Troll Breeder sounds like it should be a band like Lordi, but it is actually a one-man show. This solo project was started in 2019 to provide full creative autonomy. The man behind Troll Breeder is Nils Blum-Oeste hailing from Berlin and influenced by Nordic metal.
While influenced by black and death metal, Troll Breeder builds on this to incorporate classical and folk music. The unlikely fusion of these genres creates a unique sound that draws on animism and Nordic mythology. Den Of Trolls is the debut album that displays this eclectic and progressive sound.
The first track is ‘Trail’ and has a folky start. The slow pace of the opening starts to pick up with the string instruments lending a medieval tone to the song. The track acts as the perfect opening number to the album and building the scene.
‘Passage 5’ has a heavier feel to it without the folk element. The guitars are heavier and there is a sense of darkness to the track. If this album were a movie, this song would be the build-up where there is something moving in the corner of your eye. The track picks up the pace close to the end providing a frantic energy.
The next song ‘Root Canal’ continues the rock tone of ‘Passage 5’ with a slight twist. The ending energy of the last track also carries over. Based on the inspiration of Troll Breeder, you can imagine a mythic ritual in the woods as the basis of this track.
‘Onwards’ is the perfect title for this song. The intense guitar has a forward momentum to it that drives you onwards. The slower interludes of acoustic notes give a respite before you are pushed on again.
‘Fog’ has a more frenetic energy to it with a hint of the unknown. The guitar builds up a feeling that there is something out there that you cannot see. The deeper tones of the track add to the ominous nature of the rhythm. The track leaves you wondering what happened in the fog.
The sixth track is ‘Summon Banish Summon’ and does set the scene of some dark summoning ritual. You can almost hear the summoning in the notes of the guitar and the build-up of expectation. The track also hits you with the fear of what might happen when the summoning is complete and successful.
‘Garden’ is the next track and has a slows and softer opening. However, the darker underlying tone is still present. Even with the darkness, the track is a respite from the heart-pounding beats of the album. The melody lets you relax while still providing the feeling that someone could be watching.
‘Cheap Blood’ opens hard and does not let up for the entire track. There is almost a sense of panic in this track that makes you nervous and want to move. The deep bass keeps your head moving to the beat while the other instruments construct the story.
‘Nobility’ has a different feel to the rest of the album. The opening is simpler and more stripped back before leading into Troll Breeder’s unique sound. The imagery brought by the music is clear and you can almost see an ancient court full of nobles.
The last track on the album is ‘Freyr and Freya’ and brings back the folk inspiration. The track is more medieval and bardic than any others with a reliance on flutes instead of guitar. This is a slow track that closes the album on a softer note.
Den Of Trolls is a true experience for any listener and a showcase of what Troll Breeder has to offer. The music swings from ominous to medieval folk and brings clear imagery. The album melds a unique set of influences to create a holistic approach to the introduction of the act.