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Finntroll: Ur Jordens Djup

The crazy lads from Finland's Finntroll are back with a new lead singer, Vreth, and a new album called Ur Jordens Djup. Anyone familiar with Finntroll are no doubt well aware of their fun brand of death & black metal, symphonic elements, and pagan folk metal. Like doing the humppa? Well, there's no better band on the planet to get down with it then these guys.

The first thing you'll notice is that keyboard player Trollhorn has a pretty large presence throughout Ur Jordens Djup. Just listen to his symphonic orchestrations on "Gryning" or his perfect underpinning of synths on the upbeat crusher "Sang", a song that is heavy as hell but just makes you want to jump up and down while downing a cold one. Speaking of celebrating with an ale, "Korpens Saga" is a blast, the perfect song to dance the humppa and chug a few beers to, and will appeal bring a smile to longtime fans of this band as well as Korpiklaani. Littered with heavy guitars, banjo, acoustic guitar, synths, and chanting vocals, this one is a lot of fun all around. New shouter Vreth has a different style than former singer Wilska's, as he comes closer to a raspy death metal growl than a black metal shriek. His mix of spoken work narration and growls on "Nedgang" mix perfectly with the epic arrangements, while "Slaybroder" is great symphonic death metal piece with huge keyboard soundscapes and crushing guitar riffs. More Finnish folks rears its head on "En Maktig Har", and on "Ormhaxan" the band mixes in power metal rhythms with some complex riffery, symphonic keys, and an overall jubilant vibe. The final two tracks are a real treat-"Under Tva Runor" is a crushing & symphonic slice of death metal, and "Kyalling" is traditional Finnish folk music with a prog rock edge. Don't be fooled by the 13-minute length, as it's basically 4 minutes of music with 9 minutes of silence bloating the middle section.

Ur Jordens Djup might just be the most fun metal album you will hear all year. At times crushing, at others joyous, this wacky crew from Finland know how to push all the right buttons when it comes to delivering solid folky extreme metal.

Now, who's ready for that humppa?

Track Listing
1) Gryning
2) Sang
3) Korpens Saga
4) Nedgang
5) Ur Djupet
6) Slaybroder
7) En Maktig Har
8) Ormhaxan
9) Makteus Spira
10) Under Tva Runor
11) Kvalling

Added: December 4th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Finntroll Website
Hits: 4279
Language: english

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Finntroll: Ur Jordens Djup
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-12-03 06:27:01
My Score:

I'm certain that once you have heard the kind of Metal that Finntroll is best known for that you will not soon forget them. This is a very good thing as it has been awhile since we last heard from the guys for back in 2006, after the tour to support Nattfodd, the band would part ways with singer Tapio Wilska with "personal differences" being their reason. It was hardly the way to cap off a successful US invasion but happen it did and now the pressing business would be finding a suitable replacement in order to continue their unique brand of Pagan Folk Metal mayhem. After some searching and much drinking they found a like minded maniac to continue the pillaging in their new singer Vreth. The drinking continued and recordings were done at the Sonic Pump studios and the result finds that Finntroll has indeed returned. The fruit of their labors over the past year and a half are to be discovered with Ur Jordens Djup. The title is translated to "From The Depths Of The Earth" and I could think of nothing more appropriate when it comes to Finntroll.

The album is musically sound to say the least and if you are a fan of them already this will impress you but you should be aware that there did not seem to be as much of the Humppa sound that we found on Nattfodd but instead more of an Epic Black Metal and Pagan Metal feel to it. The CD opens with "Gryning", an epic instrumental that could very well be thought of as "March Of The Trolls" since it brings to mind the image of an invading Troll army over the lands with nothing standing in their wake. I liked the track but felt it went on too long for an intro of a studio release. It's the perfect concert or live album intro to say the least but on a studio effort I was getting impatient for the band to kick in and kick in they do with "Sang" where we find Vreth growling and snarling as his first greeting to the listeners before he begins to actually sing. "Korpens Saga" has a little of the Folk feel that made them popular in the first place and begins as a song that you feel the need to raise some pints to before you decide to start some sort of Polka inspired mosh pit. Songs like "Ur Djupet" offer some more of the Folk feel but it seems to be the spicing to the larger Metal stew that the band is mixing up for us this time. The elaborate soundscape is courtesy of the mighty Trollhorn and his keyboards. Guitarists Routa and Skrymer are definitely on their game here for the riffs are just crushing for the most part while the rhythm section of Dominator and Tundra levels the ground around them. Overall it's a satisfying listen and very energetic and at the same time aggressive. Clearly Vreth was the perfect choice and delivers the new material without any seeming hesitation. His voice changes a couple of times and for "Slaybroder" he almost sounds like Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir at times. This is also one of my favorite tunes on the release based on the powerful feel and number of changes that are involved in it. The listeners need to know that the band while from Finland is singing in Swedish because as they line out in their press bios "Swedish just sounded more Trollish". Another song to make you get up and dance hard would be "En Maktig Har", but be sure to either chug or put down your beers before you turn the volume up loud on this one because spilling any would do no one any good. The album closes with the track "Kvalling" and while its listed as being thirteen minutes in length that is rather deceiving. It actually is a four minute tune, several minutes of dead air and then a few minutes of some really drunk Trolls singing and carousing. While I didn't enjoy the dead air aspect I felt the band being themselves was the perfect closer. The album as a whole is a great listen and its some really heavy stuff that is not exactly what you get to hear from every other band out there today. Grab a copy of this one, and make sure you catch them on tour should they come to your town because that is where they are most impressive.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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