So, the music of Russia’s Troll Bends Fir won’t bubble your skin from the heat or cause you to pee out your bunghole from fright like much of what we feature here, but it might still capture you like a mink in a trap, particularly the song we’re eventually coming to in this post.
We featured the music of this band once before last October. Then, the music was humppa, which was in keeping both with the band’s own description of its music as “beer folk” and and also with the prominent appearance of “troll” in their name. Fun-loving, toe-tapping, humppa-folk-metal is a big smile, particularly if you’re beered-up to your eyebrows. But it turns out that Troll Bends Fir are more multi-faceted than I suspected.
The band’s latest album, a compilation released last September called Братья Во Хмелю (Brothers in Drinks), includes more than beer-folk-rock-metal. It includes a song called “Ave Celia!”, which is the only song on the album that doesn’t have a Russian title in the original. And “Ave Celia!” is the subject of a new official video that’s well worth watching . . . and hearing.
I say this despite the fact that most of the singing is clean (though when a deep-voiced dude is singing in Russian, it just sort of inherently sounds badass). I say this despite the fact that a flute and a fiddle feature prominently in the instrumentation. Actually, the flute and the fiddle are part of the attraction.
But the main attraction is that the song is one catchy motherfucker. Yes, it’s more folk-pop than it is metal, but I can’t be the only metalhead who, after hearing the song, finds himself humming the chorus hours later without realizing it.
The video is also excellent. The lighting, the camera work, the editing — it’s all beautifully done. And a big round of applause to whoever had the idea of using barley seeds to create a rendering of a hops bud on the head of that enormous drum before the pounding begins. It’s the same image that appears on the album cover, but it hops here (you see what I did there?).
No skin bubbling ahead, but something that’s fun to hear and to watch nonetheless.
P.S. If you read the comments below, you’ll see my speculation about what “Ave Celia” means. But I was wrong, and honestly, since this is Troll Bends Fir, I should have known better. When I posted a link to this feature on the Troll Bends Fir facebook page, they responded with the correct interpretation of the song:
“Thanks, Islander! As for the translation, right, “Ave” means “Hail”, but “Celia” is the term for “wheat or home-made beer”, so the whole line can be translated from Latin as “Hail, Beer! Our aqua vita!” Term “Aqua vita”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_vitae :)”
I like “Hail Beer!” better than my interpretation anyway, though it will now be even more difficult to get this song out of my head (truthfully, I really don’t want it to go away).