LUMSK – Troll

LUMSK - Troll


Release date: April 25, 2005

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After a relatively successful debut and winning a larger sum of money along with several other privileges in a huge Norwegian band contest, there has been quite a buzz about this album, the second full-length release from the Norsemen (and – women) in the very cool entitled Lumsk. There have been two major changes in the line-up since last time as both Bjørnar Selsbak, band founder, guitarist, and songwriter and angel-voiced singeress Vibeke Arntzen, have left the band. Luckily, keyboardist Espen Godø has stepped forth and taken care of the song writing responsibilities, and with the addition of the new vocalist, Stine Marie Langstrand, as well as guitarist Ketil Sæther, the line-up might just be as good as it originally was.

Godø has, for the most part on his own, come up with a good selection of songs, ranging from very heavy Folk Metal opuses like “Nøkken” and “Åsgårdsreia,” to almost Prog-Rock pieces like “Trolltind” and “Allvis” and “Blæster.” A very diverse album you can surely say, and this is both a good and less than good thing. It is indeed very impressive how the band manages to master several styles, but on the whole, the album may lack a bit identity. However, there is lots and lots of great music to be found, both among the heavier and calmer parts.

“Nøkken,” “Dunker,” and “Åsgårdsreia” open the ball, and are all three on the heavier side. Although they all are quality compositions, “Nøkken” is the highlight of the three, and maybe also the highlight of the entire album. The mix of very intriguing violin lines accompanied by oh so delightful, rock-solid distorted guitars, make for a great piece of music.

Next up is the album’s Progressive section, with “Trolltind” and “Allvis.” Both are very good songs, albeit the keyboard arrangements sound a bit clichéd at times – those arpeggios have been played for some 30 years now, Mr. Godø! Still, Langstrand sings astoundingly beautiful – far better than other contemporary Operatic singers like Sharon Den Adel or Liv Kristine, and the very clever use of horns definitely enhances the songs. Unbelievably comfortable to the ear.

“Perpålsa” is back in Metal territories, and is another quality track. This is pure Classic Viking Metal – think Mithotyn at its best (except for the vocals of course) – and very cool indeed. “Blæster” is next, and this is unfortunately Troll’s most anonymous track. The vocal melody is good, and once again the violin adds to the overall impression, but the arrangement lacks a bit of power. At times, it almost sounds like something Symphony X ditched when composing The Accolade, if you get the picture.

The closing “Byttingen” is a ballad, where Langstrand’s voice, accompanied by mellow strings and trumpets, is the main ingredient. The vocal melody is very musical, and that is indeed a compliment. This is definitely lighter-waving material, and Langstrand could easily make even the most in-grown troll burst into tears with an incredible presentation of these emotional lyrics.

This is an impressive piece of work, and despite the minor complaints presented earlier this is an awesome release.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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