Finntroll - Blodsvept
Century Media
Folk Metal / Black Metal
11 songs (42:58)
Release year: 2013
Finntroll, Century Media
Reviewed by Metalette

This album is extremely campy. If anyone else put it out, it’d be hard to take seriously. But somehow the Finntroll guys have mastered the art of wearing prosthetic troll ears onstage, incorporating extreme moments of goofiness into their music, and still managing to be a widely popular and well-respected metal band. They’re just pro like that. Now, I think being a fan of Finntroll may come in levels. Some enjoy the band, but have a line that they’re not willing to cross, while there are other fans who dance naked in the forest to every song they put out; even the weirdest ones. Such songs on this album might include Rösets Kung which to me is great fun up until they introduce a drunken, piratey acoustic bit with boinging noises and weird vocals. That’s a bit hard to stomach for me, but I’m sure die-hards will dig it – and anyway, the rest of the song rocks. Whatever category of fan you fall under though, or if you’ve never even listened to Finntroll before, you’re easily going to like at least 75% of this album. Unless you’re a complete scrooge or don’t like the sound of people playing instruments.

The album is full of unusual instruments and includes a brass section that lends a light-hearted, big-band feel to a lot of the tracks. At first it’s possibly surprising, maybe even slightly discouraging, but by god if it doesn’t result in a whopping amount of fun. Even in a more evil song like Skövlarens Död, the backing brass instruments add a tinge of the trollish, tongue-in-cheek nature that you expect from Finntroll.

But speaking of evil songs, there is a touch of black metal that finds its way into many of the tracks, or at least parts of them – like Midvinterdraken for example. It takes a step away from the usual upbeat quality of folksier metal and steps into darkness, making this album that much more dynamic. It becomes impossible to label it as strictly good-time folk metal (not that that’d be a bad thing), so it’s bound to appeal to those who need their metal to be “Satan-approved” before they’ll go anywhere near it . Also, the blacker elements go quite nicely with the vocals of Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns. And now that I mention the vocals, I want to mention that they are awesome. They’re rough, raw, and there are plenty of howls and “euagghs” to go around. Besides being sufficiently brutal, the vocals manage to ground the entire album, keeping it on a metal course when it otherwise might go too far astray. Lillmån’s vocals are consistently great throughout the whole darn thing. And they don’t just sound fitting with the black metal bits of course, but also with the more prevalent folk metal sound.

My favorite tracks are Ett Folk Förbannat, När Jättar Marschera, and Mordminnen, which are coincidentally all in a row, and also Skogsdotter. They’re all ridiculously groovy songs and are guaranteed fun (unless you’re one of those scrooge people I mentioned earlier). När Jättar Marschera has a wonderfully funky beat in the verse, the chorus of Mordminnen may cause you to strut around and bob your head, and Ett Folk Förbannat will make you raise your clenched fist with a smile. As far as Skogsdotter goes, you just have to listen to it and see for yourself. Though I can tell you that it is most triumphant.

The track that gets a lot of attention is Häxbyrgd, because the band released a music video for it. But if you’re going to try this album, don’t make that the only song you sample; it’s actually not one of the strongest songs and there’s so much more going on in this album that deserves a listen. Though sometimes it gets a little weird. But it's Finntroll; accept it.

Killing Songs :
Ett Folk Förbannat, När Jättar Marschera, Mordminnen, Skogsdotter
Metalette quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Finntroll that we have reviewed:
Finntroll - Nifelvind reviewed by Tyler and quoted 87 / 100
Finntroll - Ur Jordens Djup reviewed by Alex and quoted 83 / 100
Finntroll - Nattfödd reviewed by Jay and quoted 93 / 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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