Juha Jyrkäs is a Folk Metal artist based out of Finland. His discography on Spotify is comprised of an 11-track album (“Sydämeni Kuusipuulle“) that was released in September of 2019. However, over the course of time since then he continues to create visual and video representations of the work on that album regularly. Folk Metal in and of itself is a super niche sub genre of Metal, and in Juha’s case, he is an extraordinarily unique in his brand of Folk Metal as he incorporates the Kantele (a Finnish traditional stringed instrument) in place of electric bass and guitar.
I am by no means any kind of Folk Metal expert, the first time I heard it was actually back in 2019 during a recording session with my friend Toby Lugo (Othrys, Seven Second Circle, Glassbeard). Living in the Pacific Northwest, I of course have had my fill of “Folk-Punk,” but didn’t know what I was in store for as I was about to hear Finntroll for the first time. It was pretty amazing.
The good news is that if you’re a “noob” like me, Juha Jyrkäs‘s Spotify and YouTube profiles both possess a number of comprehensive playlists posted on them that are great for introducing yourself to the genre and getting a healthy dose of the various folk metal artists out there. From a playlist of Metal specifically featuring the Kantele to this one pinned at the top of his Spotify profile: “The True Folk Metal,” Juha is fully emersed in the sound and culture.
One track of particular interest from “Sydämeni Kuusipuulle” is the second track on the album, “Kymmenen kyrvän nimeä.” Jyrkäs has performs live from Finland to Estonia to Hungary and he tends to close out his live gigs with this song. What makes it particularly interesting is the history behind it. You’ll find that lyrically, like much of Folk Metal, there tends to be themes written around occultism, paganism, and other dark subject matter. In the case of “Kymmenen kyrvän nimeä,” part of the lyrical content is sourced directly from and inspired by some actual traditional folk poetry. Thematically, it is hyper-sexualized and is described by Jyrkäs as a “manhood spell,” and specifically, a spell intended to produce “the sexual power of ten men.” Whoa. When I think about the prowess of an average guy and multiply that by ten, it is actually pretty terrifying.
“As the lyrics are so intense with sexuality, I made the song to be little like 80’s hard rock/heavy metal, since the lyrics somehow brought KISS and Mötley Crüe into my mind, among others.”Juha Jyrkäs on “Kymmenen kyrvän nimeä”
“Kymmenen kyrvän nimeä” track credits:
Juha Jyrkäs – vocals, electric kantele, bass kantele
Pekka Konkela – percussions
Lyrics and Music: Juha Jyrkäs / traditional Folk Poetry
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