Kalmah is a melodic death metal band from Oulu, Finland that formed in 1998. In less than a year after its formation, Kalmah was signed by Spinefarm Records. The word "kalmah" is Karelian and could be translated as "to the grave" or "to the death."
In 1991, Pekka Kokko and Petri Sankala founded the metal band Ancestor. After Ancestor had recorded two demos, Antti Kokko joined the band as lead guitarist. In 1998, after five demos, Ancestor disbanded. Later in the same year, Kalmah formed. The new band consisted of Pekka Kokko performing vocals and guitar, Antti Kokko on lead guitar, Pasi Hiltula on keyboards, Altti Veteläinen on bass, and Petri Sankala on drums.
Kalmah began to write songs for a promotional CD entitled Svieri Obraza. With this demo, they acquired a recording contract with Spinefarm Records and headed to Tico-Tico Studios to record their debut album, Swamplord.
By November 2001, they returned to Tico-Tico Studios to record their second studio album, They Will ...