Metsatöll and their Traditional Estonian Instruments that You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

There are times when I can’t even pretend to be an expert on some weirdo instrument that crosses my monitor. Occasionally I just have no clue. Take, for instance, Metsatöll. I knew I had this video incoming, from the band’s multi-instrumentalist Lauri. What instruments does he play, according to the band’s “about” page? “Vocals, torupill, flutes, kannel, instrument of angst, mouth harp, goat horn, acoustic guitar.”


Well, I know vocals. That’s easy. Acoustic? Sure, I don’t own one anymore but I’ve heard some great Martins. Flute… well, sure, I can talk a bit about them? A good friend of mine plays the flute. She recorded with me on an old album. Kannel? I think… well Kurt Cobain wore a kannel shirt, so that’s kind of like an instrument. And torupill? What the hell is a… okay, I think you just make up “instrument of angst.” That’s not a real thing. Unless it’s another grunge reference…

Nope, not going to try. If you want to learn about the esoteric Estonian melody makers in Metsatöll’s arsenal I’ll just let Lauri give you the info directly.


Metsatöl’s new album Karjajuht is out now in Europe, and is available in the US on May 27th, via Spinefarm Records.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

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