Emerging from the depths of Finland over ten years ago the dynamic Finnish quintet Kalmah keep defying the odds and continue to create cutting-edge thrash/speed metal. With the current popularity of Swedish metal in the U.S. over the past years, bands such as Children of Bodom and In Flames quickly opened the doors for many others in their genre. Kalmah are one of Europe's underground sensations set to take advantage of the road paved for them and will soon be forging their way into the U.S. to establish a name for themselves. After two acclaimed albums the group storms back with a pummeling new offering, Swampsong, their most diverse offering to date. This unbelievably heavy guitar-driven, melodic masterpiece is sure to mesmerize you and rank among your year's top ten if you appreciate unrelenting, raging thrash/death metal of the highest quality. Open your mind and get ready for an overwhelming metal experience.
The story of Kalmah goes back to 1991, when Pekka Kokko (vocals & guitars) and Petri Sankala founded the band Ancestor. After two demos, Antti Kokko joined the band to handle lead guitars and in 1998 the first official incarnation of Kalmah was derived. With the addition of Pasi Hiltula (keyboards), who added a whole new dimension to their sound, the band's line-up was soon completed. They started to write new songs with newfound enthusiasm in a rather melodic death/black metal style for their first demo, Svieri Obraza, that received immense media praise, quickly catching the attention of the acclaimed Finnish label Spikefarm Records who immediately offered them a deal. The band wasted no time heading into Tico-Tico Studios (Sentenced, Amorphis) and the story of the Swamplord had begun.
Kalmah's debut album, Swamplord, was unleashed in the winter of 2000 and immediately garnered rave reviews. That was hardly a surprise, given the breathtaking power and intensity of their unique brand of metal. After playing some shows in their native Finland, they headed back to the rehearsal swamp to write their sophomore record and by November of 2001 Kalmah were back at Tico-Tico Studios. With the additions of Timo Lehtinen (bass) and Janne Kusmin (drums), a new invigorated line-up was now intact. The group rapidly wrote an overwhelming amount of tracks that soon turned out to be their new offering, They Will Return, that was an album that displayed all the aspects that make Kalmah stand out from the pack: stunning individual instrumental execution, ever-present melodies and bombastic harmonies, impressing guitar and keyboard leads throughout the album and an unrelenting aggression within the songs.
The band suddenly started receiving worldwide praise for the first time, resulting in some huge European festival appearances. In the summer of 2002, they played a couple of gigs in Finland along with a monumental performance at Germany's prestigious Wacken Open Air festival. With their creativity at an all-time high the group kept on writing material and quickly had enough new songs to compile a new full-length release. At this point they felt that they had written some of the best songs of their career and they decided to hold off on any further touring until these songs were recorded.
By February of 2003, Kalmah returned to Tico-Tico Studios once more with killer new compositions that turned into Swampsong, their third full-length release. This was mastered at Finnvox Studios (Children of Bodom, Sentenced) in Helsinki and once again packaged with very suitable mysteriously atmospheric artwork courtesy of Juha Vuorma (Nightingale, Autopsy). This nine-track blistering guitar-driven, insanely melodic album will leave anyone begging for more. Taking the most intense melodic elements of Children of Bodom and building upon it with their own unique talents make this a record that should appeal to a vast musical audience.
Despite the frigid temperatures of Finland, this band continues to heat up and it will not be long until Europe can no longer contain their musical talents.