Archive for Finntroll

Grimner – Vanadrottning

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 4th February 2018 by izaforestspirit

Grimner
Vanadrottning
Released 9th February 2018
Folk Metal/ Viking Metal
Released via Despotz Records

Grimner - Vanadrottning

Swedish Viking metal band Grimner are celebrating their 1Oth anniversary this year. They have decided to mark the occasion with the release of the new album ‘Vanadrottning’. The album title is a reference to the Vanir goddess Gullveig who was reborn after being burned alive three times by the Aesir gods during the war between the Aesir and the Vanir.

I don’t really listen to much folk metal these days. Not because I dislike the genre; there was a time when I loved it. That’s starting to be quite a a few years ago now. Since then most of the bands that I used to like have either gone stale, repetitive or just downright bad. Very few have actually stood the test of time and continued to make memorable music. Finntroll and Eluveitie come to mind though the latter occasionally overdoes it on the folk, omitting the metal. So where does Grimner stand in all this? Let’s find out shall we…?

In many ways this sounds pretty much like you would expect any good folk metal album to sound. No surprises, just your usual blend of folk instruments such as flutes and bagpipes mixed with traditional heavy metal guitars and drums. The use of their native tongue works to their advantage since Swedish is one of those languages that is melodic by nature and easy to sing. Also the dual vocal configuration, mixing the harsh with the melodic seems to work pretty well. The title track’s chorus is likely to stick in your head for a while and you will be tempted to to sing along even if your Swedish is as non-existent as mine is. The guitar work ain’t half bad either.

The flutes and bagpipes have a prominent role as the album progresses. Take ‘En Fallen Jätte’ for example, it’s easily one of the record’s finest moments; packed with “bouncing” flute tunes and equally playful guitar riffs. If this isn’t enough to make you want to get up and dance then there must be something wrong with you! Some of the songs actually reminded me of Finntroll but that could be just due to the language of the lyrics and the sound of bagpipes. Like I said, I don’t understand Swedish but luckily you don’t need to in order to enjoy Grimner’s music.
At least I don’t think there’s too many mentions of evil trolls in the lyrics…

What they do have however, is Erik Grawsiö (Månegarm) as a guest vocalist on Fafnersbane, one of the more melodic songs. The inclusion of Mr. Grawsiö suits the song well though it seems a bit like they are playing it safe by considering how similar the two bands are to each other. Sången Om Grimner also caught my attention as one of the slower, calmer songs on here and probably the closest thing this album has to a ballad.

Overall, I have enjoyed listening to ‘Vanadrottning’. It’s been a highly entertaining ride. As far as folk and viking metal go, this album doesn’t really offer anything new. I could produce a whole list of bands that sound similar but what’s the point? These guys aren’t new to the scene, they have been around for a decade. Luckily for them they happen to be good and what they do.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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Tampere Metal Meeting 2016

Posted in Festival, Live, Metal with tags , , , , on 19th June 2016 by izaforestspirit

Insomnium, Moonsorrow, Tiamat, Finntroll
Ratinanniemi, Tampere, Finland
17-18th June 2016

Tampere Metal Meeting is a brand new open air festival which was held in Tampere city centre for the very first time this year. The line-up included many well-known Finnish bands such as Finntroll and Insomnium along with a few foreign bands such as Tiamat (Sweden) and Deströyer666 (Australia).

Friday 17th June
The first band I got to see was Omnium Gatherum. I’m not too familiar with their music so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from them. They played some decent-sounding and fairly entertaining melodic death metal. 3/5

The next band that caught my attention was Baptism. These guys were on the smaller stage, playing in broad daylight with some bright “disco”lights flickering at them from all angles. Not really what you would expect to see from a grim black metal band but they made it work somehow. It was a good show. 4/5

The Man-Eating Tree are one of those bands who like to play beautifully dark, melancholic, melodic and atmospheric metal. It usually sounds good on the albums but their shows are not the most energetic although I did enjoy their cover of Type of Negative’ s ‘Everything Dies’. 3/5

The highlight of the night for me was a performance by Moonsorrow. These guys really know how to agitate the crowd with their super catchy and very entertaining folk metal. I’ve seen them live before but this show was much better than the one I saw a few years ago. 5/5

I’ve seen Insomnium live before so I decided to give them a miss. So the last band I saw that night was the Demilich. I only just discovered this band recently and so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I heard was some good, old-school technical death metal. Nothing ground-breaking but it was fun to watch. 3/5

Saturday 18th June
This time I arrived at the festival area a little earlier in the afternoon, just in time to watch Ranger. I’ve seen them live before so I pretty much knew what to expect from their show. It was pure fun and energetic speed-thrash metal from one of Finland’s most promising new metal bands. They’re always good live, especially at a summer festival. 5/5

I tend to have bad luck when it comes to Barathrum gigs. The last time that I saw them live, the show was a complete disaster due to their singer being too drunk to even stand let alone remember his own song lyrics. This time was much better. He was visibly less inebriated and he actually managed to put on a good performance. They played all the hits including ‘Dark Sorceress’, ‘Legions of Perkele’ and ‘Last Day in Heaven’. Then Mr. Sova threw a bottle of cow’s blood off the stage at the end of the show. 4/5

Next up was the melodic death metal band Kalmah. Their style is fairly similar to that of their fellow countrymen Children of Bodom. These guys sure know how to entertain the home crowd with the singer cracking the odd joke before the song announcements. 4/5

Then there was Nocturnus AD who played an interesting and somewhat bizarre mixture of technical death metal with some experimental sci-fi themes and keyboard noise. It was ok at times and downright weird at others. 2.5/5

By the time that Finntroll came on stage, the weather had taken a downturn. Nonetheless this horde of merry troll-folk are always a joy to watch – even in the pouring rain. They promised “crazy madness and circus” and that’s exactly watch they delivered. The crowds loved it and so did I. It didn’t take long for me to join in the dancing and headbanging along to the happy troll tunes. They experienced some technical problems with the sound towards the end of their set. Luckily they managed to get it fixed leaving just enough time for ‘Trollhammeren’ plus one more song. 5/5

Next up was the Australians, Deströyer666 who played a tight set of fast and furious blackened thrash metal. It was a highly entertaining show in spite of the stormy weather. 4/5

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The final band was one of my favourites, the Swedish metal band Tiamat. They played some truly dark and beautiful Gothic metal featuring Henriette Bordvik (ex-Sirenia) as a guest vocals on some of the tracks. The highlights for me were: ‘The Wings of Heaven’, ‘Thunder & Lightning’, ‘Vote For Love’ and ‘Gaia’. 5/5

In summary Tampere Metal Meeting was a great way to spend the weekend. The weather could have been better but the music was excellent. My favorite shows were Moonsorrow, Finntroll and Tiamat. Notable mentions go to Barathrum (well done Demonos Sova!) and Deströyer666.

Iza Raittila

For further info check out: http://www.tamperemetalmeeting.fi/

 

Interview with Finntroll

Posted in Festival, Interview, Live, Metal with tags , on 19th June 2016 by izaforestspirit

Iza had a little chat with Mörkö and Skrymer from Finntroll before their show at Tampere Metal Meeting yesterday.

Iza: Hi guys!

Finntroll: Hey..

Iza: How are you doing guys? How are you enjoying the festival so far?

Finntroll: We basically arrived here just like an hour ago so we’re preparing the stage and ready to rock n’ roll for the show.

Iza: Are you planning to watch any of the bands?

Finntroll: Hopefully… Hopefully we can see, for instance Kalmah because we will be on stage right after them. Then that’s our festival. After the show we’re going straight back home.

Iza: So what can we expect from your show tonight? More crazy troll music?

Finntroll: Yeah… Experience crazy madness and circus. That’s how it usually is… (laughs)

Iza: Shame about the weather. You had better weather the last time that I saw you live at a festival.

Finntroll: Yeah, it could be. It’s been raining all day. So it’s probably going to rain in the evening as well…

Iza: Well, thanks and good luck with the show! See you!

Finntroll: Thanks and see you later! It’s going to be good.

Stay tuned for the full festival report coming soon.

http://www.tamperemetalmeeting.fi/

http://www.finntroll-music.com/

Finntroll w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 24th March 2015 by Pieni

Profane Omen, HateSphere, Finntroll
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
20th March 2015
Promoted by SWR Inc

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With “Nattfödd” celebrating its 10th anniversary last year, Finntroll embarked on an intense European tour where they’ve been playing the album in full. The second leg of the tour included an one-off show in Portugal that was almost a no-show – there were some problems during the trip between Madrid and Porto (“you wouldn’t believe it if I told you” were Vreth’s words), but they made it, about forty minutes later. And since half of the gigs in my country run late, we didn’t even realize how serious the situation was.

 photo _DSC0152_zpsqiqqhhvt.jpgProfane Omen stormed the stage with wide smiles on their faces. They had never played in Portugal before and that was something they’d been wanting to fix for a long time, which singer Jules Näveri told us in a perfect Brazilian-accented Portuguese! I later learned he’s married to a Brazilian lady, explaining why he is so fluent in this difficult language. But even if it was quite easy for him, it was something highly appreciated by everyone in the room and helped breaking the ice, since it was obvious that Profane Omen weren’t exactly famous among the crowd. Well, they are now. And not just because the singer could speak Portuguese (and even make funny remarks). I’m pretty sure their music and adrenaline-driven performance would eventually win the audience over. I’d heard of them before, but not the music, and for some reason I was convinced they were a death metal band. Wrong! Their sound is just as heavy but with lot of groove and a punk-rock irreverence that made my first expression – “stormed the stage” – quite literal. Around since 1999, the Lahti-based band has released four full-lengths so far and played a little bit from every one (well, almost every one – they left “Inherit The Void” out), kicking off with “Wastehead” and finishing with “Painbox”. It was my first time seeing them and hopefully not the last. And a longer setlist next time would be even better! (5/5)

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Profane-Omen/42711203429

 photo _DSC0634_zpsjdpsfvlx.jpgNow HateSphere didn’t need any introduction to the Portuguese audience. Last time the Danish played here, in support of Hypocrisy, “Murderlust” had just been released – three days before – and we were hoping that they would return to promote it as headliners. That didn’t happen but it didn’t make the reaction of the fans less enthusiastic – some of them were there that night exclusively to see them perform.

Because of the delay, they had to cut their set shorter, beginning with “Reaper Of Life” instead of “Lies And Deceit”, as apparently was the original idea (I took a peak at the setlist, where “Lies…” was at the top, crossed all over by a black marker).  Still, as in any other HateSphere gig, they made the best of their available time, totally owning the place.

Since Trevor Strnad wasn’t there, it was the crowd that helped Esse singing “Iconoclast”, doing the same gesture of repeatedly raising the arms in the air, as it’s typical of The Black Dahlia Murder singer. “Oh, so you know the guy? Good!”, said Esse with a grin. He would also say we looked beautiful, even if he admitted he couldn’t see a thing, thanks to the smoke machine.

And speaking of helping singing… At some point, Esse turned the mic into someone in the crowd, and later he would actually pass it into someone else’s hands. Not sure if those “someones” were random as the first was Afonso Ribeiro, drummer in local band Gates Of Hell, and the second was Raça, former singer in that same band – a band who plays this cool little song called “Abusive Resolution”, where Esse did some guest vocals on its recording.

“Oceans” and “Sickness” were the two final songs, the latter entitled to the already traditional wall of death. The moshing that followed suit was even more intense than what had been until then and trust me – that says a lot. Once again we wish next time we’ll see them as headliners, like we did back in 2010, when still promoting “To The Nines”. One can always hope, right? (5/5)

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https://www.facebook.com/hatesphere666

 photo _DSC0935_zpsjo2fv883.jpgI know some people left after HateSphere, but still the room was more crowded for Finntroll than at the opening of the doors. That’s the downside of having a bill of so distinct genres – it reaches a wider range of public, more tickets are sold, but it doesn’t mean all the people will watch all the bands.

Between gigs there’s always background music playing, but this time we had… frogs. And crickets. A very nocturnal sound. I know that trolls live in swamps and “nattfödd” means “born at night”, but listening to that during the whole intermission was a bit too much. Or maybe it was my eagerness to see Finntroll after six years.

Without surprise, “Nattfödd” was performed in its entirety and then came the promotion of the latest “Blodsvept” (that’s actually two years old already – damn, time flies!) mixed with a bunch of classics. All drenched in beer and happy dancing.

Vreth was quite chatty, to which the crowd responded loud and cheerful. At some point he asked who had been at their last gig there and I was surprised that not many hands were raised. But then again, there were lots of kids at the venue, I suppose they weren’t old enough to attend a festival back in 2009… (I was there, took a few cool pics too: http://frontrowforever.net/2011/05/28/revisited-finntroll-caos-emergente-20090913/)

I believe it was after “Jaktens Tid” that they left the stage and the damn frogs echoed again until Finntroll returned for the encore. But by this time I was too pleased to be bothered by the croaking – these trolls don’t belong in the forest but definitely on stage. (5/5)

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https://www.facebook.com/officialfinntroll

Photos & text by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Finntroll to release first live album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 18th May 2014 by Pieni

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“Natten Med De Levande Finntroll” (Night with the living Finntroll) is the title chosen for the upcoming debut live album of the Finnish folk masters. Recorded at the famous Melkweg in Amsterdam and mixed & mastered by the even more famous duo Mikko Karmila and Mika Jussila, this album gathers 19 anthems of Finntroll‘s “unholy hybrid style” and proves that is “onstage and in the raw” that they function best.

Scheduled for release on the 16th June via Spinefarm Records, the track list is as follows:

1. Kitteldags
2. Slaget vid Blodsälv
3. Blodnatt
4. Nedgång
5. Nattfödd
6. Ursvamp
7. Eliytres
8. Aldhissla
9. Jaktens Tid
10. Rivfader
11. Korpens Saga
12. Trollhammaren
13. Fiskarens Fiende
14. Svartberg
15. Försvinn Du Som Lyser
16. Midnattens Widunder
17. En Mäktig Här
18. Det Iskalla Trollblodet
19. Segersång

www.finntroll-music.com
www.facebook.com/officialfinntroll
twitter.com/finntrollmusic

Lost Society give the low down on the first five tracks from Terror Hungry

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 12th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Lost Society are set to unleash their new album Terror Hungry next month through Nuclear Blast. In anticipation of the new album, the guys have filmed a video giving fans the down low on the album. Lost Society decided to do this while on tour so each track is covered in a different country and/or city, giving fans a chance to see what life on the road with these four Finnish dudes is like. The first clips which covers the first five tracks can be viewed just below:

Part One: Spurgatory

Part Two: Game Over and Attaxic

Part Three: Lethal Pleasure and Terror Hungry

Lost Society online:

http://facebook.com/lostsocietyfinland
http://youtube.com/lostsocietyfinland
https://twitter.com/lostsocietyfi

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Hannah’s 2013 Highlights

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Misc. with tags , , , , , on 4th January 2014 by Hannah

Well, we are now 4 days into 2014, and it’s that time of year again. Time to look back and reflect on 2013, a year of great highs and lows. Personally, 2013 was a crock of shite. Ill health, family and friends dropping like daisies, rubbish chucked at me academically; I’m well shot of it. Musically, however, it was much better! We had a few absolute curve balls chucked at us, but in general I think it was a splendid year for musical releases within the metal world and beyond. So without further ado, here are my Top 10 metal albums of the year. Strap yourselves in and play the Top of the Pops theme tune as we count them down- but in no particular order. Sorry!

FinntrollBlodsvept

An absolute corker of an album, Finntroll are once again on shining form. I sometimes wonder if the rollicking band of Finnish folk-stalwarts will get one wrong, but they prove themselves time and time again.

GhostInfestissumam

In many ways, 2013 could be seen as the year of Ghost (for copyright purposes, in the ol’ U.S. of A., see: Ghost B.C.). Papa Emeritus II (or should that be 1.2?) and his ghoulish brigade seem absolutely unstoppable and this proggy, weird, almost unsettlingly catchy offering gives more fuel to that fire.

CathedralThe Last Spire

As we shall see in my ‘Top 5 Highs and Lows of 2013’ shortly, this was also the year I was forced to say goodbye to one of my favourite bands, but Cathedral’s last ever offering did not disappoint. As many observed, this seemed to bring them full circle and back to their simple, crushing doomy roots and it was a bittersweet triumph.

Chthonic- Bú-Tik

The Taiwanese black-symphonic metallers offered us this brutal follow up to 2011’s brilliant Takasago Army this year, and what an album! The troupe from Taipei constantly manage to sound fresh and never lose any of that fury, channelling their rage in their music and fleshing their sound out with that distinctive, symphonic blend of metal and traditional Taiwanese refrains.

Black Sabbath- 13

If you know me, then you know I like grinding, crushing, groovy metal. Then it must come as no surprise that this list includes 13, the phenomenal come back from the legends that are Black Sabbath. Sounding as fresh and vibrant as they did on seminal releases such as Black Sabbath or Paranoid, 13 saw Sabbath at their absolute best, and I for one am so happy to see them back.

Amon Amarth- Deceiver of the Gods

I can’t possibly list my favourite albums of the year without Amon Amarth. Some people say they are samey and don’t offer anything new. I think they know what works and stick to that winning formula. The Swedes once again brought their mythological flavoured metal to us on this stonker and I love it.

Fleshgod Apocalypse- Labyrinth

Italian technical death metal band Fleshgod have been around for a while but they are a relatively new thing for me. Having said that, Labyrinth is a great album and well deserving of a place in my top 10. For one, it’s a concept album based on mythology- the legend of the Labyrinth of Knossos, if you didn’t know, but of course you did- and for two, it does it well. Brilliant, from start to finish.

Tyr- Valkyrja

I’ll keep this short and sweet- Tyr are phenomenal. The two covers that round this album out are almost unrecognisable in their execution. The progression shown by Tyr from The Lay of Thrym to this is fascinating and I can’t wait to see where they go next.

Hell- Curse and Chapter

Really, if I’m being honest, 2013 was the year I fell in love with Hell. I can’t say enough good things about this band- they are blasphemous, outrageous, and ridiculously good fun to boot. They serve up a one-of-a-kind blend of NWOBHM and theatrics and Curse and Chapter is just outstanding. I predicted that they will be Bloodstock headliners within five years in this year’s Bloodstock review. I now make that three years.

Satyricon- Satyricon

A rather controversial choice, maybe? I know how unpopular this record has been with a lot of long-time Satyricon fans, but this long-time Satyricon fan loved their eponymous album. The thing I love about Satyricon is that Satyr is never afraid to go to places that make fans uncomfortable and force them out of that safe zone. Their albums are never formulaic and I really appreciate their bravery and daring, and willingness to shake things up. A great album.

Wasn’t that fun? Now, this next Top 5 may be a little unorthodox, but I’m a music lover. I love all music, even- SHOCK HORROR!- that which is not metal. So here are my 5 Top Non-Metal releases of the year!

HIM- Tears on Tape

HIM are one of my favourite bands- okay, you can shoot me if you want- because they do what they do incredibly well and without apologies. Tears on Tape is one of their best albums to date and it’s surprisingly heavy in parts- you can see that Ville Valo really worships a few gothic and doom metal bands in the songs on this record!

AFI- Burials

I was thoroughly mortified by Crash Love. Like, irrevocably mortified. AFI are a band I have loved since I was 12 and whilst Burials is definitely no closer to what they used to be than Crash Love or even Decemberunderground, it manages to make up for it in atmosphere and a healthy dose of gloom. Davey Havok’s voice hasn’t sounded this good in a long time, and neither has Jade Puget’s playing. Welcome back, boys!

David Bowie- The Next Day

David Bowie is the king and I worship him. Seriously, though, The Next Day is a welcome return by the Thin White Duke, 10 years after his last release, and it is an unusual, almost-awkward slice of musical bliss. This album shows more energy and enthusiasm for making beautiful music- to get pretentious, for making auditory art- than bands half his age.

Little Mix- Salute

I love Little Mix, I don’t even care. They were put together on that Christmas-number-one machine that is The X Factor, sure, but they actually work ridiculously well together as a group and they contribute to the writing of their songs to boot. Their second album, Salute, is indeed a salute to the sassy, R’n’B flavoured pop of the nineties. It works, it’s ludicrously catchy, and I love it.

Lorde- Pure Heroine

I hated Lorde the first time I heard her. Her lyrics are stupid and non-sensical (see: Tennis Court), the kind of faux-intellectualism loved by the stylish hipster crews that are the current ‘in’ crowd. She’s a clever girl with some fierce ideas, though, and by GOD did this album get under my skin after a while and now I can’t get enough of it and I’m sorry.

Okay, I’ll get back to the metal now. Rounding up my 2013 retrospective is a look at five of the most important events of the year. These are my Top 5 Highs and Lows of 2013.

Randy Blythe is acquitted

Of course, the story most people will remember this year is that Randy Blythe was acquitted of all charges on the 5th of March this year. Blythe had been facing jail after 19 year old Daniel Nosek died after being pushed from the stage at a Lamb of God show in Prague in 2010. Whilst the courts agreed that Blythe was morally responsible for Nosek’s death, they did not find him guilty of any criminal liability.

Emperor Reform for 2014 Festival Season

Yes, my friends. Legendary black metal outfit Emperor officially announced a reunion for a series of special performances, including Wacken’s 25th anniversary, BOA 2014 and Hellfest 2014. I have my ticket to Bloodstock and I can’t fucking wait, because Emperor are the bee’s proverbial knees. Oh yes.

Cathedral Call it Quits

30th April 2013 was a sad, sad day in the world of doom metal, as protectors of the groove Cathedral called it a day on the release of their tenth studio album, The Last Spire. After waving the flag for crushing, gloomy, often psychedelic doom for twenty-one years, Lee Dorrian, Brian Dixon, Gaz Jennings and Scott Carlson took their final bows. Their legacy lives on.

Joey Jordison Slipknot Shock

In a rather bizarre turn of events, the 12th of December saw the shock announcement of Joey Jordison’s departure from his ‘main’ band of 18 years for ‘personal reasons’. The plot however thickens as it has been revealed in the last 24 hours that Jordison himself had no idea of his apparent departure. Will we ever know what’s going on? Will this cause a duel to the death between Corey Taylor and Joey Jordison before Mick Thompson steps in and holds them apart by the scruff of their necks whilst the rest of the band talks sense into them? Who knows?

Black Sabbath Top Charts

Yeah, if producing an album as impressive as 13 wasn’t enough, Black Sabbath also went and topped the UK Album Charts with it. Their first offering in 18 years managed the rare feat of placing top in the mainstream charts, and how often does a bunch of hairy, lairy old metalheads do something like that? Keep going, boys.

So that was 2013. There’s a lot I’m looking forward to in 2014, but my highlight will most certainly be Bloodstock 2014. I shall see you there! To all Valkyrian readers- I wish you a Happy New Year and have a good one!