Release DetailsLABEL Tabu Records
RELEASED ON 6/6/2006
posted on 5/2006 By:
Lumsk’s debut album Åsmund Frægdegjevar was a refreshing and restrained take on folk rock meets doom metal that garnered some solid acclaim, so it came as a surprise to me that its follow up, Troll has not yet received a US licence (hence the tardiness of this review) yet as it delivers the same fascinating hypnotic take on violin driven doom rock despite a change in singers.
Even though the band has dropped male singer Steinar Årdal and switch from Vibke Arntzen to Stine-Mari Langstrand as the female vocal lead as well as added more progressive rock element that includes some brass instrumentation ("Trolltind”), Lumsk still manage to deliver yet another slightly folk tinged epic, that though not as doomy as Åsmund Frægdegjevar, mesmerizes and enthralls.
The change in lead women is minimal, though Langstrand is slightly more operatic than the sultry Arntzen because the violins of Siv Lena Waterloo Laugtug are still at the forefront of the music and layer the band's thick yet artful guitars and synths. Occasionally Espen W Godo (synths) will deliver a deep baritone compliment to Langstrand (“Åsgårdsreia”), but its more in theme with the album’s Norwegian folklore concepts (exclusively written by folklore expert Birger Sivertsen) rather than pure vocal duality.
I’ll readily admit there isn’t a track as addictive enjoyable “I Lytinne Tva” on Troll, but the first two tracks, “NØkken” and “Dunker” certainly deliver something close with “NØkken”’s crunchy folkish bounce and Langstrand’s hypnotic Kate Bush like chorus of “Dunker”. “Åsgårdsreia” is a male fronted doomy lurcher before the albums single, “Trolltind” delivers a sullen, trombone laden ballad. From there though, as with Åsmund Frægdegjevar, the album loses some of its impact despite its high quality, the more ballad focused songs seem to drag on a bit with longer, more progressive tracks. Longer tracks “Allvis” and “Blæster” just seem to wander rather than the direct guitar driven punch of “Perpålsa” (again featuring Godo’s deep tones).
Still, that does not stop Troll from being a classy piece of folk laced musical artistry that while not being quite as good as the stunning debut album, shows Lumsk are one of Norway’s most underrated exports that simply ooze class and talent.
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