Finntroll Nifelvind

Finntroll Nifelvind
Big and lively, Finntroll's newest folk metal extravaganza should come as no great surprise. The range of instrumentation and the symphonic arrangements that bring it all together give Nifelvind a touch of that larger-than-life quality. The folk/death/black metal fusion at the core of Finntroll's sound is embedded in a broader matrix of traditional, orchestral and synthetic sounds, giving the production a theatrical cheesiness that current band photos (pointed ears and all) emphasize all the more. At times, the new record sounds like an eviler version of Eurovision winners Lordi. The fast-paced momentum slows down now and then for a more laidback jig, an ominous dirge or a folky ballad, and the melodies and harmonies vary along similar lines, from dark to boisterous, a little Eastern flavour or a bit of oompa. It's all a little schizophrenic, but Finntroll slide remarkably smoothly between the different speeds and moods, splicing it into a consistent onslaught of Swedish language growls. Nifelvind holds together well, and though it's hard to take the record seriously, with Finntroll, serious rarely seems like the right approach. (Century Media)