The trolls of Nordic folklore are believed to be dirty creatures of enormous strength and appetite. Their grotesque physique grants them a comic element, although the humour tends to be on the grim side as these nocturne beings hunger for human flesh. Unsurprisingly, this has earned them a rather bad reputation. All things considered, FINNTROLL are the perfect embodiment of all aforementioned sentiments – although one might want to replace the hunger for human meat with an unquenchable thirst for booze.
With their sixth full-length “Blodsvept”, FINNTROLL return to the fierce harshness of their blackened origins without giving up the perfect balance between darkened metal ferocity and melodic elements inspired by folk music from Finland and far beyond. “We have taken a step backwards”, states main composer Trollhorn. “The production is less polished and weird. To give you a rough idea, “Blodsvept” unites the raving madness of “Niflvind” (2010) with the natural approach of “Nattfödd” (2004).” According to its maker, “Blodsvept” may be described in three
words: rawness, power and melody. Add fun to this description and it sums it up just nicely.
According to legend FINNTROLL were conceived one drunken night in March 1997. With a heavy dose of beer and vodka mixing a folkish melody in the “Humppa” style of Finnish polka with heavy guitars seemed a great idea to axeman Somnium (ex-Thy Serpent, Impaled Nazarene) and vocalist Katla. When the duo sobered up, the concept still kept its original appeal and thus the mighty FINNTROLL came into being.
After much fine or rather rough tuning, FINNTROLL recorded their legendary “Rivfader” demo (1998), which opened the door for a number of musicians to join in order to complete a live line-up. Among these first new members were drummer Beast Dominator (Barathrum, Rapture), Moonsorrow’s keyboarder Trollhorn, Tundra on bass and guitarist Skrymer. A first record deal was signed with the band being able to pick from several interesting offers and a year later their debut album “Midnattens Widunder” (1999) took the world by storm. FINNTROLLs highly original brew rooted in black metal and Humppa proved to be contagious. In the wake of their lead, many musicians were to follow, changing the highly successful formula slightly to fit their own needs. It is no secret that e.g. bands such as Ensiferum, Turisas, Korpiklaani or Wintersun owe their folkish sound to some extend to our dear trolls. Despite their often brutal, heavily anti-religious and coarse lyrics the Finns managed to get away with it probably due to the exclusive and continuing use of the Swedish language. With “Jaktens Tid” (2001) FINNTROLL celebrated their international breakthrough. Supported by unanimously praise worldwide, it reached a top 20 chart position in the band’s homeland. Outside of Finland, Century Media licensed this masterpiece to infect the globe with trollish madness. Yet the success came at a steep price as fate struck FINNTROLL hard. First, Katla had to be replaced due to worsening throat problems. After some try-outs the band settled for Tapio Wilska (Sethian, ex- Nattvindens Gråt and many others), who proved to be a great addition as a singer and frontman for European Release Date: March 25th, 2013 the band. Afterwards, the tragic accidental death of Teemu “Somnium” Raimoranta in 2003 threatened to end the band for good. His friends wisely decided to honour Teemu’s legacy by continuing his dream. Routa, who had already served as stand-in guitarist at several occasions now became a full time member. This line-up released “Nattfödd” (2004), which took the band to a new level musically as well as on festival billings.
Due to personal issues FINNTROLL and Wilska decided to part as friends and Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns joined the fold in 2006. With “Ur Jordens Djup” (2007) and “Nifelvind” (2010) – the latter charted on #8 in Finland and #31 in Germany – the Finns bravely and even more successfully battled on and fortified their position as genre leaders. Meanwhile the band performed headliner shows around the globe nonstop and sold out venues in no time. Musically, their compositions had significantly matured and what had begun with Humppa now included many sonic twists and turns. Trollhorn, a truly inspired composer and mastermind behind Moonsorrow, expanded the FINNTROLL sound with cleverness and ease touching up such diverse traditions as Salsa or Klezmer without ever betraying or impairing the band’s roots.
Now, FINNTROLL embark on a new musical conquest with “Blodsvept”. Under its raw and aggressive surface many surprises await the listener, so better expect the unexpected. Take a seat in the Cotton Club as some New Orleans Dixie grins broadly from “Rösets Kung”. “Skogsdotter” offers duelling banjos taking on a swing band or as Trollhorn states: “We should have used an upright bass on that one”. Anybody wondering what a video-game would sound like with folk music will get an answer from “Ett Folk Förbannat”. “Två Ormar” is unceremoniously slandered as “Beetlejuice on crack” and Trollhorn tenderly calls the “Midvinterdraken” his very own “Flying Spaghetti Monster”. Genius and sheer insanity often go hand in hand and while FINNTROLL never lose the focus for captivating and compact songs, they definitely mastered the art of ‘shock and awe-someness’! So, wanderer beware! If you should ever fall in the hands of FINNTROLL, the undiluted, amazing lunacy of “Blodsvept” awaits you. You have been warned. Now go, get it!
Mathias „Vreth“ Lillmåns – Vocals
Mikael „Routa“ Karlbom – Guitars
Samuli „Skrymer“ Ponsimaa – Guitars
Henri „Trollhorn“ Sorvali – Keyboards, Guitar
Sami „Tundra“ Uusitalo – Bass
Heikki „MörkÖ“ – Drums
2013 – Blodsvept
2010 – Nifelvind
2007 – Ur Jordens Djup
2004 – Nattfödd
2004 – Trollhammaren EP
2003 – Visor om Slutet EP
2001 – Jaktens Tid
1999 – Midnattens Windunder
1997 – Rivfader DEMO
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