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Finntroll - "Blodsvept" (CD)

Finntroll - "Blodsvept" CD cover image

"Blodsvept" track listing:

1. Blodsvept (4:29)
2. Ett Folk Förbannat (3:23)
3. När Jättar Marschera (4:07)
4. Mordminnen (3:24)
5. Rösets Kung (3:15)
6. Skövlarens Död (3:44)
7. Skogsdotter (4:53)
8. Häxbrygd (3:52)
9. Två Ormar (3:17)
10. Fanskapsfylld (2:59)
11. Midvinterdraken (5:37)

Reviewed by on May 3, 2013

"Combining styles that nobody ever thought would go together, Finntroll isn’t so much an avant-garde metal act as simply one that’s a bit wacky, but there’s nothing wrong with that, because frankly, the formula works."

Combining styles that nobody ever thought would go together, Finntroll isn’t so much an avant-garde metal act as simply one that’s a bit wacky, but there’s nothing wrong with that, because frankly, the formula works. Who knew over-the-top polka would fit with the darkness of black metal? Don’t question it, and just listen, because “Blodsvept” is an undeniably fun album that still has the harshness and heaviness required to keep a metal head’s interest.

Like the last few albums from Finntroll, “Blodsvept” has the ever-present humppa and folk elements, but the music remains much darker and heavier than with many other folk-based metal groups. Comparing it to previous full-length effort “Nifelvind,” this new offering is a bit simpler overall, keeping up one main idea or theme per track with less extraneous material. The result is a memorable album with more punch that isn’t precisely “catchy,” but it does stick in the head more due to repeating chords and keyboards.

The entire album has a particularly strong flow, making the music frequently feel like a continuous track instead of a segmented album. Although that creates some bleed through, it’s actually less than you’d think, with a few added elements freshening up the mix, like “Rosets Kung” having gang chants that bring to mind the rollicking good time of Alestorm. As a folk outfit, there’s of course a variety of keyboard and traditional instruments going on, including what sounds like a sax attack on “När Jättar Marschera.” Seventh track “Skogsdotter” likely has the most upbeat humppa aspects and, apparently taking a cue from Sonata Arctica, even throws in some random banjos.

“Blodsvept” may not work for all metal fans – “Två Ormar” in particular takes the zany atmosphere pretty far with a collision of sound somewhere between a cartoon and a cheesy horror flick – but there’s an undeniable appeal to the album if your metal doesn’t have to be serious all the time.

Highs: The wackiness of humppa and banjos with dark black metal actually works really well.

Lows: There's some bleed through across the songs, and the zanier stuff isn't going to work for everyone.

Bottom line: Finntroll brings out another winner, combining upbeat polka with seriously dark extreme metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)