Sound — 10
Fintroll have never released a "bad" album, that is to say, music that fails to impress. Ur Jordens Djup "From the depths of the earth" has defined Finntroll's sound. While they have always sounded professional, Finntroll's new release seems to have reached that point where fans can say "damn, that's some good quality black/folk"; not that any of their previous works weren't amazing to begin with. They've experimented a bit with instrumentalish "Visor Om Slutet", which I like to think means "slut with a visor", but Finntroll get good feedback no matter what they do. There are a lot of folk bands but Finntroll stands out among them as, I think, the best. Ur Jordens Djup is blacker, heavier, and more crushing than anything Finntroll has ever done, and diehard folk purists might disagree at the direction Finntroll has taken, but I don't, and this is my review, so there.
Lyrics — 9
Finntroll seem to base their lyrics upon their own fantasy "troll world" they've maintained since Midnattens Widunder, and it's probably the most original idea I've ever seen in folk metal seeing as how everyone else just rapes the shit out of Norse mythology. The lyrics on Ur Jordens Djup are medieval and ancient; there is a lot of well written nature and battle imagery that fits the musical style perfectly. Swedish lyrics are not easy for most of us to read but you have to give Finntroll credit for sticking to their own language. The Swedish language is also medieval-sounding and more trollish than the petty language I am writing in now, which apparently is the band's intention when writing lyrics. You'll also find the hidden track, Trollvisan, is hilariously about a troll getting his mead spilled by some Christians, so he decides to burn down their "ugly" church. Ah, Finntroll. Finntroll have had trouble staying with one vocalist throughout their history but still find great growlers. I think Vreth packs a hell of a punch and fits in great with Ur Jordens Djup, but he's not the best they've had. He has a nice low screech in Slagbroder and has decent enough clean vocals but I don't see it as anything particularly new.
Overall Impression — 9
The best song off Ur Jordens Djup is Korpens Saga. There is nothing you can dislike about it; every melody is catchy and humpa-like, and the tremolo picked chorus is about as black/folk as you can get. Korpens Saga and En Maktig Har are the catchy songs off Ur Jordens Djup and will probably remind you of older songs like Trollhammarren for their piraty, jump-around-with-a-mug-of-ale-in-your-hand kind of feel. Maktens Spira isn't shy of of any of that, either, although it does have a random solo I did not expect from Finntroll. The song I like the least is Slagbroder, and it's because Trollhorn didn't write it. It's not a bad song, just not an standoutish one for me. It does, however, fit the more black metal style of Ur Jordens Djup. Gryning is also the best intro Finntroll have ever written. Talk about epic.