Finnish folk metallers KORPIKLAANI have parted ways with accordion player Juho Kauppinen.Says Juho in a statement: "I have decided to set my goals elsewhere, as a result of which KORPIKLAANI will go on without me from now on. "KORPIKLAANI was a prominent part of my life for long, but after these eight and a half years I played in the band, I have come to realize that I currently want to experience and pursue something else. "Accordion has never been my primary instrument. I also understood that performing in front of an audience is not exactly what I hugely enjoy. Strange as it sounds, what I most want from making music nowadays is playing guitar at home. That is what I find relaxing and free of stress. "Some people love touring, but because I am a very private person, I found living and traveling on the tour bus for four weeks in a row a little challenging. Nevertheless, I got to experience many things I am deeply grateful for and want to thank all KORPIKLAANI's listeners, fellow bands, crew members and our staff who enabled all of this. I am glad that the band has now found a truly professional accordionist to take the place of me to take care of the future tours and shows as planned. I wish everyone well. The journey has just begun." KORPIKLAANI's eighth studio album, "Manala", sold around 600 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 51 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. "Manala" was released on August 14, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover artwork was created by Finnish artist Jan Yrlund. The limited digipack edition of "Manala" comes with a bonus CD containing the entire album with English lyrics.
KORPIKLAANI vocalist Jonne Järvelä previously stated about the band's new album, "'Manala' is the realm of the dead — the underworld in Finnish mythology. Tuonela, Tuoni, Manala and Mana are used synonymously. This place is best known for its appearance in the Finnish national epic Kalevala, on which many of our new songs are based. In the 16th poem of Kalevala, Väinämöinen, a shamanistic hero travels to Manala to seek for knowledge about the dead. On the journey he meets the ferrywoman (similar to Charon), a girl, Tuonen tytti, or Tuonen piika (Death's maid), who takes him across the river of Tuoni. However, on the isle of Tuoni he is not given the spells he was originally looking for and he barely manages to escape the place. After his return he curses anyone trying to enter the place alive." "Manala" marks the recording debut of the band's new fiddler, Tuomas Rounakari. Performance footage (August 29 at Club Soda in Montreal, Quebec, Canada):