Our favorite Swamp Lords have finally released their newest album, “Palo.” After their fantastic “Seventh Swamphony” album, I was hoping they would be able to renew their success, which they did. However, not so much as they could have; in fact, I believe there was a lack of—I don’t know—substance, maybe? Kalmah fans will surely understand after they give it a listen.
This would be the first Kalmah album where one would need to listen to it more than a few times and allow it to digest for a bit. It is indeed a magnificently melodious album, otherwise. Although, not as catchy as “For The Revolution,” one could think of it as a continuation of the maturity of the album “Seventh Swamphony.” Songs such as “Evil Kin” and “Blood Ran Cold” would be—for lack of a better term— fillers of the album. These probably could have been released as singles; the melodies are somewhat catchy but just drag on and on with no sense of closure. In fact, “Evil Kin” is quite a disappointment, as it sounds very cliché. The chorus riff that plays throughout the song, though, sounds great (and that’s about it).
On the plus side, however, the rest of the album doesn’t have these issues. Pekka’s vocals sound really mean (as they well should!) in the song “The World of Rage,” along with the work of sophomore keyboardist, Veli-Matti, whose work on the keyboards sound even better than they did on “Seventh Swamphony.” “Paystreak” is a roaring thrasher of a song that has one of the greatest melodies in the album. “Through the Shallow Waters” tends to drag a bit, as well, but I’d say it’s an improved version of “Blood Ran Cold.” “The Stalker,” which is the last song of the album, is a perfect ending to this album. They keyboards to that track is definitely worthy of note. The song, “Take Me Away,” is another amazing song that has a beautiful riff (especially the galloping one in the beginning). Keyboards played an exemplary role in that song, as well.
The drumming of Janne Kushmin is out of this world and he deserves the biggest recognition for his skills presented in this album. It’s really truly marvelous. Antti Kokko’s lead solos really sound like he was on fire; very smooth and clean! And last but not least, the bass playing of Timo Lehtinen is absolutely fantastic.
In the end, it suffices to say that Kalmah released another worthy album. Will you LOVE it after the first listen? Maybe not, as it took me more than a few listens for the album to truly sink in. However, it’s safe to say that the band has never failed and this album just proves it further.
Review written by Toufiq Hayder