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An amazing concept album I can't understand - 90%

imcominforyou, May 17th, 2014

Norway’s TrollfesT are a weird bunch. They’ve created their own language for their albums. I don’t think much more needs to be said, but I’d be crucified for writing two sentences for a review. Their newest effort, Kaptein Kaos, is one of the most varied releases I’ve ever heard. Styles like black metal, folk, power metal, Latin pop, jazz, and progressive metal are all blended for an unholy mish-mash of a concept album regarding a time travelling inventor, which is about the extent of my understanding of the narrative. The diversity of this album really makes it a bit of a wild card, while also making it a must-hear album, if only for the comedic stylings.

As a more melodic album that their previous outings, you’re going to be hearing quite a bit more anthemic choruses and more folk influences, but it’s everything else that’s thrown in that really makes this album a treat. “Kinesisk Alkymi” is a melodic death metal song through and through, but the Eastern influences, à la Whispered, and its rather focused sound make it a very accessible entry point for first-time listeners, but it’s the only of its kind. The exciting aspect of this album runs deep in its myriad of sounds, regardless of its metal nature.

“Kaptein Kaos” and “Vulkan” almost give off a circus feel with their prominent utilization of saxophones and accordions, another trademark of the band’s sound. The party song of this album is most likely found in “Solskinnsmedisin” and its superb Latin infusion. I can’t help but feel that the distinction between TrollfesT and bands like Turisas and Korpiklaani is a few simple gallons of beer. The amount of musical experimentation on this album is staggering and very well executed in most cases, but unfortunately there are a few unfitting inclusions in which a quirky addition felt like it was only added for its quirkiness. Some of the folky inclusions in the latter half of the album don’t flow seamlessly with the rest of the music, and they only serve to detract from the songs. Luckily, however, most of TrollfesT’s gimmicky failures are rather short and only appear briefly as bridges in the songs.

This really is an amazing album in terms of what has been accomplished and with what competency is has been pulled off. TrollfesT really have a folk metal gem on their hands, along with what I hope is an engaging storyline to boot. Kaptein Kaos will undeniably feature something for every metalhead archetype, and the whimsical sounds of everything here will only enhance your appreciation for what these trolls have conjured up for us. I don’t speak Trollspråk fluently, but I’ll give this my best shot…

Jævla kjempebra!

Written for The Metal Observer...See More