FINNTROLL

Folk Metal • Finland
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Finntroll is a Finnish troll metal band that combines black metal and Finnish polka, called Humppa. Although they are from Finland, Finntroll's lyrics are in Swedish (the country's second official language), because Swedish sounds "damn trollish", according to the band's first vocalist, Katla (whose native language is Swedish).

History

Finntroll was founded in 1997, by Teemu "Somnium" Raimoranta (R.I.P. March 16th 2003), guitarist of Impaled Nazarene, and Jan "Katla" Jämsen. Their first demo, Rivfader, was recorded about a year later, in 1998. After the demo recording, the other members of the band, Samu Ruotsalainen (from Barathrum, Shape of Despair and Rapture), Samuli Ponsimaa, Henri Sorvali (from Moonsorrow) and Sami Uusitalo joined the band. The record label Spinefarm got interested in the band then, and made a contract, yielding the album Midnattens Widunder (English: The Beast of Midnight) (1999) as a result.

The next step for Finntroll was the album Jaktens
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FINNTROLL Discography

FINNTROLL albums / top albums

FINNTROLL Midnattens widunder album cover 3.71 | 8 ratings
Midnattens widunder
Folk Metal 1999
FINNTROLL Jaktens tid album cover 3.85 | 10 ratings
Jaktens tid
Folk Metal 2001
FINNTROLL Visor om slutet album cover 3.25 | 4 ratings
Visor om slutet
Folk Metal 2003
FINNTROLL Nattfödd album cover 3.45 | 10 ratings
Nattfödd
Folk Metal 2004
FINNTROLL Ur jordens djup album cover 3.96 | 10 ratings
Ur jordens djup
Folk Metal 2007
FINNTROLL Nifelvind album cover 4.27 | 7 ratings
Nifelvind
Folk Metal 2010
FINNTROLL Blodsvept album cover 3.89 | 5 ratings
Blodsvept
Folk Metal 2013

FINNTROLL EPs & splits

FINNTROLL Trollhammaren album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Trollhammaren
Folk Metal 2004
FINNTROLL Blodsvept album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Blodsvept
Folk Metal 2013

FINNTROLL live albums

FINNTROLL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

FINNTROLL re-issues & compilations

FINNTROLL singles (0)

FINNTROLL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

FINNTROLL Reviews

FINNTROLL Blodsvept

Album · 2013 · Folk Metal
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Kev Rowland
According to legend FINNTROLL were conceived one drunken night in March 1997. With a heavy dose of beer and vodka mixing a folkish melody in the “Humppa” style of Finnish polka with heavy guitars seemed a great idea to axeman Somnium (ex-Thy Serpent, Impaled Nazarene) and vocalist Katla. When the duo sobered up, the concept still kept its original appeal and even though the band has had its’ challenges over the years (Katla had to leave in 2001 due to worsening throat problems and Somnium was killed in an accident in 2003) here they are back with their sixth album. The current line-up is Mathias Lillmåns a.k.a. Vreth (vocals), Mikael Karlbom a.k.a Routa (guitars), Samuli Ponsimaa a.k.a. Skrymer (guitars), Henri Sorvali a.k.a.Trollhorn (keyboards, guitar), Aleksi Virta a.k.a. Virta (keyboards), Sami Uusitalo a.k.a. Tundra (bass) and Samuel Ruotsalainen a.k.a Beast Dominator (drums). The band have stretched the weirdness angle over the years, but main composer Trollhorn states that the new album unites the raving madness of ‘Niflvind’ (2010) with the natural approach of ‘Nattfödd’ (2004).

Even forgetting how the band look in photographs, it is impossible to listen to this music without smiling. I mean, here is polka-style folk mixed with metal in a language I can’t possibly understand but it embued throughout with a sense of fun. Writing a review is even more meaningless than normal as you will either love this or not, there really is no middle ground. The only missing element is that this should only be played when there is limitless supplies of beer available: if ever music was made with the sole purpose of being played while becoming drunk then this has to be it. Take it from me, if you’re not sure about this album when sober then you’ll love it when you’re not! Cast aside any preconceptions you may have and just give this a blast – the day will look better for it, I assure you, even though sometimes they do come across as Tom Waits (play “Rösets Kung” all the way through and you’ll see what I mean). Brilliant!

FINNTROLL Nifelvind

Album · 2010 · Folk Metal
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fzoulman
The Swedish word Nifelvind translates roughly as something like “wind from the underworld.” The Nordic underworld, of course, is a frozen wasteland. But to those hardy people who live above 59° north latitude, this “underworld” is manifest in the hills and tundra and forests on which they build homes, a landscape the Nifelvind scours raw. Having lived through several harsh Minnesota winters, I can attest to the reality of the Nordic underworld. I’ve leaned into its –40° fury and felt the sweat freezing my skin to my coat. It’s far more frightening than any Christian hell I can imagine. Red-hot caverns quaking in a furnace heat? Nonsense. Little red men with barbed tails and pitchforks who forever torment our condemned souls? Nothing more than threadbare clichés.

With each new album of blackened folk metal, Finntroll has consistently tied mythology, fantasy, and the mysteries of the underworld to the roots of their homeland. Once again the band has outdone itself. Nifelvind, the sixth full-length album from Trollhorn and Co., avoids the obvious thematic pitfalls of more straightforward black metal while combining the aggressive Finntroll sound with lively—at times almost joyous—undercurrents of folk instrumentation, called Humppa: Finnish polka. These joyful melodies, often structured in the background, somehow both complement and contrast the blackened guitar rhythms and raw, growling vocals until the fury begins to feed on itself, and drives the music forward. It’s a strange mix that works quite well in the single “Solsagen” (Tale of the Sun) and the track “I Trädens Sång” (Within the Song of the Trees), both songs that convey a sense of desperation, sadness, perhaps even lunacy. In a place so far north that the sun sets for months at a time, who wouldn’t dabble in a little madness? A little rage mixed with a little ecstasy? In order for a people to endure such harsh, unforgiving climes and rugged landscapes, they must give in, smile in the face of fury, and become part of it. That spirit of endurance, and the joyful melodies that sustain and balance it, permeate Nifelvind. While I am able to pick out a word or two of vocalist Vreth’s chopped Swedish, the meaning behind the lyrics is lost to me. That loss becomes mysterious. The music’s tone and intensity are the only guides through this wilderness, and I’m exposed to its naked hostility throughout.

When I arrive finally at the carnivalesque whimsy of “Under Bergets Rot” (Under the Mountain’s Root), I can’t help but give in to the madness. During the chorus I sing along with the backing vocals (Whoa-oh!). I’m tempted to stop whatever I’m doing and tap my foot, or bob up and down like a bird, or challenge a stranger to a wrestling match. The song's creepy-party vibe suggests “Do it just for the hell of it! You’ll be fine! We’re all in this together!” The band’s novel approach to black /folk metal could hardly be called bland, much less cliché. This is Finntroll doing what they've always done. This is Finntroll doing what they do best

FINNTROLL Nattfödd

Album · 2004 · Folk Metal
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topofsm
Finntroll has recently evolved into a Humppa-metal band, focusing all their folk elements into a distinct polka style. Recently, along with Korpiklaani, this fun style of upbeat polka metal has gained a numerous amount of fans. Your mileage may vary on how well the songs work, but altogether it's really a fun blend and worth a listen.

Granted, a lot of the melodies are pretty basic to say the least, and there's nothing really innovative going on here. Fintroll shows on Nattfodd that they've found their niche as a metal band that loves to polka, and they don't seem like they're going to change any time soon.

Depending on your point of view, this is some of the most fun music you are going to encounter in your life, or merely an annoying gimmick that's plaguing metal. Altogether, this is not going to change the way music is headed anytime soon, but it's still a worthy contribution to the world of metal.

The songs are quite melodic and catchy, and the distorted guitars put an extra kick in the "oom" for "oom-pah". Sometimes they're fast paced and goofy like "Eliytres", incredibly catchy and midtempo like the single "Trollhammeren", or dark and folky like "Nattfodd". They mix together on the album well, and each section is distinct.

Also prevalent is the theme of trolls in the album. While the non Swedish-speakers aren't going to pick up the lyrics anytime soon, it does seem to be prominent in the ambient spaces between songs, most notably in "Marknadsvisan", where most of the song seems to be the noises of drunken trolls stumbling around, the last part erupting in an enraged and humorous fight as portrayed by blasting drums and guitars.

Overall, this isn't the greatest album of all time. It is catchy when it needs to be and has it's place in the music scene. For those looking for something fun, catchy, and quirky in their music, Nattfodd is the album for you.

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