Flamingo Overlord

rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Dance Like a Pink Flamingo
02. All Drinks on Me
03. Flamongous
04. Twenty Miles an Hour
05. The Flamingorilla
06. Flamingo Libre
07. Piña Colada
08. Rule the Country
09. The Way You Earn Your Drinks
10. Overlords Have Feelings
11. Bob Venke

Never let it be said that heavy metal isn't worth taking extremely seriously, but there should always be room for a little levity, and for bands as patently, enduringly ludicrous as TROLLFEST. Ostensibly a folk metal band with a degree of shared DNA with FINNTROLL and their many inferiors, the Norwegians have become increasingly inventive and creative with their mind-frying lunacy over the years, assimilating a dizzying array of musical ideas into an already bewildering mix. More importantly, TROLLFEST are one of the most insanely entertaining live bands on the planet, and their biggest challenge has always been to accurately encapsulate the exuberant, scattershot brilliance of the live show from the confines of the studio. Recent albums like "Helluva" and "Norwegian Fairytales" came pretty close, and TROLLFEST's rapidly soaring profile is testament to their success. But if ever there was an obvious slam-dunk, "Flamingo Overlord" is it. Both the band's most musically ingenious record by some margin and the biggest and best sounding album of their career, the maddest thing about it is how fucking good it is.

With their own peculiar form of folk metal as a bedrock, TROLLFEST screech off on all manner of bizarre and delightful tangents throughout their ninth album, while never forgetting to deliver a giant, grin-inducing chorus (or two). "Dance Like a Pink Flamingo" is an instant anthem and quite possibly the product of diseased minds: with an irresistible, arena-size refrain and at least six genres crammed into its three-and-a-half minutes, it's the TROLLFEST formula in a shiny nutshell. Next, "All Drinks on Me" is a rather more traditional folk metal banger, but it's one that zings with energy, while also boasting a rather lovely Hawaiian guitar solo and some yodeling.

In fact, no two songs on "Flamingo Overlord" sound remotely alike, despite their creators' self-evident metal credentials. "Flamongous" is a lurching, off-beat thing, with symphonic shades and a truly berserk mid-section that owes its front teeth to MR. BUNGLE; "Piña Colada" somehow brings extreme metal, lavish vocal harmonies and looping, reggaeton beats together with strangely appealing consequences. Saving some of the best till last, "The Way You Earn Your Drinks" is all killer clown menace and cod-military thump, while "Overlords Have Feelings" offers a cheerfully extreme Balkan metal knees-up, with an almost ZAPPA-esque feel.

It is all, without exception, madder than a sack full of rabid weasels. It is also, and this is the clincher, a huge, undeniable ray of sunshine — with extra flamingos.

Author: Dom Lawson
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