on 2 April 2013
After about a year away from metal with growly vocals, it was finally my beloved Finntroll which dragged me back into their hellish carnival of musical exccentricity. And I've never been happier
While some bands seem to pitter out after a few albums, Finntroll are far from running on fumes as the new baby is packed to its filthy guts with the infectious energy and off the wall madness the lads have showwn us since day one. As a long time fan of the band, Blodsvept strikes me as the kind of beautifully woven album that not only shows just how far Finntroll have come as masters of their craft, but should also please fans both old and new. Blodsvept stands atop the bands discography and possibly that of the folk metal genre by its seemingly effortless combination of the best parts of Jarktens Tid, Ur jordens djup and Nifelvind. The token folk melodies and bouncy madness of the bands formative years can be found, especially vibrant on the likes of Ett Folk Forbannat, the stunning Skogsdotter and the title tack. At the same time, the oppression and claustrophobic black metal crush of Ur Jordens Djup rears its ugly head on När Jättar Marschera, Skövlarens Död and Midvinterdraken to name a few, while the musical eccentricity that characterised Nifelvind runs the album throughout, manifesting itself in surreal yet fitting injections of jazz, rag time, big band, swing, banjos and brass trumpets. And, much like Nifelvind, the band once again meld and blend with sememless precision their complex and often bewildeing musical influnces. As such, fans of any of the bands albums should feel welcome and at home Blodsvept, yet also find a few new things stick their teeth into, such as the Middle Eastern sounding break on Haxbrygd.
Its worth mentioning a few opther things about Blodsvept. For one, the song writing and song structures are a more simple this time around, more so then Nifelvind, and, to my surprise, it actually serves the band really well. The songs are some of the most immediate, cachy and memorable since Nattfodd, and brings back the party atmosphere of earlier releases to a certain extent. Yet, at the same time, their wild-eyed diversity and fearlessness in throwing in bizzare musical ideas keeps the album from being simple or boring. At the same time, Blodsvept also boasts busier guitar work then the band usually put foward, with more guitar leads then I can remember being on the last album. It's good to see them utilizing both guitarists. Finally, its wonderful to hear Vreth really come into his own. He shows more diversity as a vocalist this time round, often changing pitch from a crusty growl to a piercing scream, and the overall earthy quality of his throatwork fits the downright drity vibe of the band to a T. It might have been nice if the band had thrown in the odd melodic vocal, something in the vain of Korpens Saga, but oh well. Maybe next time eh lads?
There's not else to say. Finntroll are still here, still miles ahead of most folk metal bands and still making excellent albums. Like walking a tight rope between insanity and genious, Finntroll have again created something that seems light-hearted and not to be taken to seriously, but also has a great deal of substance to delve into. Blodsvept is a true triumph in creating eccentrically extreme music that is energetic and down-right fun, yet at the same time diverse, engaging, heavy and smeared in musical depth. There are very few bands if any that can pull off this type of sound, and while the majority of folk metal bands plod around with rehashes of decade old ideas, Finntroll are bravely forging their own path of music without boarders or preconceived notions of how metal should be done. Fans of the band will love this, and anyone looking for something heavy and 'a little bit different' can hopefully find something to love in Blodsvept. If it was enough to break my year long sabatical from extreme music, it might just be enough to bring a smile to your face.