Good evening gents and germs, Gabe again here with another amazing local folk metal band album review. Trolhaugen was a band I heard about through an interview that I did with and up-and-coming power folk metal band Wilderun. You can come and check it out here! After hearing about this band that according to Wayne Ingram sounded like ametal version of the game “Banjo-Kazooie”, I knew I had to check them out being a huge fan of the game. After listening to this album, I can honestly say that this band is the definition of originality. This band has the wacky antics of bands such as Primus and “Weird Al” Yankovic, mixed with the music stylings of a carnival, add some folk and death metal elements and you get the magnificently marvelous mix that you call Troldhaugen’s debut album “Ramshackle“!
Genre: Progressive Folk Metal
Release: August 31, 2012
I understand that some of you guys may be puzzled or confused as to the weird comparisons of bands. I think when people think of the band Primus, they think of Les Claypool just slappin the bass. What I want you to picture is the uniquely funny and unusual lyrics that Les Claypool would use in albums such as Sailing The Sea Of Cheese and Pork combined “Weird Al” Yankovic’s wacky lyrics. You can hear this in the second song entitled “The Circus of Misery”. You can first hear what sounds like a bouncy rubber ball which is a really unexpected and different approach from the traditional folk metal song. The song start off with, “Boils and ghouls! Gather round for what is sure to be the time of your life! None can compare for the frightening feats and daring acts we have in store for you. It will no doubt leave a lasting impression!” It follows by one of two incredibly maniacal laughs that resembles a darker, more evil laugh then the origin of all that is evil, Dr. Evil from Austin Powers. What I really like about this song is that underneath the surface of what can be interpreted as a comedic song, you can hear the incredible range of Reventusk’s vocals. It really puts you into perspective of the immense talent of this band.
Another song that I really enjoyed off the album was the song “Slaughterhouse Swing” because of how incredibly unique and different it is. If there one thing you can learn about Troldhaugen, is that there not afraid to have songs that sound like they can be written for a musical. This song really has a swing-like tune to it with mixtures of these strong vocals. During the song you can really hear the talent of both Svarog, the bassist and Gradenok, the drummer helping to keep the overall tempo of the song while helping to create such an intriguing song. Guys, hear me out and listen to this song, it is defiantly something you wouldn’t expect from a folk album and will be a fresh sound for your ear holes!
The final track of the album “A Soul For The Taking” is probably in my opinion, the heaviest song of this album. Even though this album may have mainly a progressive folk album, this song really shows these guys can make a mix their unique folk sound into a heavy metal tune. This tune show that even though they can make a really weird and unique album, Meldengar can throw down hard and heavy metal guitar riffs with the best of them. The other thing I really like about this song is that like other songs off the album, is how the Jew’s harp was used within the song. Throughout the album, Reventusk’s Jew’s Harp is used to give this type of carnival feel to many of the songs. What i do like about this song is that it uses the Jew’s Harp in a heavier death metal sound. It cool to see that even though they play the role of a fun folk metal band, they can also use it to a heavier sound and tone.
There were very few things about this album which I honestly could say I didn’t like. I feel like to some listeners that the reoccurring theme of it sounding like a circus can get annoying at times. What people do need to realize is that this album is meant to be something really fun and enjoyable, not super serious. Folk is one of those genres that is a real new twist on metal with many different elements. I know that each element of folk metal is different but Troldhaugen rendition of folk is so different from all the others. They pretty much recreate a genre of their own. Troldhaugen album “Ramshackle” is such a refreshing and fun album, something that you can enjoy even if you’re not the typical “metal head”. That is something that I do love about this band, you don’t need to have been a metal head to love this band. This album is a ton of fun to listen to, and can be a great way to get you buddy who hates metal into metal! So go and take a listen to Troldhaugen’s debut album, “Ramshackle“, you won’t regret it!
Rating: 8/10 Weirdly Wonderful!
- Beneath The Festering March
- The Circus of Misery
- Beast Wagon
- Slaughterhouse Swing
- Corspefed Cauldron
- Maple Leaf Rag (Scott Joplin Cover)
- The Accused Passing of the Monstrous Fiend
- A Soul for the Taking
Reventüsk-Vocals and Jew’s Harp
Döesbürg-Mandolin and Vocals
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Thanks for reading and long live metal!