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A Very Good Start - 78%

simonitro, December 20th, 2010

From Australia, we hail a brand new Folk Metal band by the name of Troldhaugen. This EP does have all the writing of testing the waters in it and it seems it did a good job in doing so. It does show the potential this band has and what they could bring to the tables. At the end of the day, it is quite an enjoyable little piece of work.

To go over the band, there are 6 members and as you can tell from their profile. Everyone of them have the elements that could bring the Folk Metal feel to the entire thing. There are different types of vocals which are extreme for the most part, there are clean vocals which feature on "There I Would Like to Rest Forever" and there are just spoken stuff in some songs. It's a nice touch to have variety to give a nice experience. The guitars also varied with different member. You’ve got your typical distorted guitar
which answers the music pretty well, and there are no down-tuning going on. However, since this Folk Metal, you don’t get too many fancy riffs because other instruments are contributing what they’re supposed to do and by blending in the music. Acoustic guitar is present here like any other Folk Metal band. The bass is still there but it seems that it’s pushed back in the mixing. The drumming is simple but it does its work with the music which is typical in Folk Metal which it does its job. Covering the Metal elements, the Folky stuff are there with nice attention for example you have the Jew’s Harp which sounds great in beginning of the “Chains of Fenris”. There are some fiddles playing with the “boing-boings” and other instruments to bring out what the music is about.

While the music isn’t pretty much original, it is still fun to listen. By listening, you can tell that the band has inspirations from different bands like the beginning of the first song and in the opener of “The Order of Trollveggen” sounds similar of Cruachan’s “Bloody Sunday” opener. The song is great with some Irish feel to it. It does sound somewhat “pirate-y”. You’ve got the background elements and the first contribution of vocals start with some spoken to give a narrative idea of what the lyrics might would be. If you might’ve guessed it, the lyrics are about trolls, drinking, Folk creatures etc… The Finntroll influence is found pretty much all over place. The mood does change from different songs like there are happy moments in “Sjotrollet Arise” and dark moments in “Chains of Fenris”. Speaking of “Chains of Fenris”, the song feels different than the entire thing but that doesn’t mean it deteriorates anything. It’s the darkest song here but not too dark like a Black Metal feel but it is still a moody song which closes the EP in a good way which makes this song sound completely different than the rest. However, there are 2 other dark songs but it does feel it’s Troldhaugen. “The Final Curtain” sounds bouncy and fun. During the song and for some reason, it does remind me of the song “Dwarf Forest” level song from the Tomba! video game. Imagine if there’s a puzzle video game song about dwarves and elves wanted to sound more “Metal”. My favorite song here is “There I Would Like to Rest Forever” because of the interesting musical writing and the cool clean vocal chorus that makes this song awesome. The song relies on atmosphere and the instruments aren’t technical but it does sound great and whatever story they’re trying to tell seems to end here and the last two tracks feel something else.

If you’re a fan of Folk Metal bands like Finntroll, Cruachan, Aktarum, etc… you will find this pretty entertaining and it is worth checking out. One of the coolest thing here is that all songs are memorable and once I popped it in, I instantly fell in love. The EP is short yet you get enough information about the music. The band has potential and they’re set on releasing their first album pretty soon and telling from this release, I’m still going to check it out. Nevertheless, these guys do have talent and this is one band I’m going to support.