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Those who want to listen to Finnish music don´t necessarily have to go to Finland anymore. Berlin – the most Southern city of Finland – is just as good. At least since the formation of folk metal band Kultasiipi in 2006. Now their first album Metsola was published.
There are eight songs on the album held together by short, atmospheric intersections. Talvella is the intro and puts you in the right mood with sounds of snow crunching footsteps, a flute and a very deep voice. Metsola is then the first song, shines with several tempo and vocal changes and is the best song on the album. Especially towards the end the brilliant live character of the song really shows. Laula has a very folky sounding flute and a great rhythm which, as the title suggests, makes you want to sing along (if you feel able to do so). However, the few metal parts in the song sometimes don´t really fit to the rhythm. The next song Kultasiipi struggles with a very clumsy beginning and it never really gets rid of it despite the beautiful chorus. This effect is mainly caused by the preceding transitional piece Kesällä. It´s not a bad idea to have some atmospheric change-overs between songs, but in this case the guys should have really found a better way to acoustically carry the listener to the next song. Soittajapaimen gets the record back to form and entertains with Humppa influences. With Kuusenjuuret the guys take a step back – it´s a really beautiful ballad. Ievan Polkka is then faster again and it´s the only song which is sung in German. One or the other might know the melody which is very catchy indeed. Metsäkukkia is about an unfortunate alcoholic and brilliantly captures the bar vibe (here the transitional intro worked nicely) with an almost sluggish sound, and singing, which is partly very good to shout along to. This song too, has a lot of live potential. Jos mun tuttuni tulisi is the last song and leads you back to the forest realm with quiet sounds and soft vocals.
With their Finnish lyrics Kultasiipi are rather unique in the German-speaking area and it´s even more remarkable when you know that none of the band members actually speaks the language (which they also admit freely). But still, the band´s debut album can´t transport that uniqueness on all levels. There are a lot of ideas, there´s a lot of variation and for the most part it´s very entertaining but there are still too few moments when Metsola really stands out and the tracks between the songs are too often an end in itself – here a lot of potential was wasted. But especially fans of Finnish culture and sounds should check this record out and maybe go to a gig as well because as mentioned some songs really have a great live character. Finnophils might also be interested to know that all lyrics are printed in the booklet with German translation – even though I got lost occasionally because somehow it doesn´t seem to go with the order in which the lyrics are sung.