Since Children Of Bodom's depressing slide into mediocrity, Kalmah seem set to take their title as kings of Finnish widdly speed/power/melodeath/whatever. It's not pure Bodom worship, mind, as Kalmah are moderately less ridiculously over-the-top, with a smidgen less gonzoid shredding and cheese-tastic keyboards. Well, a little less anyway. They do come to the fore on tracks like Dead Man's Shadow, which also has some very Bodom-esque neoclassical bits. There's also some very Dream Theater unison solos at points.
Kalmah's strength is the fact that they've mixed up enough influences of all corners of the metal spectrum to be all things to all folk. There's the catchy melodies of power metal, the deathly shrieks of black metal, the double-kick blasting of death metal, and I suppose some of the keyboard melodies could be called folky at a push. Sure this is nothing new, and aside from the aforementioned Children Of Bodom there's a raft of their countrymen doing much the same thing (Norther, anyone?). In all fairness, Kalmah have been doing this longer than most, having formed in 1999. Derivative of Alexi Laiho and the gang it may be, but it certainly feels far less contrived than it would from a younger band.
At the end of the day, For The Revolution is about ear candy. It doesn't ask any more from you than a familiar twinge of the neck muscle and perhaps a spot of mild air-guitaring. It's generally all galloping riffs and orchestral keys, providing you with plenty of headbangable fare without ever getting too nasty. There's a slow song chucked into the mix in Ready For Salvation to keep things diverse. The album also stays relatively concise at 43 minutes, Kalmah seemingly aware of how tedious this sort of thing can be if played out for too long. Come out strong, hit 'em with 8 speed metal gallopers and a slow number, and everyone goes home happy.
Although it may seem as if I'm writing this off as a shallow slab of extremity in an easily digestable form, I genuinely do like For The Revolution, because it never claims to be anything other than a fun, easy to listen to metal record. And when the band are clearly having as much fun as they are, it would be more than a bit curmudgeonly to write them off for the lack of depth in their music. This isn't Kayo Dot, is it? Now that Children Of Bodom seem to be getting increasingly stale, the stage seems set for Kalmah to be huge.