TrollfesT – Norwegian Fairytales

Band: TrollfesT
Album: Norwegian Fairytales
Release Date: 18th January 2019
Record Label: Napalm Records

True Norwegian Balkan Metal outfit TrollfesT have just released their latest album Norwegian Fairytales and, as many bands in my life, I have heard of them but not really listened to a lot of their back catalogue. However, they’re playing at Wacken Winter Nights and they’ve just released this album so it was as good a time as any to start having a listen.

Fjøsnissens Fjaseri kicks off the album with a more Latin style vibe with accordion, and when the guitar kicks in it continues the tune. There are harsh vocals and group clean vocals and shouts. It has a fast tempo and the music gets a less chaotic as the track continues. There is a more “traditional” folky section which is prime for a jig before the Latin style comes back in. Kjettaren mot stømmen has a more traditional folky jig feel to it, with harsh vocals, it’a another one that’s great for a jig.

Espen Bin Askeladden there is a calm introduction with piano and clean vocals, it’s quite calm before we’re back to the jiggy folk metal, and I can really hear the Balkan style for the first time. There’s more piano in this track, and the riffs get a little bit heavier. Trine Reinlander is an instrumental track with a German bierkeller background music feel to it.

Fandan Flyr brings back the heavy, punchy Balkan feel, and we hear prominent female vocals for the first time. This track has a bit more of a somber feel to it in the tone, it’s not quite as happy and ridiculous as the rest of the album so far. De tre Bukkene Berusa is back to the more familiar fast paced feel, and there are some great harsh vocals which go on for longer than usual, seemingly without a breath. That definitely takes some skill. It’s yet another track ready and waiting for a jig pit.

Småfolkets store bragder has a more mystical intro with strings and clean vocals, it was more serious and somber than anything previously. Where was TrollfesT? But at around 1:20, TrollfestT is back with heavy accordion. Overall it is a track to headbang to rather than jig to, but I do also love a good headbang, so I’m not complaining. There is also a nice melodic metal section which breaks up the track a bit.

Draugen has a Latin and Balkan mix of styles, again it’s fast and with accordion prominent in the mix. In the verses the more traditional metal takes over, with a groove that you can swing your booty to (quote of the year from me?). There is a nice piano interlude with a mix of clean and harsh vocals over the top, and then we’re back to the accordion.

Deildegastan has the now very familiar fast pace with accordion and piano this time. It is quite a heavy track that is chaotic featuring blast beats. The piano melody is seemingly in complete contrast to the rest of the instrumentals. As the track progresses the strings come in, and the chaos slowly diminishes into some kind of order. Byttingenes Byttehandel slows the pace down again, with a dancey Balkan style intro. There are piano, violins and accordion speaking all over each other.

Nøkken og Fossegrimen spiller op til midnattstimen has a mystical and atmospheric beginning again, with strings and a background of water flowing. There’s a slower pace again, with a mix of “lighter in the air” and waltzing dance. There is a piano only interlude and then the music slowly builds up again with female vocals, leading into more accordion and harsh vocals.

Despite first listening to this album first thing in the morning while I was on the bus to work and still half asleep, I really enjoyed it. In fact, the faster paced music and dancey, folky vibes woke me up ready for what turned out to be a great day at work. (I’ll say that TrollfesT enabled that). I very much expect that when I see them at Wacken Winter Nights there won’t be a moment where I’m not dancing or jigging myself silly with my friends. While TrollfesT are not a “serious” band, they definitely deserve to be taken seriously.

Verdict: 8.5/10

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