Finnish folk metallers KORPIKLAANI will release their new album, "Noita", on May 5 in North America via Nuclear Blast. Recorded at Petrax Studio with Aksu Hanttu producing, recording and mixing again, it is the band's first CD to feature new accordion player Sami Perttula, who played a very active role in the folk arrangements along with fiddler Tuomas Rounakari.
The cover artwork for "Noita" was created by Jan Yrlund from Darkgrove Design, who has created all the KORPIKLAANI covers in recent years
Commented KORPIKLAANI bass player Jarkko Aaltonen: "'Noita', in the traditional Finnish meaning, is different than what people associate it with nowadays.
"'Noita' is a person with wider knowledge and understanding of the nature and who also was believed to possess paranormal or unnatural abilities. These people were often also referred to as Tietäjä, [which] exactly means someone with wider knowledge and understanding of pretty much everything.
"Native American medicine man is pretty much the same thing or actually all the different types of Shamans of the primitive peoples are the same thing. Noita is someone that you turn to when you need help of some kind.
"Finnish Noita had the ability to heal, just like their North American counterparts. They were very respected members of the society. Only later Christianity changed the word to mean something negative since those people were considered rivals by the church. Even in Finland, this turned into a witchhunt (=noitavaino) every now and then.
"Anyway, most people using Google Translate or similar will find the word 'witch' and will probably get a bit wrong idea of the meaning, since most will probably connect it with the black sabbaths, devil marks and such, when a way more correct translation would probably be medicine man or Shaman."
Added Pertulla: "Previously the KORPIKLAANI albums were played with a piano-accordion and now I play with a traditional button-accordion which was more widely used in Finland anyways. In the arrangements you can hear more tonal harmonies and folky accompaniments combined to the power-chords than before. It actually boosts up the uplifting feel of our music."
KORPIKLAANI violinist Toumas Rounakari commented: "This album has more violin solos than ever before. Violin is more in the role of a lead-guitar now just as Jonne had originally intended it to be."
KORPIKLAANI vocalist Jonne Järvelä concluded: "We have finally managed to create the balance between folk and metal in the way I've always dreamt it to be. Thanks to Sami's arrangements and Tuomas's crazy shredding of the violin.”
In March, KORPIKLAANI will headline the Paganfest extended shows and will additionally play a run of European festivals later this year.