Listen, I was Korpiklaani fanboy for many years loving the band’s boozy folk metal anthems like “Beer, Beer” and “Happy Little Boozer”, but somewhere around 2008s Korven Kuningas up to 2015s Noita I started losing interest in the band and their albums. The band seemed to get a bit of a hangover, lose their fun factor and slow down, highlighted by 2019s Kulkija. I didn’t even check out the band’s 2021 effort Jylhä. 

But I decided to check out album number twelve to see if a new drummer (Samuli Mikkonen- who was on Kulkija) and new violinist Olli Vänskä (Turisas) as well as long time front man Jonne Järvelä’s return to writing the lyrics had done anything to spark the band as well as my interest in them.

Well, the answer is a resounding yes, as Rankarumpu is easily the band’s best and liveliest album since Tervaskanto way back in 2007.

The 12 songs, for the most part, are some of the most fun, catchy songs the band has delivered in a loooong time, dealing with the usual tropes of drinking, Finnish lore, landscapes, and…….saunas…?  (“Saunaan”) with accordion-driven romps like “Tapa sen kun kerkeet”,  “Saunaan”, “Mettään”, “No Perkele” or booty shaking “Oraakkelit. And “Aita” might be one of the best songs the band has delivered in their discography.

And even the couple of slower songs, which the band has always had, have some energy and don’t bring the album to a dour halt as they did in the past as “Kalmisto”, “Rankarumpu”, “Viikatelintu” or somber 5 + minute closer “Harhainen höyhen”, still have some catchy charm.

A resounding return to form from a veteran band that understood its audience and what it wanted to hear after some mediocre albums.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 6th, 2024


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