Last year I discovered Tanzwut, and wrote about them a few times.Â Not only did I enjoy the music, but I found the whole concept interesting and amusing – medieval folk metal with massed bagpipes: what’s not to like?Â Anyone who was tempted to investigate and liked what they heard might also be interested in Finntroll, whose 6th album, Nifelvind, was released last week.Finntroll are another so-called folk metal band, and the description of them on Wikipedia sounds too good to be true: they combine black metal, death metal, folk metal and Finnish Humppa music.Â Although they are all Finns they sing in Swedish.Â Early members were the guitarist from Impaled Nazarene, drummer from Shape of Despair, and keyboard player from Moonsorrow.Â They got together to make the album Monstrosities of Midnight on the Spinefarm label.Â As if that was not beyond parody enough, the drummer’s nickname is “Beast Dominator”.
It gets even better.Â The credits for their 2007 album Ur jordens djup (From the depths of the Earth) list the musicians and then additional personnel:
- Antti “Perish” ErÃ¤kangas â€“ guitar solo on “Maktens Spira”
- Petri Eskelinen â€“ shouting
Brilliant.Â A previous album’s credits included additional personnel who contributed banjo and ‘Latin mumblings’.
Despite all that, the music is actually quite jolly.Â It might sound like I am taking the piss, but it is in an affectionate way – Finntroll have been added to several of my Spotify playlists so they don’t fall off my radar.Â I’m sure lots of more mainstream music can be made to sound equally ludicrous when written down.
I think folk metal might be worth looking into a bit more.Â Wikipedia lists 77 folk metal groups and that doesn’t even include Corvus Corax.Â They all seem to be either German or Scandinavian, even the English/American sounding Subway to Sally who, like Tanzwut, also bring bagpipes into the mix, though on a much smaller scale.
You do have to be in the right frame of mind for it though…