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(2006) Kalmah - The Black Waltz
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01. Defeat
02. Bitter Metallic Side
03. Time Takes Us All
04. To the Gallows
05. Svieri Doroga
06. The Black Waltz
07. With Terminal Intensity
08. Man of the King
09. The Groan of Wind
10. Mindrust
11. One from the Stands
Within the first 30 seconds you know this album is coming from a completely reborn band. Guitar tones, keyboards and vocals sound completely different. The vocals have taken on a deeper death metal feel from the almost black metal vocals of the past albums. It is done in such a fashion that you won't be missing the past vocals.
The opening track throws you right into the mess. The keys, drums and even the bass during the "Kalmah" moments (You know what they are when you hear them) are spot on. You know the band has been perfectly tuning their war machine while away from the frontline.
It is quite apparant that the addition of Petri Sankala on the drums was a smart move. NEVER had the drumming sounded so complete. He keeps up with the pace of the songs perfectly and his spuratic blast beats sound perfectly on time.

Standing out is the instrumental track "Kalmah - Svieri Doroga". Clocking in at 1:08 it is chocked full of clean tone guitar work that sounds absolutely mystifying. It doesn't slow down the album at all but only leads into the title track (And possibly the best track). The clean tone break down near the 3 minute mark makes this track stand out beyond the others. Leading into some beautiful solos after that are near perfect.
Once again the vocals powerfully deliver on this album. The welcome of collective group yelling from the band is excellently done. Low and sorrowful, much like the music Kalmah has been known for.
Some songs may be lacking in the blazing solo department but it is hardly noticable because of the beautiful way each song is built. No instrument is left out to "fill in". Each one comes out perfectly adding new dimensions to the music.

A solid release by a solid band. No fan will disaprove of this one.

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