Review Summary: Finntroll have slightly faltered with this album, but it still remains an enjoyable listen in it's own right. I just hope that on their next release they go back to their older, more polka inspired sound.
To anyone outside of metal, anyone
come off as an absolutely ridiculous band, but to us, the clever and handsome long haired part of society who listen to this most fabulous of music, well, they're still ridiculous, but in a good way! Whats not to love about a band with a member called 'Beast Dominator'! Mixing 'polka' with 'black metal' certainly provides an... interesting sound, and one that they do reasonably well, but it sometimes comes off lacking.
Vreth - Vocals
Skrymer - Guitars, backing vocals
Routa - Guitars
Tundra - Bass, backing vocals
Trollhorn - Keyboards, acoustic guitars, banjo, mouth harp, backing vocals
Beast Dominator (!) - Drums and Percussion, backing vocals
Ur Jorden Djup
starts off with an extensive intro, which seems mandatory in most metal albums. It sets the atmosphere for the rest of the album, sounding like something from a fairytale with some of the most bizzare troll sounds and horses trotting thrown in for good reason. It then kicks in with the first proper song, Sang
, it's clear from the get-go that Finntroll
have slightly set aside their polka and gone for a more raw black metal sound, make no mistake, they still have the amusing bouncy atmosphere and the keyboards in their songs, but it's not as prevalent as in their past albums. At times, Ur Jordens Djup
can be a heavy, brooding monster; while at other times it sounds like something you would hear at a drunken metal party, and that's exactly where this should be played. It certainly invites silly dancing and singing along while spilling beer, you get the feeling that at the albums craziest moments, the band do seem absolutely wasted, and it's hilariously great!
Technically this album isn't great, there are a lot of simple riffs played throughout the album which barely manage to keep your attention, and the drumming; while being fine, is certainly not amazing in any way. I like the bass player on this album, while barely audible at points when you do manage to hear a glimpse of him he certainly does his job well, weaving between the drumming and guitars with a lot of groovy bass lines. The vocals are done in the traditional black metal shriek, he does his job adequately, neither great nor bad. The only thing which makes the album a good listen technically are the interesting and completely unsubtle keyboards which set the base for a lot of tracks and create the unique and bouncy mood Finntroll
create in their songs, a perfect example is in the track En Maktig Har
, which is probably the lightest and most traditional Finntroll
song on the album, combining the dark vocals and the bouncy keyboards perfectly.
The best parts of this album are when the band let themselves get really loose and let out the polka trying to take over the sound, while the black metal part of the album sounds slightly uninspired and unoriginal the craziest parts of Ur Jordens Djup
really shine and make this album enjoyable, if not great. I only wish that there were more songs with the bounciness of En Maktig Har
, easily the albums best song and a throwback to their older sound. You can sense that Finntroll
are trying to get more serious but keep their polka sound, it just doesn't really work unfortunately.
The main problem with Ur Jordens Djup
s the lack of stand-out tracks. Most of them are simply average while only a few manage to stick in your head and invite repeated listens (Slagbroder
and En Maktig Har
come to mind here), a few of the songs sound familiar on the first listen and others are just plainly filler, without any real good moments. Also, the band are clearly at their best when they write crazy, polka anthems with black metal influences, while this album is more of a black metal album, and unfortunately the band don't manage to capture the anger of black metal nor the craziness of Polka but instead languish somewhere between, without any real purpose. While Ur Jordens Djup
is hardly a bad album, it would be much better Finntroll
itself a little less seriously on this album and didn't restrict the Polka sound that breaks through every so often.
have slightly faltered with this album, but it still remains an enjoyable listen in it's own right. I just hope that on their next release they go back to their older, more polka inspired sound.