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180 reviews/ratings
ORPHANED LAND - The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR Folk Metal
AL-NAMROOD - Kitab Al-Awthan Folk Metal
CHTHONIC - Takasago Army Symphonic Black Metal
SHANGREN - Warriors of Devastation Folk Metal
ACID BATH - When The Kite String Pops Sludge Metal
AMON AMARTH - With Oden on Our Side Melodic Death Metal
AT THE GATES - Slaughter of the Soul Melodic Death Metal
BRUJERIA - Brujerizmo Grindcore
BRUJERIA - Marijuana Grindcore
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY - Inflikted Groove Metal
CAVALERA CONSPIRACY - Blunt Force Trauma Groove Metal
THE CHASM - Procession to the Infraworld Death Metal
DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER - Licht Melodic Death Metal
EMPEROR - IX Equilibrium Symphonic Black Metal
ENTOMBED - Inferno Death 'n' Roll
FEAR FACTORY - Demanufacture Industrial Metal
FINNTROLL - Ur jordens djup Folk Metal
FU MANCHU - In Search Of... Stoner Rock
FU MANCHU - The Action Is Go Stoner Rock
GIANT SQUID - Cenotes Atmospheric Sludge Metal

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Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Industrial Metal 32 3.63
2 Death Metal 29 3.69
3 Groove Metal 20 3.85
4 Folk Metal 12 4.38
5 Sludge Metal 11 3.59
6 Grindcore 8 3.81
7 Nu Metal 7 3.07
8 Thrash Metal 7 3.93
9 Symphonic Black Metal 6 4.42
10 Melodic Death Metal 5 4.30
11 Stoner Rock 5 4.10
12 Death 'n' Roll 5 3.80
13 Black Metal 4 4.50
14 Crossover Thrash 3 3.67
15 Heavy Metal 3 3.67
16 Stoner Metal 3 3.83
17 Technical Thrash Metal 3 4.33
18 Technical Death Metal 2 3.75
19 Progressive Metal 2 3.75
20 Melodic Black Metal 2 4.50
21 Gothic Metal 2 4.00
22 Death-Doom Metal 2 4.25
23 Brutal Death Metal 1 4.50
24 Alternative Metal 1 4.50
25 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1 4.50
26 Hardcore Punk 1 4.00
27 Metal Related 1 4.50
28 Power Metal 1 4.50
29 War Metal 1 2.50

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FINNTROLL Nifelvind

Album · 2010 · Folk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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

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