On Foaming Waves

A few years ago I discovered the folk metal genre.  A variety of bands ranging from death to black to cultural and traditional metal were using these influences.  I got hooked, whether bands were using the influence sparingly or full-fledged the variety of sounds became addictive to me and most of all these bands put the fun in music.

Many of these bands, I find are either from Europe or Scandinavian countries and Finland’s Folkrim are back with their sophomore effort, On Foaming Waves.  This comes a mere year after their outstanding debut Tales of Tumult dropped.  This is a band of five gents who have some form of facial hair and like to sing about drinking, viking folklore, friendships and traveling to lands that time seemingly forgot oh, and did I mention drinking already??  Folkrim play a conglomeration of black metal, with some death metal influences and plenty of folk thrown in and heavens to Betsy I have not had as much fan listening to a band, then when I first discovered Sabaton or Nekrogoblikon.

14 songs in close to an hour’s worth of quality music and I do like, as Folkrim did on their debut, will sing in their native tongue on a few songs and “Rövarehumppa” is that song on this album.  I do want to cut to the chase and skip around a bit.  Other than guitars, bass and vocals other instruments frequently rear their heads on the album, such as a ukulele, banjo, mandolin and I swear that’s a tin whistle every so often, or my name isn’t Frank “The Punisher”-an ‘ole nickname bequeathed to me many years ago.

I am going right to my Anatomy of a Song because this is my favorite song for 2022 –  with “Entwined!”  This is the sixth song on this album and the band has a video as well. It erupts with black metallish vocals and a variety of the above instruments jamming together.  There are some tongue-n-cheek moments in the video that are absolutely hysterical.  When the main guitar riff, comes in, as the song slows down the folk influences erupt with the whistle, viola’s or violin’s and the video has the band doing what can best be described as a folk chain dance.  Each member, walking behind the next moving their heads up and down and their fists up and down in perfect cheesy unison.  The dude with the peaky blinders hat who has a beard and glasses is too much with this dance.  While I am laughing and being entertained I’m also mesmerized at how frickin’ catchy this song is-it’s almost criminal at how catchy the tune is.  The video has the band drinking, playing the song and stumbling over each other because either the meade or rum has gotten the best of them.  The video and song are a perfect match.  The catchy chorus of: So come and drink from the waters of the Entwell, to have the wisdom and age of trees, oh, we shall drink from the waters of the Entwell, Entwined we shall be!  – is so much fun.  The music is catchy, heavy, fun and the little polka dance parts all come together cohesively.

Going backwards – “Blackout” (not a Scorpions cover) opens the album and is fast and brisk.  Excellent dual layered vocals and the blast beat, early on, over the tin whistle moment is exceptional as the start and stop heavy parts kick in and kick our teeth in too.  We get some deeper gruff vocals too, so the death metal influence is across the album, with these type of deeper vocals sprinkled throughout the album.  The blast beat returns over the whistle and the main guitar riff is melodic, yet still heavy.

“Brace Yourselves” is another upbeat tune and is only 36 seconds.  It’s blasting madness with a variety of sounds and has some fun vocals.  It’s over before you sneeze your battle ring through your nose.

“Rövarehumppa” is so much fun, it reminds me of being at an Oktoberfest.  Drinking arm in arm, the meade swill spilling all over our shoes as we sing in unison, whatever the hell the band is singing.  It’s catchy.  The deeper vocals, the gang shouted drunken backing vocals and variety of choruses with the bee-bopping polka metal parts make this a fun party song.

I cannot get enough of this album or band.  Folkrim’s On Foaming Waves is fun, well-played folk metal with enough extreme metal influence to bring together a variety of fans.  The production is great and the variety of sounds and instruments and vocals all come together clearly in the mix.  It’s impossible not to be in a good mood while listening to this and after the album is over too.  Conjure up all the imagery of Vikings, castles, swash-buckling battles, mixed with copious amounts of libations, wenches, dragons, huge wood carved ships, nostalgic fun stories all mixed in with folk metal and blast beats and winner winner, chicken dinner!  Folkrim are terrifically entertaining.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 23rd, 2022


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