Korpiklaani / Rankarumpu Delivers High-Speed Folk Metal Frenzy

Back with their 12th studio album and a promise of a faster album than the previous few, Korpiklaani, the cultural ambassadors for Finland, are true to their word right from the opening track, Kotomaaa. It’s an upbeat song singing of blue skies and snowy white lands, reminiscent of past albums and sure to get the crowds in a frenzy.

Korpiklaani – Rankarumpu (Nuclear Blast)

Release Date: Out Now

Words: Jodie Louise

Korpiklaani - Rankarumpu - A dynamic blend of energy and cultural depth.
Korpiklaani – Rankarumpu – A dynamic blend of energy and cultural depth.

Tapa Sen Kun Kerkeet is a quick turnaround with the harmonised vocals left behind for grittier, low lyrics and a catchy chorus. The constant drums, high tempo and lower tuning convey the seriousness of the anti-war track in a way that is memorable and enjoyable.

“Rankarumpu is our fastest album,” Jonne said, “which was easy and fun to make. However, in contrast to the fun, the war theme rears its head here and there on the album because the world situation is so completely absurd and twisted at the moment.”

It is here we encounter our first single, Aita. It’s made waves since its initial release, a fan favourite on their UK tour, inciting many a mosh pit. A true demonstration of the skill displayed by Olli Vänskä on the violin, bringing incredible results to his first album with the band. “Olli was Tuomas’s deputy many times over the years when he was busy,” Jonne said, “so he was the only right choice as a member. He participated in the arrangements but also composed for this album.”

There’s no sign of slowing down as they dive headfirst into the second single and my personal favourite, Saunaan. The song may have been primarily put together by newer members Vänskä and Mikkonen, but it sounds like old-school Korpiklaani with a newfound energy. Besides, what’s more Finnish than a song about saunas?

Mettään is certain to capture attention. It begins with heavy, Judas Priest-style riffs, which is unusual for the band’s style, but they don’t stop there. The song also includes various sections of chanting choruses and solid verses intertwined with slower passages.

Halfway through the album, we encounter Kalmisto. This is where we see Samuli shine, writing the lyrics and contributing to the melodies. The drums are relatively simple in comparison to the other songs, but they’re certain to get you tapping your foot in time.

The title track is strong from the opening notes. Cited by Jonne as a “fully conscious tribute to the band and its members”, the cinematic opening and layered elements of instruments really display the comradery and excitement felt in the making of this record.

No Perkele is where we see things start to pick up again, and I really start to hear the accordion. The emphasis placed on folk instruments, atypical in Metal music works well for the band and adds an extra complexity to the album.

Viikatelintu is a surprise—a ballad-like song with calm, vocal melodies, something we’ve not yet heard on this album. It really allows each instrument to shine without feeling too separated and broken up.

Another short and sweet tune, Nouse, will have you dancing again, and I’m really loving the companionship of the violin and accordion.

Our third single, Oraakkelit, leans heavily into the folk side of the music, and I find it more similar to previous albums. It has a great atmosphere and really begins to rock towards the end.

Finally, Harhainen Höyen is a great closer to the album. Calmer than the rest of the songs, it wraps everything up for the listener and creates an almost nostalgic feeling for better times.

I can safely say, there’s something for everyone on this album – slightly more polished with a nice change of dynamics strewn throughout.

Overall, it’s a great listen, and so the only thing left for the band to do (in the words of singer Jonne) is to “tour every corner of the world”, starting with North America in April.

is available from Korpiklaani.bfan.link/rankarumpu.ema

Sleeve Notes

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