Finntroll - Nattfödd
Spinefarm Records
Folk Metal
10 songs (36:41)
Release year: 2004
Finntroll, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Jay
Album of the month

Finntroll have had an interesting and sorrowful year. The death of one of their founding members, guitarist Teemu “Somnium” Raimoranta, came as quite shock. While initially called an accident, recent interviews and comments have suggested that he may have actually killed himself. Regardless, the band felt it would be an insult to him to break up and kept going. Moving back towards the music of their earlier albums and disregarding the atmospheric folk of their last release, Nattfödd is quite possibly the best release of their short discography. It brings the band full circle in terms of musicianship, production and eccentricities.

Their influences are vast and varied. On one hand many of their epic marches can be derived from classic power metal. Their crazy and frenzied keyboard work could be from fantasy metal like Bal-Sagoth. The rest of the music is derived from Finnish folk music, hardcore punk and even Klezmer music. Instruments like accordions, flutes, clarinets, honky-tonk pianos, and herty gerties give the music a polka feel on many occasions. All of these instruments blend seamlessly together and carry you off to their land of forests, evil spirits and of course, trolls. Like fellow countrymen Moonsorrow, Finntroll has perfected a quite unique sound that is so eclectic and refreshing it is warming and enlightening to the ear. Unlike other bands from Suomi, they choose to growl in Swedish. Not understanding the lyrics is the least of your worries once the infectious harmonies and lines hit you.

The production on this disc is wonderful. Each instrument can be heard distinctly and this is quite important when upwards of 10 instruments are heard at once on certain songs. Finntroll also plays around with choruses and sound effects. A good example is the song “Marknadsvisan,” which is only around 30 seconds of actual music with a good 90 second introduction consisting of strange effects which one can only assume to be trolls and men doing battle. Choruses of many men chanting and singing as they would in a beer hall are one of the hallmarks of this album as well. While they many not be singing per se, the frantic vocalization of the melody does add an attractive and beguiling element to their musical presentation. While they can be upbeat and about as cheery as this style of metal can get, serious pieces like “Grottans Barn” showoff their songwriting and arranging skills with a slower, atmospheric rocker. This track has cleaner vocals than the rest that suit it well.

My personal favorites on this album are “Eliytres” and “Fiskarens Fiende.” The former has a clarinet, accordion and piano introduction that reminds of Klezmer music. Once the song kicks into high gear, the up and down notation and riffing spectacularly complement the use of accordion and keyboards. Finntroll can be called many things but boring certainly isn’t one of them. They maintain plenty of variation and originality with each passing phrase and section. One just cannot expect what exceptional idea will be thrown the way of the listener with each passing second. “Fiskarens Fiende” is again a slower track but makes use of the chorus to the epitome of perfection for their blend of metal in the chorus. It makes you just want to go out drinking with your buddies to have the same amount of fun these guys were clearly having when they recorded this album.

The single and EP that sounded the release of this album is “Trollhammaren.” Another fast song with a great dose of accordion, the gang vocals over the chorus again lend support to the folk influences brought to their logical conclusion in metal. The title track offers more of the same with a slightly more epic feel. You just have got to love the Finns and their use of drunken choirs. It makes me want to hop on a plane to visit Aleksie. This is Finntroll’s master work as of this moment in time and any fan of folk metal must get on board for this one.

Killing Songs :
Eliytres, Fiskarens Fiende, Trollhammaren, Nattfödd
Jay quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Finntroll that we have reviewed:
Finntroll - Blodsvept reviewed by Metalette and quoted 88 / 100
Finntroll - Nifelvind reviewed by Tyler and quoted 87 / 100
Finntroll - Ur Jordens Djup reviewed by Alex and quoted 83 / 100
Finntroll - Visor Om Slutet reviewed by Jack and quoted 60 / 100
Finntroll - Jaktens Tid reviewed by Marc and quoted 89 / 100
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