Samsara tracklist: 01- Blood to the Heartwood 02- Ravenous 03- River 04- Cavern 05- Wither 06- Throat of the World 07- Centuries of Sand 08- Roots of the Earth 09- Mortal Soul of Man
Trollband’s sophomore album, Samsara, blares a sound resembling the eldest of Finntroll classics, due to the haunting circus-like keyboards in the background, never stealing the spotlight but always present. Samsara is certainly more lethargic than their previous release, but I give you my word every gradual second passed is never spent in regret.
To someone just checking Trollband out for the first time or someone relatively new to metal, Sam’s goblin-esque vocals may take some time getting used to. I feel in order to genuinely appreciate the wild instrumental side of this album you will definitely have to dig past the hellish vocals.
The first track “Blood to the Heartwood” is a rapid blackened thrash masterpiece. It accentuates the precedent keyboard style greatly and gives the listener a quick dose of the bands wondrous capabilities before the album takes a turn towards the slow side. The following five tracks still have their moments of glory in terms of speed, but for the most part introduce a cryptic, drowsy style which is very passive but still enjoyable. A lot of the vocals in these songs are replaced with subtle speaking, sometimes over a steady riff or even acoustics. The back and forth contrast between the inhuman growls blended with easy-going riffs and the steady conversing over the atmospheric eminent doom is truly beautiful. The king of these dreamy lullabies is the song “River”, a gentle unravelling of thought serving as an ultimate escape from reality. You don’t get to hear many songs like this on folk metal albums and it is nice to see so many on Samsara.
After the prior segment of tracks has concluded, the song “Centuries of Sand” is thrown at us. This is what I would determine the climax and is easily my favourite song off the album. Although it is short lived at only two minutes in length, it is well worth the wait. The intro is breathtaking, the song increasingly maddens eventually warping into a state of complete yet synchronized chaos. It is a perfect blend of everything you can hope to find on Samsara.
The distinct obscurity and overall uniqueness that Trollband thrive in are what separate them from anything else. The ancient sound they produce, and that I crave, reminds me of 90’s demo tapes, nevertheless the way they modernize their sound for this day is absolutely stellar.