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Finntroll - Vredesvävd review


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Band: Finntroll
Album: Vredesvävd
Release date: September 2020

01. Väktaren
02. Att Döda Med En Sten
03. Ormfolk
04. Gränars Väg
05. Forsen
06. Vid Häxans Härd
07. Myren
08. Stjärnornas Mjöd
09. Mask
10. Ylaren

Every folk metal band by now has either fallen off, had a lukewarm phase, or they were never that big in the first place. Finntroll endured.

The signs of folk metal's decline were quite apparent as far back as Finntroll's previous album, 2013's Blodsvept. Around that time Turisas completely fell off, Ensiferum released their worst received album, Eluveitie was threading on thinner ice before their implosion, and already people stopped taking Korpiklaani seriously. Sure, bands like Arkona and Moonsorrow and Cruachan went on as usual, but they were never as massive, hence why I'm generally more excited for some new material by the latter rather than the former. Except obviously the one massive folk metal band that never really had any of those problems. Sure, everybody can agree that everything after Nattfödd isn't as good as everything up to and including Nattfödd, but they never really properly fell off, hence why you won't find any of their albums with a rating under 8 here. And for good reason. And now Vredesvävd comes after a seven year silence to rival the ratings of their "classic" albums.

I don't want to waste the entire review talking about how much better and more consistent Finntroll are to other bands, but there's a reason why they're the exception to the rule. Firstly being one of the oldest bands in the game, being among the only bands I mentioned to have released an album in the 90s, they had the benefit of forging the sound before anyone else could, thus a lot of the folk metal records I do love owe their dues in some way to Finntroll. And while they were popular and "Trollhammaren" is a banger, they weren't really commercial in a way that a lot of their contemporaries were. They clearly had a black metal element that made their music feel like its own brand of vicious, but the Hummpa folk music made it so fun and endearing. The troll gimmick somehow worked perfectly with it. These creatures are jolly and like to dance and drink, but they will definitely slaughter trespassers and children who don't do their homework. The forest is dark and full of dangers to unwanted guests, but full of cheer and song otherwise. This isn't some "my ancestors going into battle and getting drunk beforehand" stuff.

And that has always been Finntroll's strength. Balancing the dark and the joyful in a way that makes sense. It's groovy, sometimes a bit jazzy, definitely epic, rather carnavalesque, quite mythical, and most importantly: mischievous. I mean, I really would've loved to hear the bland up the groovy jazzy tinges of Blodsvept, or play around with the formula a bit more, but from the experience that folk metal has went through in those seven years, I can't blame Finntroll for sticking with what works. And I also can't blame them for not putting out anything in the meantime. Now Vredesvävd feels less like another great folk metal album and closer to what we've all been waiting for, which also another great folk metal album, but in the context of not having had other great folk metal albums for quite a while. And those seven years sure as hell gave Finntroll some renewed vigor. They made Vredesvävd lean at less than 40 minutes, and in that time they certainly picked only the best melodies they've written in the meantime.

I can definitely see why this reminds people of Jakens Tid, since the fun, grooves and grimness seems to be calibrated closest to that album, and I feel a bit guilty of loving it so much despite not going in too many new territories, but it has the melodies, it has twist and turns and ebb and flow, it just sounds fantastic, in both senses of the word.

The cover art is quite disappointing, though.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written on 24.09.2020 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 9   Visited by: 168 users
24.09.2020 - 19:03
Rating: 9

Excellent review. Agreed on all points, especially where you mention how Finntroll has endured through the years and is still one of the best folk metal bands out there. I've been playing this one heavily since release and it still feels so fresh and endearing. They just have a knack for creating these catchy melodies that stick with you long after each listen. Can't wait for the next, even if it does take another 7 years.
24.09.2020 - 20:12
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I wont discuss how old, good, bad this or other bands is, well this is strongest albums from all bands you mentioned btw, but I totally disagree whit artwork, there are worst artwork in other genres IMO decent artwork desperados album was horribel in folk genre
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
24.09.2020 - 20:13
Crème fraiche

Thanks for not making me feel like an idiot for wanting to check out the new Finntroll album

Great review as always!
24.09.2020 - 21:13
I haven't listened to it yet but you sell it well and it's high in our top-20 so I guess it's time to try it.
24.09.2020 - 22:32
Rating: 6
Troy Killjoy
Always difficult for me to enjoy folk metal as it typically comes across feeling cheesy and awkward, whereas literally every other form of folk I can connect with.

Maybe this will be the album to change that. The hype is intriguing but I have a sense of upcoming disappointment like I had with Havukruunu.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
24.09.2020 - 23:10
Rating: 8
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.09.2020 at 22:32

Maybe this will be the album to change that. The hype is intriguing but I have a sense of upcoming disappointment like I had with Havukruunu.

Well thats your own damn problem
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
25.09.2020 - 00:47
Rating: 7

Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.09.2020 at 22:32

Always difficult for me to enjoy folk metal as it typically comes across feeling cheesy and awkward, whereas literally every other form of folk I can connect with.

Maybe this will be the album to change that. The hype is intriguing but I have a sense of upcoming disappointment like I had with Havukruunu.

I'll be honest, I didn't dislike this when I gave it a go but I found it fairly underwhelming (although I've tried 3 or 4 Finntroll albums now and not especially cared for any of them); Havukruunu was far more up my street than this, so if that didn't float your boat I'm not sure this will do it for you either. To be honest, the keyboards reminded me of late 90s/early 00s Nightwish quite a lot, which I guess is nice insomuch that Nightwish don't offer that any more, but other than that I didn't feel any inclination to give this a revisit
25.09.2020 - 10:39
Rating: 9

I have not listened to Finntroll since Nattfödd( which came out when i was 14 and it was the shit back then). But this just gives me a massive dose of nostalgia so i can't stop listening to it
29.09.2020 - 06:19
Rating: 8

It's definitely not as cheesy as other folk metal bands. The slightly blackened tinge makes it for an intriguing listen. Really fast paced also, that also grabbed my attention real quick.
Leeches everywhere.

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