Release: 20 May 2023
Label: Mighty Music
“Der Var Engang…” (“Once Upon a Time…”) is Trold’s first album after having tantalized (trolled?) us with singles, and what an absolute delight! It’s a breath of fresh air… a salve on a burn… the first bite of a key lime pie.The singing is growly but intelligible for Danish speakers. The music is a standard folk-metal setup of percussion, two guitars, a bass, vocals, and a keyboard/keytar to provide the folk, mainly-accordion, sounds. Most of the tracks also have a tin whistle and classical guitar. This is the real folk metal deal.
Introducing the album is a carnival funhouse of cheesy sounds and tuba oompah music, but it smashes seamlessly into Heksen (The Witch), which was already released as a single. It’s an absolute rager of a treat and a strong start to our adventures. There’s a memorable refrain, which is a common theme on this album. In fact, all the tracks are catchy in their own way. I don’t speak Danish, but if I did, I’d learn all the lyrics to this album quickly.
Of course Heksen stood out, but so did Røveren (The Robber) for its melody, and Vætte March (Wet March) for being in 6/8 time with a big dose of the tin whistle. Sensommerbålet (Late Summer Bonfire) was also a pre-release single and another lively gem. I don’t have the English lyrics in front of me, but the songs contain tales involving gods and giants, forests and seas, and even lacking an understanding, it all sounds magical. It’s all lively and bouncy, and I want to drink and dance with this band; there’s just so much energy.
Trold really knows how to craft these songs. The last track is an instrumental just to brandish their command of instrumentation and melody. It’s got all the lively bombast of the rest of the album, but carries some minor key sadness, reminding us that all adventures have to end.
Wrapping up, this is a strong album, especially for Trold’s debut. It’s aimed squarely at us, the folk metal community, and I genuinely appreciate it. Varied, bouncy, amazing– this is a portent of more great things to come.
1. Der Var Engang…
3. Udyrets Gab
5. Vætte March
6. En Kiste Fuld Af Minder
7. Troldenes Nat
8. Skumringens Time
10. Dansen Med Myrtille