Tuesday, January 24, 2012

There Can Be Only One.

No, this is not a post about the movie 'Highlander'...I will save my snarky comments about hiring a French guy to play a Scotsman and then hiring a Scottish guy to play a Spaniard for some other venue.

Though you gotta admit, that IS pretty metal.

It's also not about Queen.

Recently Also, Wolves commenter 'Unthar' asked me (in this post) "Is there a 'must have' folk metal album you'd recommend?" I rattled off a list of a few standards (Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, et cetera, et cetera) but the question would not leave me alone.  It settled in my skull like a brain parasite.

Also metal but mostly just gross.

I've been thinking and thinking about it.  If it came down to it, and I could only recommend one single solitary album to represent and epitomize the varied and eclectic 'genre' of folk metal, what would it be? Does such an album actually exist?

The answer is yes.  Yes it does.  And this is that album.

Finntroll - "Nattfödd"

I make no secret of my homoerotic fanboy love of this band.  Hell, I'm not "Trollfiend" because I like baiting people in internet forums (okay, mostly not).  Heavy enough to be called black metal, goofy enough to be called polka metal, Finntroll is really in my mind what all good folk metal should aspire to be like.  I'm not saying that they are better or worse than bands like Moonsorrow or Korpiklaani.  It's just that to my mind this  is what I think of and (usually) mean when I say FOLK METAL.

Finntroll - "Eliytres"

Narrowing it down to a single album out of 5 full-lengths and 2 EPs was not as tricky as I thought it would be...I wasn't looking for necessarily their BEST album, but the album that I thought best epitomized their sound, since their spectrum runs for almost pure black metal to metalesque folk.  Nattfödd does that for me; the blend of humppa (Finnish polka) and thunderchunking metal is perfect and seamless on this album like no other.

Finntroll - "Vindfärd/Människopesten"

Now you might argue that people who aren't fond of black metal (I know there must be one or two) probably won't dig this album or band because it's just too...well...black.  Don't worry, Finntroll's got you covered.

Finntroll - "Grottans Barn"

And of course we can't really mention Finntroll and not talk about THAT SONG.

I don't really need to title this one, do I?

So there you have it; despite my assurances to Unthar that choosing a single 'must have' folk metal album is impossible, I've done it.

I bask in your awe.


groverXIII said...

No complaints here. This is probably my favorite Finntroll album, although the most recent one is surprisingly high on the list, and is probably my favorite folk metal album as well.

Trollfiend said...

Agreed...but Natfödd kind of has that "glory days" appeal going for it as well.

unthar said...

Since you've immortalized me I thought it only fair that I take your advice. I just bought and downloaded Nattfodd. Eliytres starts out so unassumingly polka-esque but quickly turns into an angry hurricane. I mean the vocalist really sounds angry!

Nattfodd will have to compete with Kartikeya and Litvintroll for Folk time on my iPod. A problem I don't mind having.

Trollfiend said...

That's awesome!

Unfortunately now that you're an Immortal, I have to cut off your head. Because there can be only one.

unthar said...

I thought Yoda said there were always two. Though he was not Scottish...

Trollfiend said...

Although if you put "och" before everything he says he could totally be Sean Connery.

And so we come full circle.

unthar said...

I've listened to Nattfödd four or five times now and I have to say I'm very impressed. I'm not all that familiar with the Folk sub-genre, but from reviews I've digested there appears to be a common problem of combining both metal and folk into a single entity. Well, I think Finntroll have captured this perfectly. There's a seemless blend of the instrumentation as well as the lightness of the folk with the heaviness of the underlying metal. I hear a good time airiness throughout yet the seriousness of extreme metal is ever-present.

My only complaint would be that I wish Det Iskalla Trollblod carried that solid driving first minute throughout the rest if the song. But then maybe it would not be folk.

So what to get next?

Trollfiend said...

Well, you can't go wrong with more Finntroll. Or Moonsorrow. Or, if you'd perhaps like to sample something a little more death-metal oriented, I can recommend 'Mulmets Viser' by Svartsot (Denmark) or 'Riv, Hugg och Bit' by Svartby (Russia).

Some samples:
'Lokkevisen' by Svartsot

'Humus' by Svartby

Hope you enjoy :)

unthar said...

I'm definitely looking for more Finntroll. Should I go for their 2010 release?


Trollfiend said...

Nifelvind? Absolutely. Though if you can get your hands on the "tour edition" re-issue I recommend that because it has some great cover tunes on it :)

Anonymous said...

Ramirez was Egyptian..with a Spanish name and a Scottish accent who trained a french guy with a Scottish last name who sounded American

Surgical Brute

Trollfiend said...

That makes a lot more sense, actually.

Anonymous said...

Dosnt it though

Surgical Brute

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