FINNTROLL - "JAKTENS TID" (CENTURY MEDIA)
Sometimes you have an album that you will always associate with certain times of your life, perhaps even re-induce the emotional state you were in. Sometimes it's just individual tracks, but nonetheless hearing these bits of music can yank you right back into a time long forgotten. The first time I'd ever snogged a girl I played the live version of Deep Purple's "Black Night" a lot, and I've not been able to hear the song afterwards without getting back some of the feelings I had then (suspense, secrecy, love sickness). I have no doubt you have tracks like that, too.
Well, recently my life was turned upside down when my wife decided to leave me for someone else, just like that (imagine a snapping of fingers). It happened a little over a month ago, and in fact shortly before I sat down to write this review I had a bit of a backlash to the initial week when I was feeling pretty pathetic and lonely, crying my eyes out, thinking about her now being happy and me being on my poor lonesome own feeling shit. Anyway, be that as it may, metal has truly saved my sanity in the past weeks. Especially Dimmu Borgir's "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia" is in my car's CD player almost all the time, and at home as well. It really helped me to pull through. To somewhat lesser extent this also goes for Finntroll's "Jaktens Tid" (you knew there had to be a reason for all these personal revelations, right?).
I had heard many good things about Finntroll and I decided I'd have to dig this band pronto. Incidentally, this would also be a pretty safe choice because I'd never have memories of the pre-divorce days when listening to Finntroll, right? Well, metal as a whole was not liked much by my wife, so if anything is conjured up it's usually her turning down the volume or something :-)
Anyway, Finntroll. "Jaktens Tid". A fine CD it is. I don't know if it's black metal, but there's definitely a black ingredient, and not just because the lyrics are all in Norwegian (or is it Swedish?). It's a pretty happy sounding CD, in fact, described by some as 'Polka Metal'. There is definitely a lot of folk influences in the music, including acoustic instruments and maybe an, um, 'ethnic' instrument here or there.
"Jaktens Tid" kicks off with an atmospheric intro, followed by a bunch of great tracks, then rounded off by an outro. What you hear in between is Amorphis/Skyclad-like influences draped over various polkalised metal tracks. This may sound like it's not much, but I think it's really cool. Tracks like "Kitteldags" and "Krigsmjöd" are true classics that I hope they will play live when I go and see them later this month.
Only negative thing is that they consider it necessary to have a time gap at the end, after which you get a short acoustic version of the title track. Hmm.
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Written August 2001
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