The Finnish sextet Finntroll combine black metal and elements
of humppa. What in the hell is humppa, you ask? For those,
like me, who are unfamiliar with humppa, I'll save you
the research (like you were actually going to look it up)
and elaborate. Humppa is a form of Finnish music related to
jazz and fast foxtrot. Basically, you dance to the bouncing
bass of the music; social dancing in Finland can even be called
humppa. Well to me, humppa or not, Fintroll's style is more
like kooky halloween music crossed with black metal.
You know, that “things that go bump in the night”
type of stuff. Or maybe the soundtrack to Tim Burton's Beetlejuice crossed with The Kovenant playing at a Renaissance festival.
The Kovenant similarity is evident on the sinister “Slaybroder.”
Also of note, Finntroll have a new vocalist, known simply
as Vreth, on this, their fifth album.
The funny thing is, as heavy and evil as this music sounds
at times, I can actually see people dancing to this. Dancing?
That's fucking weird, yes, but also original. “En Maktig
Har” (yeah, the song titles are all in Finnish) is a
great example of this, complete with banjos, flutes, fiddles
and heavy guitars. It's one of those songs you'd hear playing in
the Shire in Middle Earth. Maybe this band could play our
local Renaissance festival? I'll look into it. Other material
here is just flat-out, wicked black metal, with great production
and musicianship. It's not as orchestrated as Dimmu Borgir,
but it flat-out shreds, like on the ripping “Ormhaxen.”
Plenty of spooky keyboards back the insanity, with every song
sounding capable of being a Scandinavian national anthem,
given the folk aspect (minus all the screaming).
All joking aside, this was a fun album to listen to and a
fun review to write. Finntroll takes their music seriously
(at least, I think they do), even if they allegedly spent
“many nights of drunken debauchery,” as their
bio states, making this album. This is somewhat of an aquired
taste, but I invite metal fans with an open mind to try
out Ur Jordens Djup and all its pagan-folk metal