke from my slumber tapping my feet. “Take Me Away” reminds you, despite the band’s bounce and energy, that they are Finnish with a surprisingly controlled and delicate, despondent death/doom hue. Then “Paystreak” has a killer crunchy mid and end section that would make Omnium Gatherum wilt in respect .

Palo is yet another fine entry in a band’s discography that unlike their maligned peers, has no real weak links or ups and downs, just a consistent rock steady sound for 18 years now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 14th, 2018


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