Abaddon magazine

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Review: Finntroll – Vredesvävd

Label: Century Media Records

Date: September 18th, 2020

The “oompa loompas” of Finnish folk metal are back! OK, think of this as a leftover joke from the olden days, as Finntroll have long ago shed their original skin and gone for a lot more serious approach to music making. But the fact it took them some time to get back still holds. Seven long years after “Blodsvept”. Seven and a half to be exact. One would think they have gone for a regrouping of their forces. But…

The new album goes straight along the trodden path. And why wouldn’t it? The band basically invented the sound, so there’s no real reason for abandoning it. Furthermore, the band has kept its jolly side, so that “Vredesvävd” is no grumpy extremist metal record with just a couple of folkish inputs like, for instance, “Ur Jordens Djup”. However, the album is taking it down a notch, so that the folkish motifs are well infused into black metal. The trademarked, traditional folk rhythms and melodies, as well as epic keyboards remain a key feature of Finntroll but they work much better in line with the extreme metal side of the band. Somehow, they are much more maturely incorporated in the whole and give a fine picture of what Finns are really capable of.

What all of that means, in the end, is that we can no longer expect another “Trollhammaren” or “Jaktens Tid”. Finntroll have turned away, intentionally or not, from creating major hit singles. Even if “Grenars Vag” or “Myren” might serve as such with their catchy melodies. There are a couple more, for sure, but the feel this album gives out is that of a homogenous piece, where the overall sensation is a much more important aspect. And I must admit Finntroll doesn’t fail at that. They do have what it takes to pull off a record which will impress as one long journey through rural Finland instead of just a one-off party with terrible hangover.

Perhaps, instead of regrouping, Finntroll opted for a bit of a creative relaxation for the past seven years. It is not uncommon for artists to get into some sort of a rut. One of the questions always asked in such situations is was it really necessary? Especially in this hyper production era where a band can be easily forgotten and drowned in the myriad others. The second question would probably be if “Vredesvävd” was worth the wait? Let me give you a simple answer to both. Yes!

Finntroll is back and they are still strong. The only remark from my side is that I still prefer the early “humppa metal” days.