Review – Finntroll: Ur Jordens Djup

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Review – Finntroll: Ur Jordens Djup
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Ur Jordens Djup marks yet another change in the band line-up, as well as a change in the band’s musical direction. Due to the sad departure of “Katla” from the band due to a tumor affecting his performance shortly after the passing of “Somnium” back in 2003, new members had been added in this time, and it’s clear in the three years between the highly successful Nattfödd release, and this one, that the band decided to drop the fun aspect of their music and become a very serious act. While still holding on to some of what made Finntroll such a household name, the new attitude of the band is one that is met with mixed emotions, especially if you happen to be a fan of the band’s earlier material. But, rest assured, that this is not a change for the worst at all.

But neither is it for the better. While this release is a huge departure from the more energetic and fun songs of the band’s most recent previous release, one would say that this release falls back moreso to their Jaktens Tid release. The only difference between the two would be the extended Humppa aspects, and a much more solid musical sound and foundation. Like usual, you have your introductory track “Gryning”, but it’s one that is very well done, almost theatrical in a sense, and really sets the tone of the album. “Sång”, the first actual song, really shows you where the band will take you on this record. The music is supported heavily by the keyboards, and while the Humppa music is there, it’s not that intense. Sure, “Sång” and a few others, such as “Korpens Saga” have some moments where that Humppa aspects are kicked up, but it’s taken more in an epic approach and resorts mostly to staying as moments to help the actual Folk music along.

Many of the songs on Ur Jordens Djup really seem to have the same kind of feel. While the tracks aren’t repetative, it often just feels like there isn’t anything that new being offered as you make your venture through the disc. The only time the flow of the music really changes up into something rather new and interesting after “Korpens Saga” is the track “En Mäktig Här”. This fresher track manages to break up the monotony of the starting chunk, and really is where the album picks up and gets heavier. “Maktens Spira” is what the more recent Korpiklaani fans would expect, except, again, just a little more serious. This is perhaps the only song that, due to it’s intensity and keyboard compositions, really could be argued as being epic, with the chorus of “Korpens Saga” a close second, with “Under Två Runor” beinga nother song that attempts hard at being an epic song, and do an extent does it’s job, but just isn’t all that impressive a song. It comes off more as a song that would really put their live audience into a frenzy, though. But, it’s also at the point of “Maktens Spira” that you will probably start getting sick to death of the flow of the music being interrupted suddenly with a very slow part that is composed of either some random Folk instrument, or chanting against nature effects.

To put it simply, Finntroll has gone backwards a step, almost as if the band is trying to find themselves. While the album is more enjoyable then their earliest works that this seems to feed off of, there’s just a good chunk where everything grows stale for a little while before the album starts to breathe some new life again. Ur Jodrens Djup is a very impressive album, and if the band can continue to expand on this sound, then this mixture of Folk and Humppa music will become a match made in Heaven. Sure, the band has matured with the new members, and the music has changed paths a little bit, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your goblets of your finest alcohol down and sober up. Finntroll still take you on a wild fantastical ride on this release with a good amount of moments to raise your glass high, then slowly return to earth with the ambient closing track, with hidden folk drinking song that makes it all come off as a drunken dream, that best fits a release of this magnitude.


Initial Pressing Score: 6/10