Finntroll

Kvaen – The Great Below Review

Kvaen – The Great Below Review

“What’s there left to say about Kvaen beyond five little words, four of which are “fire?” Back in early 2020, Jakob Björnfot came out of seeming nowhere with a fully formed meloblack/speed metal aesthetic and a keen songwriting ear to deliver one of the the most vital sounding throwback records of the year. The Funeral Pyre had something going for it that a lot of good, even great records don’t. Beyond technical musicianship—which Björnfot most certainly has—beyond reverence for a genre’s history, that record was fun. As. Hell. It didn’t matter that no new ground was being broken, it only mattered that Björnfot was driving it like it was stolen.” Hell Alone 2: Electric Burning You.

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

“What should be said of the workhorses? The acts that caught your ear once and never let go? Not the kings of the mountain, no, but perennially at least at base camp. Like your dad used to say, the world needs 2.75-rated records too. Svartsot surmounted the folk metal summit but once with their 2007 debut Ravnenes Saga; their three shots at the top since have fallen well shy of that peak. Still, their thick-axed folkery scratches a certain itch, and given the Danes’ obligation to their sound, there’s little chance their fifth album, Kumbl, will be a disaster. There’s also little chance it’ll be a hit.” Ready to Kumbl.

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

“Sometimes, the cover of an album is meaningless, you know, just a cliched picture of a skull or zombie or something to adorn the record sleeve. Sometimes, however, the artwork can tell you a lot, both about what to expect from a record and about the band behind it, which presumably signed off—or in a few cases even designed—the artwork in question. In the case of Tacoma, Washington’s Siren’s Rain and their self-released debut album, Rise Forth, the artwork triggered an all too familiar sinking feeling.” Graphic displays.

Verikalpa – Tuoppitanssi [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Verikalpa – Tuoppitanssi [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Verikalpa at its core is akin to a blend of melodic death and black metal. Laden with keys that sound like accordions and a logo that looks straight off of Ensiferum’s merch table, Tuoppitanssi could have fallen with ease into the ‘been done before’ bin without much effort from the listener.” And yet, I’m reviewing it 10 months late.

Finntroll – Vredesvävd Review

Finntroll – Vredesvävd Review

Finntroll‘s role in the development of modern folk metal cannot be understated. Re-visiting classics like Jakens tid and Nattfödd often leads me to wonder how these guys managed to rip off my favorite folk albums before they were written. The unabashed and upfront nature of their folk qualities changed the game. That said, it’s amazing that Finntroll are still relevant. 21 years into the game, the newer blood in the genre reasonably should have surpassed them by now.” Troll down memory lane.

Old Corpse Road – On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of Our Lore Review

Old Corpse Road – On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of Our Lore Review

“”I’m gonna take my hearse down the Old Corpse Road, I’m gonna… hooooowl ’til I can’t no more.” I’m running out of decent black metal introductions. Like, how many dead horses do I have to beat in order to get across that, gee whizz, ye fuckwads, it’s another black metal album. I guess I could go into how these Brits are somewhere in concept between Winterfylleth and Primordial, but I don’t know, that sounds as fresh as quarantine-old crackers on top of that soup that’s been “aging like a fine wine” at the back of my fridge.” Corpse in the water.