Tuesday 13 December 2016

Review: TONTTU – 'Gnouroborus'


Like the Men In Black, the anti-gnomenmartialindustrialneofolkmetal society known as Tonttu protects us from an otherwise unseen menace, namely Gnomes. They're everywhere and they want to overthrow humanity, but with a fiendish mixture of martial beats, industrial electronics, metal savagery, and neofolk atmospheres the trio have so far held the hordes of the Gnomic terror at bay. The latest outing from the band just in time for Christmas (peak time for elves so Gnomes can't be too far behind) sees them form alliances with Miel Noir, DJV, and Terrorrot who provide remixes of the anti-gnome anthems.

The first three tracks see remix duties handled by Tonttu themselves with 'Tonttumarssi (Gnomsignomsi)', ' Saunan Tonttu (Whittaker Goes Eurovision)', and ' Jo Muinaiset Tontut Söivät Jälkiruokaa, Perkele! (WW1-3)' preserving the crazy Lovecraftian dissonance of the originals but adding some more discernible club-friendly elements, with the third track resembling the martial madness of early Laibach.

'Kolossus, Tontut ja Korpit (Anti-Tonttu)' sees DJV stick to the lyrical focus of the original track but amps up the creepiness with the near-whimsical melody and steady, swaying beats. Miel Noir treat ' Jälkiruoka - Gnomes Drowned In Black Honey' to a rather luscious sci-fi orientated martial mix that is disturbingly addictive. Finally, Terrorot take on 'Suurin Oikeutus' with a cover version of low-fi power electronics meets death metal that is the audio equivalent of being beaten over the head with a CD player containing a Berzerker album skipping and sticking at random while someone screams in your ear through a cheap voice changer.

This is at times a pretty fun remix album, and at others it is just batshit crazy. The production is pretty slick for the most part considering the different elements and sometimes outright dissonant execution of some tracks. But it holds itself together and if you like plenty of curve-balls thrown at you it definitely warrants focused listening.

'Gnouroborus' is a fun album for those who like thinks a little more left-field. It is an album that shows off not only some great remixing skills, but also the strength of the source material. It might not give Tonttu a club-hit but as long as it keeps the Gnomes at bay this winter, that's all that matters.  

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