Founded by Jonne Järvelä (and firstly called “Shaman”), the musical project has experienced a slightly different style than other bands in the same register. If other folk-metal bands have started their career by approaching the metal style, adding folk, Korpiklaani started folk and later turned to metal, most likely after Järvelä’s collaboration with Finntroll. The two bands worked together on several occasions, Sam Finnroll’s Finnroll Ruotsalainen taking part in the recording of drums for Korpiklaani’s debut album, Spirit of the Forest (2003, Napalm Records), and Järvelä contributed to the play “Jaktens Tid” from Finntroll’s homonymous album.
Thus, “Shaman” became “Korpiklaani”, a Finnish expression that translates to “Blackwoods Clan” or “Clan of Dark Forests”. The new name of the musical project brought with it a change of the lyrical expression and the sound that was assumed in the past (“Shaman”) – the traditional yoik solos (joik) and the specific sami folkloric accents (characteristic of northern Norway, Sweden and Finland) were cut into pieces, and the synthesizer was replaced with folk instruments of a desire to adhere to a stronger style.
“Voice of Wilderness” (2005) brought international recognition to the band, including a rich collection of hits for folk-metal fans. Songs like “Cottages and Saunas”, “Journey Man” or “Beer Beer” have remained out of the band’s playlist.
In the following years, the Finns proved to be very inspired, succeeding in composing new albums well received by the audience. The most recent of them, “Kulkija”, released this year under Nuclear Blast, is an “album full of stories, myths and stories about imaginary or real monsters,” according to Distorted Sound Magazine review (UK).