Finland's Kalmah specializes in a high velocity, classically influenced brand of European death metal similar to that of extreme metal bands like Cradle of Filth and Children of Bodom. The quintet formed in the autumn of 1999 following the demise of its first incarnation, Ancestor. In less than a year after its birth, Kalmah was signed by Spikefarm Records, a division of the Finnish label Spinefarm. In the fall of 2000, the band recorded its debut album for the label at Tico-Tico studios, a favorite of fellow countrymen Sentenced and Amorphis. The result, Swamplord, is an aggressive, twin guitar-based variation on death metal whose atmosphere is often heightened by ethereal keyboards. Century Media Records picked up Swamplord for North American distribution, and the record was released in 2001. Another year would go by before They Will Return, their second album, would see the light of day in America. ~ Andy Hinds

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