ALBUM REVIEW: Finntroll – Vredesvävd

Release Date: September 18th 2020
Label: Century Media Records


Incorporating a classical music genre into your guise can present itself with unique blends and new avenues to explore, but creativity is fraught with danger. We shall see how Finntroll fair these treacherous seas in ‘Vredesvävd’.

For a moment you get confused with opener ‘Vaktaren’, as for a brief few seconds you start hearing an Imperial March of Stormtroopers coming over the horizon. Luckily, the Nordic horns and war chants provide a different candour, but the structure does closely resemble its Sci-fi counterpart right down to the ebbs, flows, and choirs.

Quickly dispatched in a thud of kick drums and off-kilter strings, ‘Att Doda Med En Sten’ provides an ominous juncture for these two sequences to collide as power metal is blended with croaking screams from Matthias Lillmans, who commands a stable and constant presence.

Replacing the local metal venue with ye’ olde tavern, ‘Grenars Vag’ opens with folk acoustic instruments that could make for a creative break and build of instrumentation. Instead, the instant feedback of guitars and smashing cymbals let you know that we’re about to he hurtled back to modern power metal which spoils the intuitive break.

This is similarly followed in ‘Vid Haxans Hard’, where an acoustic introduction is destroyed by another dose of average power metal that even with magical synths surrounding it is monotone. Here it becomes clear that Lillman‘s expressiveness is limited and lack-lustre at best.

The rest of the tracks even lack variation of atmosphere as we’re pounded by one train of operatic power metal after another to the point where you wonder if it’s ever going to be over.
The formulaic pattern of folk introductions, power metal riffs, and monotone utterances become a bug bear that lacks any emotion or variety that they all start to blend into each other.

There’s a lot that could be done with the instrumentation that Finntroll have at hand, but it all dissolves into a straight-forward head plunge of uninspirational power metal and monotone vocals that retain a stubborn and inexpressive path.