Misfit Heart

Ritva Nero – Immortal Tradition – 2022

Ritva Nero Immortal Tradition
Layout & Design by Jani Snellman

The highly anticipated debut album of 2022: Ritva Nero – Immortal Tradition is finally here. Traditional folk music meets metal. I was perplex at first, then I listened to the single “Trepatska Thrasher”, preceding the album release and I was hooked. It is my kind of dance music or what I usually like to call “music for the feet”… though I do not dance unless alone or with family 😂.

For the little story (as I thought I’d write this post much earlier), I did not have a CD player until recently and unfortunately the sound was mediocre at best (fixed it now). I could not connect my Bluetooth headphones to it either (which have a great sound, by the way! 😅), so I waited.

On the release date, January 14th, 2022, Immortal Tradition was finally available on streaming platforms such as Tidal where I know I get quality sound and the added bonus of a good pay-out to the artists. Therefore, that morning I put on my Sony Headphones, pressed play before I even had my first drop of coffee. Result: I was in an excessive good mood (if there are such things); I had already danced my heart out at 6 am (fortunately, no one saw that) and I started writing this post.

Ritva Nero

Ritva Nero Immortal Tradition
Photo by Tiia Öhman

Ritva Nero is a Finnish music Quintet who saw the light of day in 2017. The musicianship has rather blown me away and I have been craving the release of Immortal Tradition ever since it was announced last year. The line up is thus: Emilia Lajunen (Nyckelharpa), Jani Snellman (Electric Bass), Patrik Fält (Drums), Petri Prauda (Finnish Bagpipes), Sanna Salonen (Soprano Saxophone).

These five great musicians are bringing the ancient traditional folk music back to life. The genre is classified as party folk-metal. I have never listened to similar music before, so I have nothing to compare Ritva Nero to. As a full-length instrumental album, one might think it a risky bet for a debut album. Well, think again my friends! There is no dull moment and the composition keeps one alert, like what’s gonna happen next, you know. Ritva Nero delivers a successful mix, full of life and surprises.

You can hear how much fun the band is having  and though I am not versed in technical musical terminology, the melodies are both simple and sophisticated. Simple in the sense that they will continue playing in your head, even when the music has stopped. On a partial note, I somehow recognize Jani Snellman‘s happy and skilled bass playing. But know this, they all are skilled musicians which makes Immortal Tradition a “must have”.

I remember thinking that Ritva Nero‘s music sounded like a wonderful tribute to life. You know, before entertainment as we know it, with all the technologies invading our space… the simpler life of people who looked each other in the eye to talk; when dancing was such a celebration and of course some sort of initiation, a social rite of passage to move on to “adulthood”. Of course, I would never want to live then for so many reasons; yet, there was a genuine spirit of communion with others that I find have lessened nowadays (unless you go to concerts 😁). Ritva Nero reconnects us to one another, at least it is what it makes me feel.

Immortal Tradition is a clever balance between old and new. Yes, it has metal vibes but nowhere are they overpowering the trepatska, mazurka or polka, which – you understood – are dances. The metal vibes are bringing the dances back to life, giving them new “spunk” that, if you don’t start fidgeting on your chair and get up to move your feet, I would be very surprised indeed.

Ritva Nero’s Official Website

Ritva Nero, Master of Maanitus

The quintet’s first official video, Master of Maanitus.  On the booklet it is presented as a typical Russian-based dance. A dance which some masked “dudes and dudettes” 😋 are demonstrating in this video 😄. I still haven’t figured out who is who in the video, can you?

Support Ritva Nero

Now, streaming’s great but do buy the CD please. Not only will you support Ritva Nero – obviously – but you’ll also learn loads of interesting stuff from the booklet. So, without revealing more than I ought, how’s your knowledge of traditional folk music history? Non-existent you say… just like me, well get reading my friends!

Me, myself and I love Immortal Tradition and would give it a 10 out 10 for the sheer joy it brings.

Immortal Tradition’s track list

  1. Trepatska Thrasher
  2. Slayer of Schottische
  3. Moshpit Mazurka
  4. Megapolka
  5. Rahapolska Helsingista
  6. Kaks’askelvalssi
  7. Dragon Quadrille
  8. Rutvan Polkka
  9. Master of Maanitus

This post is categorized within PotF – Misfit Heart’s Special Gems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.