FINNTROLL have celebrated the release of their seventh studio album last year, finally returning to the Finnish metal scene after a long break with their swampiest album since the 2003 EP, “Visor om slutet.” Yet 10 years ago, the band was delving into one of their folkiest releases to-date, “Jaktens Tid” [time of the hunt] which was released on this day a decade ago, September 18th, 2011. As such, we’re taking a look back on this fan-favorite’s sophomore album today for its decade-anniversary.
A slow and ominous intro, “Krig,” starts “Jaktens Tid,” trollish in atmosphere and dark in tone. The song leads directly into “Födosagan,” which has an incredibly intriguing groove. This was from the rare Katla era of vocals, whose growl is ferocious and dark, while the keyboards dart about.
“Jaktens Tid,” while having its share of hard electric heavy metal, was one of the most acoustic-oriented albums in the band’s repertoire, with cheeky folk sounds in songs like “Slaget vid Blodsälv” and even Jonne Järvelä of KORPIKLAANI fame doing guest yoiking in the title track and a few other songs. The keyboards are certainly taking the lead in the former, bouncing folkily around relentlessly. There’s another swift transition into equally folky but more laid-back “Skogens Hämnd,” which jumps up a level in energy when Katla‘s vocals kick in. Don’t let it fool you though, as there is a more relaxed moment around midway to give you a breather.
The title track, as mentioned, is one of the tracks to feature traditional Finnish yoiking, while “Bakom Varje Fura” is a cinematic instrumental that sounds like little gremlins lurking in the underbrush of the woods, who are clearly up to no good. This short interlude moves on to “Kitteldags,” one of the more straightforward, heavy FINNTROLL songs.
“Krigsmjöd” translates to “war mead” and is both ominous and lively at the same time, if such a thing can be imagined, though ultimately rides on the harsher, heavier side. The sane goes for “VargTimmen,” which is also less folky at first, though more looming yoiking by Järvelä does appear to add flavor, though that is the best thing this song offers as it does drag on without any particularly interesting riffing.
“Kyrkovisan” opens with church organs and spoken words, but is rapidly interrupted by roaring trollish sounds once more. This is one of the shortest and more ferocious songs on the album, great for a speed mosh in your living room. There’s a very ENSIFERUM-y opening riff to “Den Hornkrönte Konungen (Rivfaders Tron),” though it takes a more traditional FINNTROLL-y turn quickly. Meanwhile, “Aldhissla” starts out with what feels like a slowed-down version of the “Jaktens Tid” riff and yoiking, but is expanded upon and delved into further in its 6+ minute runtime. The song acts as a strong closer and is one of the best compositions on the album, leading into the ambient outro. Don’t turn off the album when the music ends though, or your liable to miss out on perhaps the most fun the album has to offer in the secret trolly extra bit at the very end.
Ultimately, the trolls’ sophomore release still holds up against everything they’ve since released. There’s a lot of FINNTROLL‘s best melodies and a very unique feel to “Jaktens Tid,” making it a strong release within the band’s generally impressive discography. As FINNTROLL have changed up their game with fair regularity, it’s safe to say that this is a fun, folkier album to listen back to from time to time!
- Krig (intro)
- Slaget vid Blodsälv
- Skogens Hämnd
- Jaktens Tid
- Bakom Varje Fura
- Den Hornkrönte Konugen (Rivfaders Tron)
- Tomhet och Tystnad Härska (outro)
- Jan “Katla” Jämsen – vocals
- Samuli “Skrymer” Ponsimaa – rhythm guitar
- Teemu “Somnium” Raimoranta – lead, rhythm & acoustic guitar, choirs
- Samu “Beast Dominator” Ruotsalainen – drums, percussion, choirs
- Henri “Trollhorn” Sorvali – keyboards
- Sami “Tundra” Uusitalo – bass, choirs