Finntroll Blodsvept

Helsinki, Finland blackened folk metal project Finntroll return with a new instalment in their ever-expanding collection of tales about the Troll King, Rivfader, with their sixth studio album, Blodsvept. The record is characterized by their usual predisposition towards stomping rhythms and folk melodies. There's a greater reliance on keyboards and synths than previously, which when used successfully, adds a playful orchestral element. However, more often than not the keys are far too low in the mix (even during passages when they're the focus), which can cause a track to lose momentum or become too quiet. Blodsvept is at its best when it remains simple and aggressive, such as on the driving "När Jättar Maschera," whose throbbing riffs are an album highlight. The songwriting is varied, the energy consistently high and the vocals surprisingly brutal, in places. More swing- and Humppa-influenced than previous releases, Blodsvept gives fans plenty of reasons to fill up the drinking horn and dance a merry troll jig. (Century Media)