It's always refreshing to discover bands that don't take themselves terribly seriously. Such bands are relatively often found in Folk/Viking Metal; after all, mead and being merry are close neighbours. The origins of TROLLFEST are similar, for the band admits that a mix of extensive beer consumption and listening to FINNTROLL led to the group being formed.
The logical consequence is that "Willkommen Folk Tell Drekka Fest!" (which roughly means "Welcome, folks, to the drinking fest!") is Troll Metal in its purest form and hellaciously much fun. However, you need not expect a carbon copy of FINNTROLL: while things often get heavy and pounding despite the alcohol-induced haze, the melodies and instrumentation are closer to Folk than is the case with these senior trolls and thus lead to a certain playful mood. The vocals occasionally are a bit unconventional too, if I may put it that way – the listener will quickly notice what is meant by that.
As far as comparable bands are concerned, of course FINNTROLL must be mentioned, for TROLLFEST owe much to these Finns, their entire afflatus as well as their sound: the usually raspy, slightly blackened vocals, a definite folk touch (see e.g. the accordion or the humppa rhythms) as well as minor Black and Death Metal influences. Regarding the generally cheerful and highly inebriated mood, however, KORPIKLAANI come to mind as well, and EQUILIBRIUM are not far off either.
If I were allowed only one song to whet someone's appetite for this album, it would doubtlessly be "Helvetes Hunden Garm" (roughly "the Hellhound Garm", from Nordic mythology).
It combines everything that makes "Willkommen Folk Tell Drekka Fest!" worth buying and adoring: catchy riffs and melodies, clever use of the accordion (listen to the bridge!), a sweeping atmosphere and a chorus that serves as an example for both the already mentioned unusual vocals and the high sing-along factor. When the entire crew respectively sings and barks the chorus towards the end, the listener almost feels obliged to join in loudly.
The rest of the album is just as entertaining. Whether it's blast beats found back to back with an acoustic folk part on the title track, a certain piece by Grieg quietly hinted at amid all the trollish mischief on "Die Ürgammal Gebräu", a campfire atmosphere set on "Sagaen Om Suttungs-Mjød" or the listener being taken to a very merry tavern as things come to an end on " ....Nå Må Du Drikka Mest!": this music is extremely entertaining, very headbangable and simply a lot of fun.
I really can't find anything to complain about on this disc, apart perhaps from the fact that it could stand to be a little longer. But let's not get hung up about that; after you've had enough mead (which should be the modus operandi anyway for listening to this album with some good friends) you lose all sense of time anyway.
"Willkommen Folk Tell Drekka Fest!" really does live up to its name. If you are planning on throwing a solid metallic party with lots of alcohol, you won't get around this CD. Fans of FINNTROLL and those who like simply entertaining metal can essentially buy this album blindly. Everybody else should at the very least give it a listen, for you can't really go wrong with "Willkommen..."
Finally, the homepage of TROLLFEST ought to be mentioned as well. Besides a highly amusing narration of the creation of this trollish bit of music, it also contains a link to the band's forum and has the entire promo "TrollfesT" available for download. On this note: skoal, you trolls! (Online May 16, 2005)