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FINNTROLL - Studioreport, Helsinki Pump Studios (FI) 01.09.2009
Finntroll reveals tracks from the upcoming album
On September 1, Finnish folk-metal band Finntroll introduced to media representatives several songs from the long-waited sixth studio album under working title ‘Mot Skoggornas Värld‘. Finnish metal trolls gave journalists a chance to hear songs ‘Solsagan‘, ‘Den Frusna Muhnen‘, ‘Dråp‘ and ‘Under Bergets Rot‘. The album was recorded at Helsinki Sonic Pump Studios – the labour bed for the band‘s previous album, ‘Ur Jordens Djup‘. ‘Mot Skoggornas Värld‘ will be mixed, most likely, by the end of November and the album is to be released in December – a perfect Christmas present to all Finntroll fans.
On the first autumn day we got an impossible-to-decline invitation – Finntroll guys asked us to come over to Helsinki Sonic Pump Studios, where we would have a chance to check out piping hot results of troll labour. Straight of the reel Music- Photocalypse ladies went to an industrial district of Finnish capital trying hard to locate the studio. It took us just twenty minutes of wandering through the slurb jungle and there we were at the studio door, welcomed by the band. The invited journalists were treated by somewhat recherché troll culinary creation: a cake made of ... sausages. Finntroll guys decided that, apparently, after a couple of beers the media people would become a bit more receptive to their music, so the studio door opened at a very strategic moment and we stepped into the sanctuary.
Press people were to hear four songs from the upcoming album which so far bears a working title ‘Mot Skoggornas Värld’. The first song we heard, ‘Solsagan’, suggested that the Finnish trolls grew older and more mature. Guitars went gloomier and darker. All in all, the sound brought into mind the latest Ensiferum album and Turisas‘ earthshaking metal battles. Analytical journalist‘s mind started coining new term for the tune – shall we call it ‘troll battle metal’? The next song, ‘Den Frusna Muhnen’, perfectly corresponded with the introductory remark of Finntroll singer Mathias Lilmåns:‘ Now you‘ll hear something totally different‘. The heroic mood of the previous piece was changed by the sounds of something ‘dangerously’ resembling absolutely non-metal string instrument. Song had a very catchy melody, more similar to good old rock tunes. Next came ‘Under Bergets Rot’ which made the brain work again trying to find an appropriate musical definition: is it ‘troll punk‘ ? A banjo covered by fast, somewhat pushy power-chorded electric guitar instrumentation, all together made a very clear melodic line, yet quite simple. Preserving a good part of traditional old-school troll folk, for a wonder, the song creates a gloomy afterworld mood. The last song of the album-to-be, ‘Dråp’ starts with evil laughter and includes the trademark troll melodies. But keeping a good deal of humour, the trolls became less playful: the forest tavern party is over and the Scandinavian monsters are out to deal with their heavy black jobs. The song dies away little by little with echoes of old rollicking feasts and has a totally open ending: you are free to fantasize in which direction the trolls will go next.
It seems that Finntroll consistently moves in the direction taken with ‘Ur Jordens Djup’ : less humppa, more song blackwash (both mood-and vocal-wise). Despite the clear connection between songs, each of them differs from the other, quickly changing melodies and rhythms. The atmosphere of troll kingdom grew dark and wrathful: the guys are ready to defend their territories and the battle with the tricksters is doomed to be lost. Or maybe it is exactly how mature Finnish trolls should sound? Permanently drunk merry humppers became brutal Scandinavian metalheads, but the evil troll grin together with a trademark style is there. There is not a hint of self-cloning or self-quoting, typical for many bands, which stepped beyond the point of three albums. Thus, we would suggest looking forward for the new Finntroll record – it might become the black star of your music collection.
Pictures: Tanja C. | Report: Victoria Maksimovich
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