TrollfesT are slowly morphing into Diablo Swing Orchestra and here I am, not complaining one bit. The band is back with their sixth full-length album Kaptein Kaos, and it seems they’ve ramped up all the elements that make their music great. Where there was folkish glee in albums past, there is MORE folkish glee in Kaptein Kaos. Where there were subtle hints of un-Scandinavian influence, there are now obvious Latin American/Caribbean overtones (still not quite sure how I feel about that, but I’m rolling with it for now). Kaptein Kaos is a lot to take in, and TrollfesT have certainly kept the festive vibe going strong.
Jonne Järvelä, Korpiklaani frontman & one-man album mill, is unsurprisingly a huge fan of Kaptein Kaos, but inexplicably named “Solskinnsmedisin” as his personal favorite. Let me be the one to say I have no idea what he’s talking about there. On this wonderful album, the almost unforgivably unoriginal “Solskinnsmedisin” is a low-light. It is, to Kaptein Kaos, what “Pretty Fly” was to The Offspring’s Americana — suitable as a joke track and little else, which is really saying something considering how unserious folk metal generally is. I also have a hard time with “Seduction Suite No. 21,” and I place the blame solely on my inability to get into instrumental tracks…and maybe a little bit on the fact that I’m imagining this:
Does any of the above mean that I’m not going to shake my ass to “Solskinnsmedisin” in the pit? Hell no! Kaptein Kaos never loses its sense of demented whimsy, even when it falters in the quality department. It starts strong with the title track and the semi-Varangian “Vulkan,” and the party doesn’t stop until the album does. “Sagn Om Stein” and “Renkespill” come as close to folk metal perfection as possible, and the combination of non-Scandinavian influences works beautifully in the latter half of the album in particular.
Kaptein Kaos is delightful, though not without its flaws, and I would eagerly recommend it to anyone who wasn’t an elitist killjoy. This album is STRICTLY for those who know how to have fun. I’ll be dancing in my seat to Kaptein Kaos for many commutes to come! (9 / 10)