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Album Reviews : Troldhaugen – Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez

By on September 10, 2014

a4263931290_10I know everyone who has heard and seen this band will agree with me when I say they truly are one in a friggin’ billion. There’s not many (or any) that can do what the crazy, fun-loving Troldhaugen can do with their music. With their debut album Ramshackle being an absolute success, this four piece eccentric metal outfit from Wollongong are back with their second album‘ Obzkure Anekdotz For Maniakal Massez.

Obzkure Anekdotz begins with a ‘Table of Contents’, which I thought was an ingenious name for an intro; it makes it sound like this book of weird spells and chants. Spooky doors creaking open, opera-like chants and toys being wound up are just some of the sounds you hear on the beginning of this album, and it makes for an exciting listen just because of the build-up. This almost instantly leads into the catchy, ‘Hunting Tactics For Mythical Creatures’, which certainly lives up to Troldhaugen’s signature wacky style. At around the 1.45 mark, the track transcends suddenly into a few seconds of pure Celtic beauty before smacking you in the face and getting all heavy again. I’m not done yet! There are screams that seem to pierce through your skull, followed by an animated culmination of guitars. It’s just heaps of fun! This along with ‘Catoptric Contortions’ are quite reminiscent of ‘Circus of Misery’ on their previous album , with a very similar rhythm!

The Good , The Bad and The Gristle’ is probably my favourite track to sing along to. If you pay close attention to the lyrics you’ll notice how insane  they are. More madness ensues as the band incorporate some oriental female vocals/tunes and then what does seemingly sound like a banjo adding a quick country vibe. This constant switch between genres, sounds and instruments is not unusual for this lot and to me, they’re the only ones who can pull it off with so much style. ‘Buckle Up!’ can be heard in what seems to be opera show setting – it’s a short yet majestic interlude and more of a warning before the spacey ‘Lefty’s Wild Ride’ takes your brain all over the place. With a really cool chorus, some nice fat bass guitars and a tune that reminded me of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang this is one of the heavier tracks on this album.

The Rabiator Teuthida’ – let’s just say that if there was a movie about an Italian zombie orchestra who practice in their haunted mansion and then a gang of trolls gate crashed this would be the soundtrack! Charismatic and absolutely mental frontman Reventusk vocals are low and guttural on this one and then he gets all rhythmic and choral again! As I’m writing this review, the sudden presence of the accordion and more haunted mansion themed music is psyching me out and I genuinely don’t know what is happening! The added melodic bounce makes it all the more awesome. ‘Dia Del Chupacabra‘ is a hard rock anthem which features more trolling, this time more manic trolls that headbang! The way this track is structured; the instrumentation is truly mind-blowing, and leaves you perplexed to say the least. ‘Phantom Acrobats‘ sounds a Looney Tunes commercial. That is all. ‘Cut To The Chase‘ takes you back to a crazy circus in a 1920’s silent movie, and towards the end is an absolute beast of a medley with a bunch of different tunes while album closer ‘Swamp Rocket’ is what I like to call the ‘troll march’.

I first heard Troldhaugen when they opened for Korpiklaani last year and I still remember thinking to myself, “ These guys are positively insane!” What always amazes me about their music is how with so many different elements in their music, they maintain that avant-garde/swing feel throughout with a good amount of heavy metal. The production of this album is brilliant, and each member has their own stand-out moments. But all that aside, Troldhaugen know how to make good music and take your imagination to levels you never thought possible! If you like your metal fun yet elegant and with a good amount of crazy, while constantly visualizing a bunch of Trolls mucking around with swords and wearing Hawaiian shirts or Tutus (you’ll know what I mean eventually), this album is a MUST. Actually this album is a must even otherwise. Don’t miss out!

Band: Troldhaugen

Album: Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez

Year: 2014

Genre: Wacky Folk Metal

Label: The Bird’s Robe Collective

Origin: Wollongong, New South Wales

Tracklist:

  1. Table Of Contents
  2. Hunting Tactics For Mythical Creatures
  3. The Good, The Bad, And The Gristle
  4. Buckle Up!
  5. Lefty’s Wild Ride
  6. The Rabiator Teuthida
  7. Dia del Chupacabra
  8. Phantom Acrobats
  9. Catoptric Contortions
  10. Viva Loa Vegas
  11. CLANG!
  12. Cut To The Chase
  13. Swamp Rocket

 

About

Prarthana is a vegan, Indo-Aussie, heavy music addict, fluent in sarcasm and metal. Traveling is an obsession as she enjoys taking in the history of various countries and following her favorite bands. She's either eating, teaching grammar or learning an instrument, when not occupied with windmilling in the faces of other humans.