For the most part, Finntroll are known for incorporating 'humpa', a sort of Finnish polka, into their black/folk/viking metal attack, and as such have been often been viewed as a bit of a joke for their often hilarious combination of brutality and happy-go-lucky melodies. Yet, for the most part, Nattfodd is something very, very sinister as the humpa parts are crushed by epic choirs, evil black metal riffing and ethereal nordic melodies which make this album a complete tour de force in Viking metal.
For sure there is still a fair amount of happy-go-lucky action going on, such as the great sing-a-long of Trollhammeren and the drunken pirate chants on Fiskarens Fiende. The beginning and end to Elytres in particular is so silly i almost wet myself laughing. But listening to the track in its entirety reveals a much darker beast then one might have first thought, with double bass and black metal style tremelo guitars on the verse and the kind of medieval granduer in the chorus that could easily have fit on a Lord of the Rings film. Like wise, the excellent title track begins with some spine-chilling mid-paced Viking metal when all of a sudden everything breaks down into clean guitars and folk melodies before the epic choirs and electric guitars reveal the kind of pomp and bombast one would not expect from such a 'silly' band.
Clearly, while Finntroll obviously have a sense of humour and a lot of fun on NattFodd, it seems there were out to prove that undoubedly they are also serious and skilled musicians and songwriters. In particiular Trollhorn's keyboard playing is utterly sublime as it runs the entire gamut between the aforemention humpa, juanty folk melodies, epic orchestral sounds and creepy background textures. This guy is definitly the jewel in Finntrolls ugly crown. I also really enjoyed Wiska's vocals, who's roars and gargled screams sound as if they've been exhumed straight from the depths of hell but also does a good job of the drunken-style chants and some semi-clean vocals on Grotans barn. Shame he only stayed for one album. All the way through the album these Finnish nutters manage to inject a lot of variety and original ideas into their genre straddling music while still keeping their sound as a coherent whole with all the elements fitting together well. They've really came on leaps and bounds from Jarkens Tid, showing a much more epic slice of Viking metal while still staying true to their bouncy folk metal roots (but thankfully with no stupid yodeling this time)
While many still see Fintroll as a bit of a laugh, with Nattfodd they realy proved tat they are a world class band and take their rightfull spot at the top of the Viking metal genre with the likes of Manegarm, Ensiferum or Einherjer. If your only going to buy one Finntroll album, make sure it's Nattfodd. Highly recommended for fans of folk/viking metal or anyone who's openminded and looking to try something a bit different.