You’ve been drinking heavy. Cans of beer litter your surroundings, your tent smelling painstakingly like the litres of rum you and your companions drowned yourselves in as you sailed through last night’s festivities. You hear chatter outside, your friends awake before you. Faintly, albeit growing louder, you hear foreign sounds. Gone are the boom-box blasting’s of your next door neighbour’s grindcore greatest hits mixtape, and in return are the charming fantastical sounds of bugles and flutes. What’s more exciting than waking up at a festival to the sound of a group of buglers bugling? Why, the memories of that Finnish folk-metal band who blew your mind amidst your session of drinking, of course! Wait…you’re forgetting some of the details, god damn that rum!
Fear not, friend, for THE ultimate Finnish folk-metal collective, the almighty Korpiklaani, have immortalised their festival extravaganzas in one package. ‘Live At Masters Of Rock’ collects their 2014 and 2016 sets together, mastered by frontman Jonne Järvelä, in a meat-and-bones what-you-see-is-what-you-get style.
Often or not, live sets are nothing but over-edited, over-hyped, and overdone money-making cash-ins for bands who know their fans will part with their well-earned dosh for something they’ve probably witnessed themselves. That’s not the case with ‘Live At Masters Of Rock’ though, for Korpiklaani have presented us with an insight into their world. For those of us here in the UK, it is a rare occasion for a band such as Korpiklaani to grace our shores often and therefore these collections offer us an opportunity to get as close to the action as we possibly can, and through their near-unedited mistakes-and-all run-through, Korpiklaani make you feel as if you were right there in the Czech Republic singing your heart out and downing your drink.
One of the finest parts of this set is that you can’t possibly get bored as both shows setlist’s are wildly different beasts, representing snapshots of the band’s career at that time. Even more so, if you’re a fan of the band or a fortunate soul who has stumbled upon the collection, and the band, for the very first time, it highlights how solid the band’s back catalogue is and how many bloody hits they actually have. ‘Vodka’ is as fun as ever, the crowd roaring its namesake all the way through, whilst ‘Happy Little Boozer’ firmly reminds us why the Finns are so god damn loved in Europe with their folk finesse.
You may not be there, and you may not be drinking copious amounts of vodka, rum, or some sort of alcoholic beverage when consuming this collection, but there’s no doubt that ‘Live At Masters Of Rock’ is as relentless as a Korpiklaani show truly is.