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Finntroll is one of the most characteristic bands in the whole metal world. They are, in a way, pioneers of this trend in folk metal, which is really genre-wide; their purely trollish, lively music is one of a kind even if there are many bands that are apparently inspired by Finntroll. As I am big fan of 'Trolls, you can easily predict my reaction when I saw information on their Facebook about a new album recording and my face when I was reading all those extremely random studio diaries.
But on the other hand, I always had that small problem with Finntroll. Each album has usually three or four songs that I like very, very much, while other ones are not that good. I was full of hope that the new album called "Blodsvept" would break that bad streak. Unfortunately, after almost a week of torturing my neighbors with Finntroll, I can only say that "Blodsvept" is a really, really solid album, but...is still in this streak, which I mentioned before. Nevertheless, as on their typical album, there are really good songs which make this album really good and raises the rating to 9/10.
First of all, I'm a bit disappointed by no intro track. Songs like "Gryning" from "Ur Jordens Djup" or "Blodmarsch" from the last album are classic openers that prepare the listener for a crazy journey to Finntroll's world. On "Blodsvept", there is only a troll scream at the beginning of the title track and nothing more. Of course, it's not that important, though I got used to their epic intro tracks.
The first song that we had the opportunity to listen to was the title track, "Blodsvept". It's the first single (but released as an EP) released before the release of whole album. To be honest, it wasn't a good choice. In my opinion, it's the worst one on this album along with "När Jättar Marschera", which was also included as a B-side on the aforementioned EP. Both of them sound a bit generic; it's just a typical folk metal song which gives me no emotion except maybe the heavy beginning on both of them, which is good. The same thing is with "Mordminnen", which also has some good moments, but as a whole is just boring.
Between these first four rather poor songs, there is small silver lining called "Ett Folk Förbannat". When I saw the teaser of the album on YouTube I was quite amazed by this song. It's a much better one than the aforementioned three tracks, but the middle part of it is again quite boring! However, the beginning and strong ending makes it quite good, but nothing more.
After the first four not so good songs we have something really strong in "Rösets Kung". These trollish choirs! That sick fragment of a drunken (or feasting on Christians' corpses) troll! That brass section! These extremely good guitars (important thing: Skrymer and Routa do an amazing job, but I'm not sure if it is the best since the very beginning)! This song is just amazing. It's three minutes of condensed fun, folk, alcohol, and I don't know what else. Definitely the second best song from this album.
The next one, "Skövlarens Död", is, along with "Midvinterdraken", the darkest atmospheric and heavy song with - surprise - a really good solo. To be honest, I don't remember any Finntroll song that contained that hard and fast a guitar solo. A strong point, but not my taste, actually. But then...
...then we have definitely the best one and, in my opinion, one of the best songs Trollhorn have ever written. "Skogsdotter" ("Forest's Daughter" - yeah, the translation was easy even for me) is the strongest point of this album. The folk melody at the beginning is fantastic, extraordinary, and just perfect. And it contains...banjo. Yes, banjo. Actually, shredding on banjo and on guitar simultaneously. This song is totally amazing and I have no idea what more to say about it. Just listen to it. The whole album is worth buying only because of this song.
Another strong one is "Två Ormar". It's a bit similar to "Under Bergets Rot" from "Nifelvind", probably because of the similar sound of keyboards. Anyway, both of them smell like a lunatic circus and my imagination shows me scenes where trolls are watching humans as circus attractions or something like that. A really good one that smoothly transforms into "Fanskapsfylld". A nice one that's fun to listen to it (again, many banjo parts), but that's nothing special. Just another solid song just like"Häxbryd", which is between "Två Ormar" and "Skogsdotter".
Last song "Midvinterdraken" is very atmospheric and dark and reminds me in some way of "Dråp" from "Nifelvind", but to be honest, I don't know why. Anyway, it's a bit of a different track compared to the whole of "Blodsvept"'s style, more like "Nifelvind" ones, but after all those really fast and melodic tracks it is in a way a very refreshing song. A very good one with a strong impact at the end of the album.
"Blodsvept" as a whole and in comparison to earlier ones is more folk, cleaner, and a bit of a different album. There is definitely less of black metal's influences except fantastic Vreth's vocals, which are getting better and better. Maybe composing more funny and more folk songs is the way of relax for Trollhorn (Moonsorrow's latest albums are rather black metal ones and not folk, which is not good information for me), but I don't know. But I have to say that I really enjoyed this album even if I expected something more (still in this bad streak!). Songs like "Skogsdotter", "Rösets Kung", and "Två Ormar" made it a really good one, but I also must admit that the whole album has really grown on me and I think is growing constantly. The more you listen to it, the more you like it. Should be enjoyable for all more folk-oriented Finntroll fans and not only these folk metal listeners who didn't liked Finntroll's noticeable blackish influences should also enjoy it.
Highlights: "Skogsdotter" (the best one!), "Rösets Kung" (second best one!), "Två Ormar", "Midvinterdraken".