Finntroll is a Finnish Folk Metal
band. Their music can most concisely be described as blackened death polka
but they often branch out to include elements of music of the classical, punk, carnival, ambient, acoustic, and bluegrass varieties. The band's lyrical themes are generally based around trolls
living in the forest
, eating people
, hanging out with wolves
, and partying around ancient mushrooms
Originally started by founding members Katla and Somnium as a joke at a drunken party, Finntroll became a full-fledged band with connections to many prominent bands in the Finnish metal scene. They've released a demo, six albums, and two EP's since forming in 1998.
- Mathias "Vreth" Lillmåns - vocals (2006-present)
- Samuli "Skrymer" Ponsimaa - guitar (1998-present)
- Mikael "Routa" Karlbom - guitar (2003-present)
- Sami "Tundra" Uusitalo - bass (1998-present)
- Samu "Beast Dominator" Ruotsalainen - drums (1998-present)
- Henri "Trollhorn" Sorvali - keyboards (1998-present) (see also Moonsorrow)
- Aleksi "Virta" Virta - live keyboards (2005-present)
- Jan "Katla" Jämsen - lyrics (1997-2002 / 2006-present)
- Katla - vocals (1997-2002)
- Teemu "Somnium" Raimoranta - guitar (1997-2003) (R.I.P.)
- Tapio Wilska - vocals (2002-2006)
- "Rivfader" (1998) - demo
- Midnattens widunder (1999)
- Jaktens tid (2001)
- Visor Om Slutet (2003) - EP
- Trollhammaren (2004) - EP
- Nattfödd (2004)
- Ur Jordens Djup (2007)
- Nifelvind (2010)
- Blodsvept (2013)
Tropes demonstrated by Finntroll
- All Trolls Are Different: These trolls are based on those most common in Scandinavian folklore: huge, fat, hairy, big-nosed creatures with pointy ears and magic powers. Skrymer, one of the guitarists, draws much of their album art, which has a clear John Bauer influence in his troll design. Sometimes they have antlers.
- Concept Album: All of them, possibly. Midnattens Widunder and Ur Jordens Djup definitely qualify.
- Concept Video: The band has four videos, with varying degrees of narrative:
- The video for "Nedgang" tells a vague story about a virgin being sacrificed. She reappears in the "Solsagan" video, but the video is mostly the band rolling around screaming in the dirt.
- The video for "Trollhammaren" crosses this with Performance Video: the band, dressed in fur and burlap and playing handmade instruments, is jamming at a wild (subterranean?) pub full of gruff-looking characters, some of whom are midgets. Very trollish, but not much to do with the lyrics.
- Finally, the video for "Under Bergets Rot" is completely animated, and tells the following story: An Author Avatar of Vreth (apparently) walks into a bar filled with various monsters and singing zombie-plants (not to mention a cartoon version of the band playing), and gets turned into a troll, which somehow makes him irresistible to women. Or whatever those things wearing skirts are supposed to be...
- Darker and Edgier: Ever since Ur Jordens Djup, their music has become a lot more serious.
- Drop the Hammer: The theme of their song "Trollhammaren". No translation necessary.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Finntroll is, well, a Finnish band singing about, uhm, trolls.
- Grim Up North: The trolls in the songs are coming down from the northern forests and mountains of Scandinavia to harass the people living in the southern regions.
- Heavy Mithril: Along with the obvious fantasy/folklore theme, Finntroll has some very epic, magical moments. Most surprisingly on their (so-called) acoustic album which includes a few tracks that are largely symphonic.
- Not that surprising. Henri 'Trollhorn' Sorvali, their primary composer apparently has some classical training and is heavily influenced by film score music, mainly Danny Elfman. It is even more audible in his other band Moonsorrow's sound.
- Knife-Throwing Act: The circus ringmaster character in the music video for Under Bergets Rot does this at one point.
- Mr. Fanservice: Have you seen Vreth? Not that the other members, like Skrymer and the late Somnium are/were that bad, either.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Rivfader, the king of trolls in their songs, translates from Swedish as "Rip-Father".
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Finntroll are not afraid to add whatever occurs to them to their music. Their most recent release includes spooky theramin, Peter Gabriel-esque percussion, and a banjo-led ballad along with their usual accordions, kazoos, Misfits-style backup vocals, and occasional Wagnerian grandeur.
- Those Two Guys: The band has three songs relating to the hapless priests Aamund and Kjettl, who manage to get accosted by trolls repeatedly, to humorous effect.
- Villain Song: Arguably most of their catalog, which is about how much fun it is to be a troll, smash things, eat people, burn villages, etc.
- Widget Band: A Finnish "Humppa Folk Metal" band that sings in Swedish about trolls and the mayhem caused by said trolls. Yep, they qualify.