Canadian blackened folk metallers Trollband have recently released their second full-length album. The band was formed in 2007 and next year they released the demo “Trollband“, a raw epic folk blackened metal work with terrible sound. In 2011, Trollband self-released their debut full-length album “In the Shadow of a Mountain“, including some songs of the demo and many new compositions. The improvement is huge, like listening to 2 different bands. The truth is that when I listened to Trollband’s 2 new albums, I totally forgot I have bought their demo in the past! Anyway, on August 2013 they released their sophomore album, entitled “Samsara” moving their music many steps forward.
Already since their debut album, Trollband revealed an experimental mood far away from the typical epic folk black metal of their demo. In 2012 the band had a huge line-up change with only 2 members remaining from their previous work, Matt and Sam, who were in the band since the beginning. These changes had a deep impact in the band’s sound, both in music terms and in sound quality. “Samsara” is impressively improved in every aspect and the band has managed to create a very interesting album. It starts with a typical folk black metal track “Blood to the Heartwood“, but things change drastically afterwards. Beautiful piano melodies with an avant-garde aesthetic, many acoustic traditional instruments, wonderful synths and slow atmospheric passages add a bigger variety in their songs. There are parts when their songs have an almost rock progressive mood with clean and often spoken male vocals, but of course folk extreme metal with screaming vocals is the base of their music. The changes in rhythm are also impressive, since they more from fast tempo to slow parts and everything in between. Trollband explore many extreme genres, so apart from epic folk black metal I see elements of atmospheric post black metal, extreme avant-garde progressive metal, even a few thrash influences. They skillfully merge all these elements in their sound and they are equally good in all of them, so despite the many differences between each song, the album remains very interesting from start to end. It’s one these works that the more you listen to it the more great details you discover. There are totally 9 songs in the album, lasting for a little over 40 minutes. All of their lyrics are in English, dealing with epic and fantasy themes.
Trollband seems to be a very promising band that tries to carve its own style in the epic folk black metal genre. ”Samsara” is totally recommended to fans of the genre who like experimentation and variety. Unluckily both their albums are released in promo-like paper-sleeves. They have full-artwork available and hopefully they will be released properly in the future. By the way artwork and design on “Samsara” is by Kogaion Art. I advise you to visit their official pages and listen to their beautiful music.