A big line-up of Scandinavian and Russian folk metal hits MAO as Finntroll, Arkona and Dream Spirit come to Shanghai for Painkillerfest 2016.
Finntroll is a folk metal band from Helsinki, Finland. They combine elements of black metal and folk metal. Finntroll’s lyrics are mostly in Swedish, the only exception being the song “Madon Laulu” on Visor Om Slutet. Finntroll’s original singer, Katla, decided to use Swedish over Finnish since he was part of a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland and the sound of the language seemed to better suit the band’s “trollish” outfit. Despite several vocalist changes, this tradition has continued.
According to bandmembers Vreth and Skrymer, they took their name from an old Finnish legend where Swedish priests coming to Finland had an encounter with a wild-looking man who killed most of their party. The survivors came back bearing the tale of the Finn-Troll.
Finntroll’s lyrics mainly deal with legends and tales revolving around the fictional Troll-King “Rivfader” and the trolls fighting against the Christians who entered their lands and spread their beliefs. A recurring theme is the story of two priests named “Aamund” and “Kettil”. The first three full-length albums feature a rather short but fierce song about the two men who constantly get themselves into trouble with the trolls, only to get beaten up and mutilated over and over again by the wrathful followers of Rivfader.
To date, the band’s discography includes six full-length albums, a live album and two EPs. Their newest studio album Blodsvept was released on March 22, 2013. In 2014, the band released the live album Natten Med De Levande Finntroll (“Night of the Living Finntroll”).
Arkona is a Russian pagan metal band. Their lyrics are heavily influenced by Russian folklore and Slavic mythology, and their music incorporates several traditional Russian musical instruments. The name of the band “Arkona” refers to the last pagan Slavic city-castle.
Their singer and songwriter, Maria “Masha Scream” Arkhipova, is one of relatively few successful female vocalists to sing in a death growl style. She is married to fellow band member Sergei “Lazar” Atrashkevich, with whom she has two children.
The band Dream Spirit went to Beijing in 2009 to develop further. Their obsession with music and fervent love of ancient Chinese culture is inherent in their musical rhythms and cadences. The sonorous and clear voice of the lead singer, and traditional heavy metal guitar riffing, volley back and forth within Chinese folk-inspired melodies. Together with artful, poetic lyrics, the band is shaping up to be a metal band with an exquisite Chinese style!