Kalmah Swamplord

The metal scene, and most specifically the Scandinavian and Scandinavian-sounding scenes, has become so overcrowded and the output so monotonous that one expects very little in the way of originality any more. Upon first glance, Finland's Kalmah inspire nothing but feelings of malaise with their melodic death metal, but a few more listens and some scratching at the surface show this as a band with a bit more to offer. The classical influenced runs and keyboard swells are a nice touch as are the band's experiments with dissonance vs. consonance in "Heritance of Berija." There are also times when each of the two guitars and the keys are meandering along their own paths ("Withering Away," "Dance of the Water") which makes for some interesting listening. Kalmah aren't going to break the originality or diversity banks, but they do have their moments and provide a decent enough listen. (Spikefarm)