TrollWar – Oath Of The Storm
Reviewed: December, 2018
The Kings of Kanadian Karnage!- The Frozen North Rides Forth!
This feature is so good, I had to name it twice! About once a year I indulge my patriotism and review a bunch of Canadian Metal releases. There has been a whole pile of albums recently released in the past few months and I want to help bring some exposure to these bands. There are bands of all styles and all genres from across the country in this feature. The bands covered in this feature are… (listed alphabetically)
Anvil (Toronto, ON)
Apprentice (Vancouver, BC)
Arctic Circle (Brandon, Manitoba)
Assault (Vancouver, BC)
Black Rat (Calgary, AB)
Cauldron (Toronto, ON)
Codex:Factoria (Vancouver, BC)
Dethgod (Calgary, AB)
Fractal Cypher (Montreal,Quebec)
Haiduk (Calgary, AB)
Iomair (Scarborough, ON)
Ice War (Ottawa, ON)
Leah (Vancouver, BC)
Lee Aaron (Vancouver, BC)
Malacoda (Oakville, ON)
Mongol (Edmonton, AB)
Ominous Eclipse (Ottawa, ON)
Skullfist (Toronto, ON)
Solborn (Edmonton, AB)
Thor (Vancouver, BC)
Trollwar (Alma, PQ)
Untimely Demise (Saskatoon, SK)
W.M.D (Calgary, AB)
Ye Goat-Herd Gods (Calgary, AB)
Please enjoy all the albums in this feature and check out all the talent Canada has to offer!
If I was not a dedicated fan of this sub-genre of Metal, I might grow tired of the vast number of new Folk Metal bands that are cropping up constantly. Now, in defense of TrollWar, they have been around for several years and this is their second album, but there has been massive growth in this sub-genre, especially in Canada. What will it take for these bands to stand out beyond the most die-hard fans? There have been about 40 bands of this style in Canada that have started up in the past decade but I feel TrollWar have what it takes to stand tall.
The seven-piece band are from Quebec and each member has adopted a cool pseudonym as well. I really like these guys, but I can’t help but slightly feel they are going through the motions of what is expected of the genre. They wear furs, have an accordion player (Trollathan the old Bard) wear Braveheart-type war-paint but they stick to the conventions of the genre and do it well. The lyrics are traditional, songs about hymns and oaths and quests and victory. I get the sense that they are having fun with it while being pretty professional and serious too.
Death/Folk Metal is what they play and admittedly, OATH OF THE STORM is just face-ripping start to finish. The relentless drumming of Exodius the Blacksmith propels the entire album, and there is shredding guitar all over the place. I think what might make them stand out is that they are not your average happy-jig inspired Celtic Metal, I’m hearing more of Children Of Bodom at their heaviest (with an accordion!) than for example, more comedic bands like Trollfest or Nordheim. The speed and guttural vocals keep this firmly in the Death side of the Death/Folk description. It is a heavy album and the extra folk flair makes it all that more enjoyable. The album is nicely bookended with a pair of epic, orchestral pieces giving it a real sense of being an album, a musical journey.
OATH OF THE STORM has a wave of well-written catchy songs, good production, lots of intensity and power as well, which is something some of the other bands lack. TrollWar is a pretty appropriate name for this enjoyable act and OATH OF THE STORM is one of the more intense Folk Metal albums out this year.