Finntroll is an extreme metal & folk metal band from Helsinki, Finland. They combine elements of black metal, death metal, and folk metal with a type of Finnish folk music called Humppa. Finntroll's lyrics are mostly in Swedish Swedish language , 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.
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 invade their lands and try to 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.
As of February 2010, the band's discography includes 5 full-length albums and 2 EPs, their latest album Nifelvind was released February 17 in Finland.
Finntroll was founded in 1997, by Teemu "Somnium" Raimoranta Teemu Raimoranta (guitarist of Impaled Nazarene) and vocalist Jan "Katla" Jämsen Jan Jämsen . Their first demo, "Rivfader" ("Ripfather"), was recorded about a year later, in 1998. After the demo recording, drummer Samu Ruotsalainen (from Barathrum, Shape of Despair and Rapture Rapture (band) ), guitarist Samuli Ponsimaa, keyboardist Henri "Trollhorn" Sorvali (from Moonsorrow) and bassist Sami Uusitalo joined the band. The record label Spinefarm got interested in the band then, and made a contract, yielding the album Midnattens Widunder ("Monstrosities Of The Midnight") as a result.
The next step for Finntroll was the album Jaktens Tid ("Age Of The Hunt"), which was released in 2001. This album managed to climb to rank 20 of the Finnish album charts, exceeding expectation of band and publisher alike. The following wave of po***rity attracted the attention of Century Media, which began promoting Finntroll for the rest of the world. The following summer, the band had their first time playing on open air 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 in the aftermath wiktionary:aftermath of his problems, 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 Sethian (band) and Lyijykomppania) shared the singing duties among them. Visor Om Slutet ("Melodies About The End") 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 their last remaining founding member 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 another EP, Trollhammaren ("The Trollhammer"), a prequel to the soon to follow album Nattfödd ("Nightborn"). This release earned them international acclaim and had the band embarking on their first North American tour, along with the influential thrash metal band Sodom Sodom (band) in early 2006.
During 2005, keyboardist Trollhorn decided not to play live anymore due to private reasons. A replacement for shows to come was found in Aleksi "Virta" Virta of the band Imperanon, whom he knew from Sibelius Music College in Helsinki, where Trollhorn had been teaching. After some auditioning and rehearsing, he became a steady part of the touring line-up.
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 Mathias 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 and downplayed some of the Humppa elements. Former vocalist Katla was brought in to write the lyrics for this album. 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 ion the lyrics, the song rather refers to "de kristna" ("the Christians") in general.
After being a session member on keyboards since 2005, Aleksi "Virta" Virta was made a full time member in late 2009.
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 ("Nifelwind"), and Katla has again written the lyrics. The progress on the album was recorded by Trollhorn in a studio diary found . On January 15, 2010 Finntroll released a music video for the new song "Solsagan" on their MySpace page in preparation for the album release. The new album was then released in February 2010.
Finntroll has confirmed they will be part of Metaltown Festival for 2010. The festival will be in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 18-19.
* Mathias "Vreth" Lillmåns Mathias Lillmåns – vocals Singing (2006–present)
* Samuli "Skrymer" Ponsimaa Samuli Ponsimaa – guitar Electric guitar (1998–present)
* Mikael "Routa" Karlbom – guitar (2003–present)
* Sami "Tundra" Uusitalo Sami Uusitalo – bass Bass guitar (1998–present)
* Samu "Beast Dominator" Ruotsalainen – drums Drum kit (1998–present)
* Henri "Trollhorn" Sorvali Henri Sorvali – keyboards Keyboard instrument (1998–present)
* Aleksi "Virta" Virta - live keyboards (2005-present)
* Jan "Katla" Jämsen – lyrics (1997-2002 / 2006-present)
* Katla Jan Jämsen – vocals (1997-2002)
* Teemu "Somnium" Raimoranta – guitar (1997–2003) (deceased)
* Tapio Wilska – vocals (2002–2006)
* Midnattens widunder (1999)
* Jaktens tid (2001)
* Visor Om Slutet (2003)
* Nattfödd (2004)
* Ur jordens djup (2007)
* Nifelvind (2010)
* Trollhammaren (2004)
* "Rivfader" (1998)
* "Trollhammaren" (2004)
* "Nedgång" (2007)
* "Solsagan" (2010)
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