Finntroll
Blodsvept


3.6
great

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
March 27th, 2013 | 55 replies


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Finntroll, now with 100% more folk and even less of a sense of direction. No, that is actually not a bad thing

There are two types of folk metal. One is the somber, often acoustics-driven blend of folky melancholy and organic metal courtesy of bands such as Agalloch and October Falls. The other is a joyous and buoyant brand of music that thrives on infectious melodies and its main purpose is seldom other than to simply amuse the listener. Finntroll belongs to the latter group, being one of its most noteworthy acts. One of the pioneering forces behind this brand, Finntroll have paved the way for groups such as Ensiferum, Turisas and Korpiklaani, yet they’re different from all of them. Compared to other bands playing this style, Finntroll have dug deeper into the world of Scandinavian folklore, which has resulted in them having a more ingrained folk sound as well. It doesn’t necessarily make them better than Ensiferum, for example, but it does make them more unique.

Blodsvept, the group’s sixth full-length album, is their most lighthearted and unorthodox effort to date. One wouldn’t predict that based on the album’s cover and title track, both sufficiently repugnant, but Blodsvept is actually a playful affair that depicts these trolls as whimsical, rather than menacing. While Finntroll have never been the most extreme of folk metal bands, despite the evident black metal influence in their music, on Blodsvept the focus has decisively shifted in favor of a more dancy style, driven by Humppa – the Finnish version of polka. Mind you, there are still sections dominated by heavier riffage and pummeling double-bass, but they’re presented in a way which makes them excellent recurring characters rather than stars of the show. The songwriting on Blodsvept is varied and the tracks carry with them a silly folk aura, making them wholly unique. By all accounts, the album is an ode to the village gatherings of old and when it comes to delivery, there isn’t another band like Finntroll out there. They haven’t just added some flutes and bagpipes to complement the metal, they’ve managed to grasp the whole idea of folk metal and have truly integrated the two.

The album starts in a slightly misleading fashion as the title track gets things going in typical Finntroll fashion. "Blodsvept" features crunchy, aggressive guitars and bloodthirsty shouts over a brash, trumpeting backing. It’s a big ol’ village party from there on, though, as the metal largely takes on a supporting role and Finntroll’s love of dance is brought to the forefront. The guitars are ever-present and give all of the songs a much needed punch so that they wouldn’t become sterile, but in Finntroll’s case there is much more going on than a simple juxtaposition of metal and folk elements. The band has fused the two together in such a fluid way that it’s hard to envision one without the other – something rarely seen in folk metal. The Humppa and metal have formed a cohesive body of work that functions like a living, breathing organism and all the glitter on top (trumpets, flutes etc.) is just an added bonus. This is perfectly exhibited in the highlight of the album, "Skogsdotter", where Finntroll unleash an all-out folky bombardment on the listener. Duelling banjos, triumphant trumpets, ravaging drums, drunken shouts, vibrant flutes – the song has it all.

Blodsvept is an odd one though, and not nearly as straightforward as its exterior would lead you to believe. On one hand it is a conceptually aggressive, anti-humanist work, on the other the music itself is flippant and upbeat most of the time. There’s no denying that Blodsvept is unique and enjoyable, but there seems to be a contradiction in the very core of the album itself that can easily leave one shrugging. The concept strives to be meaningful (humans vs. nature, with Finntroll’s own twist to it), but the music invites us to a dance. Maybe that’s exactly what Finntroll wanted to do, though – create a stark contrast because they can (all of the songs on Blodsvept are in Swedish, meaning most aren’t able to decipher them anyway). It’s no secret Finntroll’s lyrics have always been controversial and anti-Christian much like their music has always been silly and lunatic – aberration is the band’s "thing". Add to that the fact the guys in Finntroll are pretty crazy, and it becomes clear the record was going to end up wacky one way or another. Therefore, without sowing further confusion, Blodsvept can be summed up as a lively and unique piece of Finnish folk metal that just so happens to be carrying a thought-provoking concept that 99% of the listeners will not be able to understand. Classic Finntroll.



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user ratings (67)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
TheDepravedPelican (4)
Finntroll maintains their outlandish approach to folk metal, while showing some maturity and writing...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Topaz
March 27th 2013


325 Comments


thank god their band image was changed because the last one uhhhh...

foxblood
March 27th 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hm this is more folky? i had the impression they toned the folk down but i shall see, will check soon

demigod!
March 27th 2013


44793 Comments


gonna check this, Nattfodd is one of my favourite metal albums

Digging: Iced Earth - Night of the Stormrider

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2013


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6


hm this is more folky? i had the impression they toned the folk down but i shall see, will check soon
There is less in-your-face orchestration, but the whole thing definitely derives a lot from Scandinavian folk.

Tyrael
March 27th 2013


20930 Comments


such a fun album

band never disappoints

Hawks
March 27th 2013


35838 Comments


Never really got into this band like I wanted to. I should listen to this.

foxblood
March 27th 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a fun album so far, has good energy but some of the instrumentation doesn't exactly compare to the days of yore

the album’s cover and title track, both sufficiently repugnant


hit the nail on the head there

mindleviticus
March 27th 2013


8298 Comments


what a strange name

I'll have to check out these guys

CaptainDooRight
March 27th 2013


30049 Comments


I've listened to their older stuff before. That summary has my mind going but I may give this a spin. Haha I almost get the impression that being an airhead is more of a compliment than overthinking things. Almost like, letting the natural course take its place.

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2013


10310 Comments


Hmm, d'you think this is my kind of thing? Not sure how good folk metal sounds to me, but I need to look more into the metal subgenres..

Alastor
March 27th 2013


297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This band never disappoints.

Dreamflight
March 27th 2013


1760 Comments


These dudes sound crazier than your usual folk lalala metal, so far I'm enjoying this a lot.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2013


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Haha I almost get the impression that being an airhead is more of a compliment than overthinking things.
That does apply to Finntroll, yes. This is not their best album imo, but it's still great.

@Omaha
Honestly, I have no idea. Try these:

Blodsvept: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K_J6cZEfXM

Skogsdotter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaLR44MsHX8

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2013


50695 Comments


Doesn't 100% more folk just mean they have the same amount of folk as before?

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me in the River

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2013


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Pretty sure that means they have double the amount of folk they had before. And in all honesty, it was meant figuratively anyway.

NeoSpaz
March 27th 2013


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think that would be 200% because 50% would be half the folk that was had previously had, 100% would be the same, thus 200% would be double.

Vespiion
March 27th 2013


1222 Comments


I love Jaktens Tid, haven't really explored the rest of their discography though.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

SCREAM!
March 27th 2013


10256 Comments


"I think that would be 200% because 50% would be half the folk that was had previously had, 100% would be the same, thus 200% would be double."

Since he said 100% MORE I'm pretty sure it means double. Just like if he said 50% MORE it would mean the amount they had before plus half. Whereas if he just said with 50% of the amount of folk (without the more) then it would mean half.

foxblood
March 27th 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

skogsdotter rules, dat banjo

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2013


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Scream gets it. And Vespiion, if you love Jaktens Tid you'd like this as well, because these guys are really consistent in their output.



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