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Finntroll: Nattfödd

You gotta love the Finns and their willingness to try just about anything in the world of music. Like Poland, Finland seems to produce innumerable bands that have a passion for metal tempered with bits and bites of jazz, classical, goth and techno. Sometimes all of those at once. Ain't no shame in that. In Finntroll's case it's black metal and the polka variation, humppa. And, for what it is and what it's supposed to do, the mixture ain't bad. Innovative, even? Sure. Given. Bingo. You go, Wilska. Tendency to grate? Perhaps.

See, thing is, there's a tendency for bands that toss together seemingly unrelated musics to run outta gas faster than a group of overweight Grateful Dead fans in low-riding VW. So you can mix punk with classical. Good. Whoopdee. Now write a batch of decent songs. Not saying that that's what's going on with Finntroll yet but the potential's there. So, this one's pleasant enough, probably not something I'd reach for every day and probably not one that's going to make my end-of-days list but good enough for now.

Track Listing:
1. Vindfard/Manniskopesten (5:36)
2. Eliytres (3:46)
3. Fiskarens Fiende (3: 47)
4. Trollhammaren (3:32)
5. Nattfödd (4:51)
6. Ursvamp (2:03)
7. Marknadsvisan (2:00)
8. Det Iskalla Trollblod (3:53)
9. Grottans Barn (4: 36)
10. Routas Vaggvisa (2:23)
Total Time: 36:41

Added: November 1st 2005
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 7472
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Finntroll: Nattfödd
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-11-04 15:08:36
My Score:

According to legend and the official Finntroll website the band was formed when two drunk members began jamming on some guitar riffs and traditional Finnish folk music. The mix of Dark Metal chords along with Hummpa music gave us the end result of FINNTROLL. I have to say that when I sat down to review something referred to as Pagan Folk Metal that I was not quite sure of what to expect. I also have to stress that I did not expect to like this CD in the least. Yet instead of tossing the music aside in disgust I found myself asking Friends if they had ever heard of such a thing and if not I quickly allowed them a listen. It is indeed quite unique and has a large appeal for those that find the influence of traditional ethnic music placed with slamming drums and guitars. On "Nattfodd" (which is translated into English as "Nightborn") we get a sonically pleasing set of tracks that use the ethnic influences to excellence. The lineup of Wilska (vocals), Routa (guitar), Skrymer (guitar), Tundra (bass), B. Dominator (drims) and Trollhorn (keyboards) certainly ends up delivering some of the most interesting Metal I have heard in a long time. As I listened I was not sure if I was at some nightmare Folk concert or a crazy Metal performance as the piece crosses the line between the two very well. When you listen you will wonder if you should be queued to raise your drink up high or put it down to go slam in the Mosh pit. It is great when a band can bring about feelings like this as far too many groups are taking the safe route these days by churning out similar albums time and time again. The Metal buyer is fickle and needs to be impressed and convinced more than they used to be if they are to spend the cash.

Tracks that stood out for me most were "Trollhammaren" and "Nattfodd" as they totally use the keyboard to some unique styles. Wilska's voice is holding down the typical Black Metal style, and given the singing on this release is apparently Swedish, you really will not be able to follow him unless you speak Swedish. Ordinarily I felt that I would not be able to appreciate a CD under these conditions but I did and found repeat listens to a lot of the tracks despite the language barrier. The Polka influence makes of a lot of these tracks bounce and have an added energy that makes this Metal journey something that you will long remember after you hear it. The band comes to us on Century Media Records which proves that this label is not afraid to defy the standards in what type of Metal comes from them. I highly recommend this release for it was fun, interesting and very heavy. There is a Progressive edge in the way they mix Genres that never seemed mixable and in that we should applaud them.

Finntroll: Nattfödd
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-11-01 18:17:52
My Score:

The Finnish polka (called the hummpa) meets black metal on Finntroll's Nattfodd, a truly bizarre yet fun album from these metal lads from Finland. Finntroll plays in a similar style to perhaps Korpiklaani although with a more black metal approach, complete with crushing metal riffs, symphonic keyboards, trollish vocals, and a myriad of Finnish instruments. At times the music is a tad confusing, as you don't know whether to bang your head, mosh, or jump up on a table and dance a jig. Many call Fintroll the ultimate Pagan Folk Metal band, and after a few listens to Nattfodd I can see why. This is different stuff, not as harsh as some modern black metal, with plenty of catchy and progressive bits, like on the rousing and upbeat number "Det Iskalla Trollblod".

While not as much fun as the danceable swill fest Voice of Wilderness from Korpiklaani, Nattfod is recommended for its uniqueness, crisp production, and expert musicianship. It would have been nice if the band recorded some longer songs (many of the tunes are in the 3 minute or less range, and overall the album is pretty short), but this is cool stuff nontheless.

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