KORPIKLAANI has always known how to capture the essence of life in Finland and embedd it in their music.Breaking out of their seclusion in 2003 with the release of Spirit of the Forest, they recently followed their critically acclaimed debut with yet another folk metal masterpiece, Voice of Wilderness. The music is as wild and raw as the land itself, and instead of cosy campfire romance, fast and intoxicating songs, supported by violin, flute, and Jonne's unmistakable vocals, invite one to dance around this fire. The success of KORPIKLAANI can be attributed to the band's dedication to their roots-—the ruggedness of Finland's natural wonderland mixed with odes to hunting and beer, humppa and a great sense of humor, which leads us to wonder what life may be like in KORPIKLAANI's Finland.
I used to hunt a lot through the course of years, but not lately. We have been concentrated more playing music and drinking beer these days. Our very natural surroundings are obviously very important to all of us. Being from the country, nature has always been close at hand. But we partake in other activities, not just hunting and beer drinking. We also talk lots about women.—Jonne
Seriously speaking, KORPIKLAANI successfully strives to combine two very different worlds: the world of Heavy Metal and that of traditional Finnish music. Even the bands videos reach far back into the past to render the visual images that tell their tales, as in the video to "Hunting Song" , which features the woodsmen in the middle of Finnish film history. The images seen in the video are the only footage remaining of a 1927 film destroyed in a fire. The 18 seconds of rescued material are a unique piece of Finnish film history. The rights to use the footage were granted to KORPIKLAANI by the son, now 87 years old, of the original copyright holder. The film was entitled "Ei auta itku markkinoilla".
KORPIKLAANI now bring us their second video in support of Voice of Wilderness's "Kädet Siipina" (a.k.a. "Hands as Their Wings"). A sombre song sung in Finnish, it was inspired by real events.
The lyrics to Kädet Siipinä came to me after I read accounts about the Finnish evacuation after the war. Kilometers of long black lines of mourning and crying people, mainly recent widows and children with their belongings and cows, began their exodus moving away from the old Finland after the border changes that took place following the war.—Jonne
But while the song was inspired by historical accounts of a not-so-distant past, the video portrays another facet of Finland's rich history and tradition, taking place in a time that mixes the Viking era with that of the present day. The band, however, does not take on the role of Vikings as one might expect. Instead they are contemporary mortals reliving the time when the Norse traditions crossed paths with those of the Christian faith. Because mythology played such an important role in the Vikings' daily life—Gods, rituals, and amulets were extremely important—the video attempts to submerge one into that world.
It’s a story of sorrow and grief. When you listen to the lyrics and music you can place yourself in the world of the myths, rituals, mysticism, symbolism, war, and sorrow. That is what the video is all about.—Kristian Karvonen (Director)
A Viking longboat emerges from a thick fog. Tired and wounded, the crew rows toward shore. From whence they come is irrelevant now, as their only desire is to arrive home. Simultaneously, dogs are seen running in the village. One carries a stick with an amulet of Thor’s hammer, dropping it into the boat. Jonne takes the luck bringer and places it on his badly wounded companion. They head toward the village carrying their wounded, yet they find the settlement disserted. Carrying his companion to the Chieftain's Hall, Jonne notices his friend has died. He takes the amulet, disappointed that its charms failed him, and begins to sing out his grief and sorrow. Doubting the power of the amulet, his feelings of betrayal hurry him to his cottage to plea with the Gods for mercy, so that none other will likewise meet his deceased friend's fate.
Script: Kristian Karvonen and Monica Nordling
Director: Kristian Karvonen
Camera: Kristian Karvonen and Monica Nordling
Edit: Markku Kirves
Make up: Monica Nordling
Dog trainer: Sonja Ilander
Dogs: Aldo and Indi
The video ”Kädet siipinä” was shot in May 2005 at the Rosala Viking Centre (www.rosala-viking-centre.com), Hitis Turku Archipelago.
The conditions for making the video were good. We were lucky with the weather. The day we shot in the village the sun shone, and the day in which we shot with the ship, we woke up to a great fog. Just what we had been hoping for. The gods were on our side...—Kristian Karvonen (Director)
Jonne, Matson, Arto, Cane and Juho, as well as longtime friend Jari Viitala in a guest role. The two dogs in the video, Aldo in the leading role and Indi, allude to the Viking belief that a dog often accompanied the deceased on his/her last journey to Valhalla.
Special thanks to Korpiklaani and K. Karvonen for making this feature possible.