Finntroll

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Finntroll
Finntroll, Metaltown 2008.JPG
Skrymer and Vreth with Finntroll at Metaltown 2008
Background information
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Folk metal, black metal, melodic death metal
Years active 1997–present
Labels Spinefarm, Century Media
Associated acts Korpiklaani
Shape of Despair
Barathrum
Turisas
Website www.finntroll-music.com
Members Samuli Ponsimaa
Samu Ruotsalainen
Henri Sorvali
Sami Uusitalo
Mikael Karlbom
Aleksi Virta
Mathias Lillmåns
Past members Teemu Raimoranta
Jan Jämsen
Mikael Harju
Tomi Ullgren
Rauno Raimoranta
Tapio Wilska

Finntroll is a folk metal band from Helsinki, Finland. They combine elements of black metal and folk metal. Finntroll's lyrics are mostly in Swedish, the only exception being the song "Madon Laulu" on Visor Om Slutet. Finntroll's first singer Katla decided to use Swedish over Finnish since he was part of a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland and the sound of the language seemed to better suit the band's "trollish" outfit.[1] Despite several vocalist changes, this tradition has continued.

According to bandmembers Vreth and Skrymer, they took their name from an old Finnish legend where Swedish priests coming to Finland had an encounter with a wild-looking man who killed most of their party. The survivors came back bearing the tale of the Finn-Troll.

Finntroll's lyrics mainly deal with legends and tales revolving around the fictional Troll-King "Rivfader" and the trolls fighting against the Christians who entered their lands and spread their beliefs. A recurring theme is the story of two priests named "Aamund" and "Kettil". The first three full length albums feature a rather short but fierce song about the two men who constantly get themselves into trouble with the trolls, only to get beaten up and mutilated over and over again by the wrathful followers of Rivfader.

To date, the band's discography includes six full-length albums and two EPs. Their newest album Blodsvept was released on March 22, 2013.

History[edit]

Finntroll perform live at Bilston, Wolverhampton in October 2013.

Finntroll was founded in 1997 with a line-up which included guitarist Teemu "Somnium" Raimoranta and vocalist/lyricist Jan "Katla" Jämsen. A year later they were joined by guitarist Samuli "Skrymer" Ponsimaa, drummer Samu "Beast Dominator" Ruotsalainen, keyboardist Henri "Trollhorn" Sorvali and bassist Sami "Tundra" Uusitalo, creating the first stable line-up of the band. The band's first demo, Rivfader, released the same year.

Their second album, Jaktens Tid, was released in 2001. The following summer, the band had their first time playing festivals in Finland and other countries.

The year after the release of the album Jaktens Tid proved to be a misfortune for Finntroll: some tours had to be cancelled, and vocalist Jämsen had to retire from the band due to a viral-based tumor in his vocal cords which could not be removed surgically; he retired after the release of the EP Visor Om Slutet.

Said EP was recorded in early January 2003, in a forest cabin near Helsinki. It was an "acoustical experiment", where Jämsen and the new vocalist Tapio Wilska (of Sethian and Lyijykomppania) shared the singing duties among them. Visor Om Slutet was released as a mid-price EP and held rank on the Finnish midprice chart for several weeks.

On March 16, 2003, shortly before the release of Visor Om Slutet, guitarist Teemu Raimoranta died when he fell off a bridge in Hakaniemi, Helsinki. Although they had lost one of their last remaining founding members in this tragic event, the band did not dissolve, but after some time decided to go on, touring Europe for two weeks, supported by the band Katatonia. Guitarist Mikael Karlbom was hired as a replacement for Raimoranta.

In 2004, the band released an EP, Trollhammaren ("The Trollhammer"), a prequel to the soon to follow album Nattfödd ("Nightborn"). Also in 2004, Trollhorn stopped touring with the band, prompting touring musicians to be hired to fill the void left in his absence.

On January 29, 2006, Tapio Wilska, vocalist of the band since 2002, was fired from the band. In a statement issued on the band's website, Wilska states that he would like to keep the reason for his dismissal private.

Following Wilska's parting with the band, they decided to take on Mathias "Vreth" Lillmåns of Chtonian and Twilight Moon as a full-time member on vocals.

A new album, titled Ur Jordens Djup ("From the Depths of the Earth"), was released March, 2007. This fourth album put more emphasis on epic keyboard riffs with very loud but melodic guitar. Former vocalist Katla was brought in to write the lyrics for this album, and continues in this capacity with the band. The last song contains an acoustic hidden track entitled Trollvisan which can be heard at 11:03 minutes. It is commonly believed to be the installment's "Aamund och Kettil-Song", yet there is no mention of the two priests in the lyrics, the song rather refers to "de kristna" ("the Christians") in general.

The band has recorded a live performance for its upcoming first live DVD. A release date is yet to be confirmed. They have released their fifth album, titled Nifelvind ("Underworld's Winds"), and Katla has again written the lyrics. The progress on the album was recorded by Trollhorn in a studio diary found here.[2] On January 15, 2010 Finntroll released a music video for the new song "Solsagan" on their MySpace page in preparation for the album release.[citation needed] The new album was then released in February 2010.

The band's sixth studio album Blodsvept was released on March 25th, 2013.[3]

On May 12th, 2014, the band announced through Facebook that their drummer was amicably departing the band.

Members[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certification
FIN
[4]
AUT BEL
(Wa)
FRA
[5]
SWE
[6]
SWI
1999 Midnattens widunder
2001 Jaktens tid 20
2004 Nattfödd 22
2007 Ur jordens djup 23
2010 Nifelvind 35 61 151 49 44
2013 Blodsvept 10 137 176 40 79

EPs[edit]

Demos[edit]

  • 1998: Rivfader

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Certification Album
FIN
[4]
2004 "Trollhammaren" 10 Nattfödd

Videos[edit]

  • 2004: "Trollhammaren"
  • 2007: "Nedgång"
  • 2010: "Solsagan"
  • 2010: "Under Bergets Rot"
  • 2011: "Ett Norrskensdad"
  • 2013: "Häxbrygd"

References[edit]

External links[edit]