KORPIKLAANI (or "Forest Clan") emerged out of the ashes of Shaman, when the band opted to change its name, along with its musical and lyrical expression. The goal was to move away from Shaman’s trademark use of the Sámi language’s strong, impulsive folk metal, as heard on Idja (1999) and Shamániac (2002) and opt for a stronger and more widely accepted sound.
Jonne Järvelä imagined the change of style to be characterized by both a heavier influence of the traditional Finnish folk melodies and of metal. He began to search for musicians able to produce the results he envisioned.
The first addition to the line-up was a young violinist named Jaakko Lemmetty, better known as Hittavainen. It became clear to Jonne after only the first audition that Hittavainen was a perfect match for KORPIKLAANI. Matson (drums), an old friend of Jonne’s, a superb drummer, and the natural choice for the new line-up soon joined the band, bringing with him the talents of his former bass player Arto Tissari and guitarist Toni Honkanen, a.k.a. Honka, into play. Honka knew a skillful percussionist, Ali Määttä, who had previous experience in the folk music scene and he too, was quickly recruited.
Shaman was Jonne Järvelä's way to express his musical insanity, and that has not changed in KORPIKLAANI. The madness continues.
Many of KORPIKLAANI’s songs come directly from the annals of the Finnish folk archives, but are activated with a fierce twist of metal. This constitutes the major difference between KORPIKLAANI and other folk metal bands, which usually use folk music only as the impulse in metal.
KORPIKLAANI’s music is very Finnish and the band does not fear to be labeled "yokels", living in the middle of the forest. They prefer to draw inspiration from their surroundings,
as they so skillfully did on their 2003 NAPALM RECS debut, "Spirit of the Forest”. The album presented an indisputable Folk Metal achievement. Its musicality, varying from the mysteriously charming instrumental compositions to the "humppa" melodies that immediately invite the listener to dance along and reflect the entire spectrum of the Finnish Folk Metal art.
Following the release of "Spirit of the Forest”, KORPIKLAANI added a second guitarist, Cane, to the line-up. They began work on their follow up, "Voice of Wilderness” at the end of the 2004 summer. Recording under the guidance of Samu Oittinen (Fantom Studio), the band smoothly laid track for track.
With the recording of "Voice of Wilderness” complete and awaiting its 24 Jan 2005 release, the members of KORPIKLAANI concentrated on finding a permanent accordion player. Juho joined the band in the fall of 2004 enabling them to more easily transfer the energetic melodies and Folk Metal atmosphere to the live stage.