FinntrollFinnish, yep, long hair, yep, elfin looking folk, yep…. So ladies and gents, this is Finntroll. One of Finland’s finest exports. Yet mixing it up and singing in Swedish! What? Yes. The original vocalist Katla is part of the Swedish speaking folk in Finland. The band thought it would go better with their trollish getup, and who’d have thought, they were right! The band have been around since 1997 and have toured worldwide. It’s not all fun and games though as they’ve had their fair share of bad luck including the death of their first guitarist back in 2003.

A quick look back since they formed in 1997 there has been 6 full length albums, yet, after 16 years they’re only just releasing their first live album especially for those folk who can’t be bothered to actually go see some live bands, shame on you!

God knows what must be going on with the intro part to the first track ‘kittledags’, but the music comes in all bouncy as ever, the vocals are heavy yet there’s a strange background noise which sounds almost Disney-like. Hey, whatever works!

Classic songs like ‘NedgÜng’ sound quite superb live; screaming vocals uncanny to the recording and the overall sound to the actual live cd is quite something! Especially noting the fact that all the energy which sounds like they’ve put into it seems a lot and this is recorded in good olde pot smoking Amsterdam, well done boys for keeping out of those cafes and sounding fab.

Having only seen the guys once in a small club in the arse-end of Wales, UK I wasn’t overly impressed, partly for the fact that the venue wasn’t even sold out that night. However, listening to them now almost sounds like a different band. Maybe they took advantage of the free beer that night and that’s why their performance wasn’t tip top. Nevertheless, let’s not dwell, they’re kicking arse by the sounds of it and bigger and better than ever.

The sweet sounds of ‘Aldhissla’ melts in with a didgeridoo, the sound of birds and some soothing beats. Then, in with the vocals, as the tempo gets a little faster. Apart from the serene intro, the rest of the track doesn’t have much going for it in the way of hobbits and stuff, not enough jigging around, seems way to serious for Finntroll.

‘Korpens Saga’ is a cracking little drink in the air and sing-along track, that’s if you know your Swedish? Otherwise just move your lips; you’ll look badass either way. Then there’s our beloved ‘Trollhammaren’ (that’s The Troll Hammer in our tongue). Now if you’re a fan of this genre of music then there’s no doubt you’ve heard this bad boy. Get you mead horns out and fist in the air! Released in 2004 its still one of their most popular tunes.

A nice surprise listening to ‘En MÑktig HÑr’ (aah copy and paste how I love you) think the Wurzels joining the band and this is what you get…an absolute blinder, lots of oompah and cheese!… thinking about it though, damn right I’d pay to see them with the Wurzels.

Ending with ‘SegersÜng’ and probably getting their shit together for a mega after party. The tracks full of energy, fast, furious drumming and a little bit more of the oompah, it’s all good, giving fans an end on a high note and quite obviously making them shout for more.

A stunning live album, quite jealous I wasn’t there, live cd’s aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I’ll guarantee you’re gonna enjoy this one!

(8/10 Charlie Rance)