posted on 3/2010 By:
There are a handful of bands for me that are blind, day of release purchases whenever they release a new album. I don’t need to download the album to “preview” it or check the band’s Myspace. New albums by bands like Bal-Sagoth, Dismember, Opeth, and Finland’s Finntroll are pre-ordered or purchased on day one. No questions.
So here we are with album number five from one of the most unique bands to surface from Finland’s creative metal scene. Blending black metal, Finnish humppa music and troll-ridden themes, Finntroll have been through numerous lineups (no ‘true’ founding members remain) and a tragic suicide, yet still manage to make music befitting a Middle Earth rave.
After a darker tangent (in my opinion) in 2006's Ur Jordens Djup, Finntroll appear to have returned to the more impish, playful and ‘bigger’ sound of the band's first two albums (though guitarist Routa disagrees in a recent interview), while still retaining a menacing, trollish presence also. There seems be a larger presence of synths and a return to the more bouncy Hummpa stylings of Jaktens Tid. Though it's still black metal at its roots, especially with Vreth’s feral rasp in tracks like the surprisingly safe opener “Solsagen.” However, when you hear tracks like “Titan Utan Tid,” “I Tradens Sang,” the trollish stomp of "Drap,” “Mot Skuggornas Värld,” the unmistakably Finntroll start of “Fornfamnad,” and especially “Under Bergets Rot,” the pace and mix just ‘feels’ like Jaktens Tid and brings the smiles and the mosh. (As well as on the bonus track “Under Dvärgens Fot," a killer, kazoo-filled, Muppet-like take on “Under Bergets Rot.”)
The band also seems to be spreading their wings a bit with the likes of “Den Frusna Munnen,” with its almost poppy programming, and with the Middle Eastern hues of “Ett Norrskensdåd”. Then, for fans of Visor Om Slutlet, there’s a somber acoustic, sung number in “Galgasång.” Ultimately, Nifelvind is instantly recognizable as Finntroll, much more so than Ur Jordens Djup, and stands as an album that’s better than its predecessor and Nattfodd.
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Ur Jordens Djup