Album Review: Finntroll – Vredesvävd

It’s hunting time again! After seven long years since their last LP, folk-metal’s hard-partying trolls are back! I’ve been particularly excited about this album. Way back in 2013 I wrote my first ever article for Moshville Times reviewing Finntroll’s gig in Glasgow on the Blodsvept over Europe tour. I was new to the band then but ever since I’ve become a massive fan, with my favourite tracks from albums past becoming regular listening. As soon as the news hit that the midnight creatures were releasing their new album, Vredesvävd, I’ve been super hyped to hear it. Lets get into it!

Before giving Vredesvävd a spin, the album is presented with another striking piece of cover art by guitarist Skrymer in his cool signature style. Intro “Väktaren” sets the tone. There’s a sense of building tension with the stomping march and swelling instrumentation. Keyboardist Trollhorn creates an epic piece which sounds like it could be the opening to a fantasy film or videogame. Segueing straight into first number “Att Döda Med en Sten”, Finntroll straight away give us a killer hook on piano. The opening tune and its follow-up, first single “Ormfolk” bring the epic vibes that make for an awesome start to the album. The folk melodies on keys and guitars are incredibly catchy and blend well with the atmospheric synths, bouncing humppa and blasting black metal. So far it’s the classic Finntroll we know and love but with a more refined sound. 

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Beginning with the first little segment of pure folk, “Gränars Väg” brings the band’s trademark cheer with its overall major tonality and punky guitars. Marking the halfway point of Vredesvävd is second single, and awesome animated video-spawner, “Forsen”. The song is the most downtempo tune on the album bringing a slow-burn swinging melodic black metal feel making for a breather from its high-energy predecessors. Finntroll bring their lush acoustic style in the intro to follow-up “Vid Häxans Härd”. The riff then kicks in with the heavy guitars featuring another signature with band’s stomping humppa style. The epic feel continues in the second half of the song with more atmospheric blasting black metal interplayed with a triumphant galloping riff before launching into the upbeat headbanging heavy folk-punk of “Myren”. 

Nearing the end of Vredesvävd is “Stjärnors Mjöd”. The main riff is another earworm in a driving classic metal/punk style backed up with more atmospheric keys. The latter half of the song brings a victorious feel with the bold synth brass stabs backed up by the epic-sounding choir sounds. Penultimate tune (and also third single/video) “Mask” makes for a final headbanging blast of humppa-infused blackened thrash with a another hooky folk melody that’ll stay in said head for days. Final song “Ylaren” returns to the slow-burning darkness building with melancholic folk sounds to the blasting ending section, interspersed with a final melodic riff on the strings. The album ends with a final orchestrated outro by Trollhorn, the bouncy pizzicato strings and building choral backing making for a cool final earworm riff.

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Finntroll have released another great album with Vredesvävd. The band have delivered a concise blend of their black metal and humppa-folk sounds, dialling back some of their more camp moments in favour of upping the atmospherics. There is a good blend between the minor sounding riffs and the cheery party vibes Finntroll are known for, yet every track on Vredesvävd retains a dark and epic feel. New drummer Morko makes an awesome debut performance alongside the rest of the band, keeping them tight with his thrashing rhythms and blasting beats. The production on the whole sounds more refined, but still cold and familiar Finntroll. Vredesvävd has some of the band’s best songs from their 23 years of trolling and is sure to become a fan favourite. 

Vredesvävd is available now via Century Media.

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