Archive for Ensiferum

New Ensiferum album coming this summer

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report, Uncategorized with tags , , on 29th May 2020 by izaforestspirit

It’s been three years after their last studio effort ‘Two Paths’. Now the Finnish folk metallers are back with a new album called ‘Thalassic’. Here is an official statement from the band regarding the lyrical themes:

“The idea of it started to brew in my mind when I was doing interviews for ‘Two Paths‘ and many journalists asked if it was a theme album, and I noticed that I was answering all the time that because of the way we compose it’s almost impossible to make a theme album. This really started to piss me off and the decision was made: the next album would have a theme. At that time, we already had a few songs almost ready for the next album, and I started to listen to the demos much more from the feeling aspect instead of analyzing them musically. For some reason, all of them took me to a seashore, and the theme was found: something related to sea or water. So I started to read about history, myths and legend around the world that had something to do with the theme, but even though all of the lyrics are obviously inspired by this, I tried my best to keep Ensiferum‘s heroic mentality in them. In the end, there were too many ideas for lyrics, because I didn’t set myself any boundaries – like all stories would have to be Nordic, etc, and one of my favourite songs on the album tells about Andromeda from Greek mythology. I can’t promise that this way of lyric-writing will be the future of Ensiferum, but at least we did this once.”

You see the cover art and track-listing below:

1. Seafarer’s Dream
2. Rum, Women, Victory
3. Andromeda
4. The Defence of the Sampo
5. Run from the Crushing Tide
6. For Sirens
7. One with the Sea
8. Midsummer Magic
9. Cold Northland (Väinämöinen Part III)
10. Merille Lahteva (Bonus Track)
11. I’ll Stay by Your Side (Bonus Track)

‘Thalassic’ will hit the shops in both physical and digital formats on 10th July 2020 via Metal Blade Records.

In the meantime you can check out their new lyric video for ‘Rum, Women, Victory’

For further information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum

https://ensiferum.com/

Ensiferum’s Acoustic tour comes to Europe this December

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , on 22nd October 2018 by izaforestspirit

The Finnish folk metal band Ensiferum have announced that they will be playing a series of acoustic shows in Europe this December. Here is more details about this special tour from their bassist Sami Hinkka:

“Just to tell you guys a bit more about the whole idea of these acoustic gigs. Ensiferum has always had acoustic elements and also whole acoustic songs on the albums but those have been impossible to add to traditional metal gigs. So we decided to create a setlist that would include songs that haven’t ever been played outside of Finland. Not just acoustic songs but also some very rare songs that we rearranged a bit to fit the acoustic atmosphere. Most of the setlist will be songs that haven’t been heard ever outside of Finland so even if you saw Ensiferum within the last years, this show will blow your mind! Partying, beer, moshpits, singalong, crowd surfing has always been a big part of Ensiferum’s metal gigs, how about this time? Fear not, it’s not going to be a ballads-only-evening, because we also include some old hit songs that went through an acoustic metamorphosis to keep the party spirit high! So see you all in the acoustic moshpit!

They will be joined by a Finnish acoustic rock band called TRIO DE FACTO.

To give you an idea of what kind of show you can expect, here is a video of one of their acoustic performances in Helsinki back in 2016:

For the full schedule check out the poster below:

For more information visit:

http://www.ensiferum.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Ensiferum/

 

Ex Deo announce 2018 European tour with Ensiferum

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , , on 23rd December 2017 by izaforestspirit

The Canadian symphonic death metal band Ex Deo are due to hit the European shores again next year. This time they have teamed up with the Finnish folk metallers Ensiferum for their ‘Path To Glory’ tour starting in April 2018.

For the full schedule see the poster below:

No automatic alt text available.

For further information visit:

http://www.ensiferum.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum/

https://www.facebook.com/exdeo/

Ensiferum reveal new album title

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , on 19th July 2017 by izaforestspirit

The Finnish folk metal band Ensiferum are back and have just announced that their new album will be entitled ‘Two Paths’. The new record will be released worldwide on 15th September via Metal Blade Records.

You can check out the track-listing and the cover-art below:

1. Ajattomasta Unesta
2. For Those About to Fight for Metal
3. Way of the Warrior
4. Two Paths
5. King of Storms
6. Feast with Valkyries
7. Don’t You Say
8. I Will Never Kneel
9. God Is Dead
10. Hail to the Victor
11. Unettomaan Aikaan
12. God Is Dead (Alternative Version)
13. Don’t You Say (Alternative Version)

They are also embark on a European tour starting in August 2017. Here is the schedule for the first part of the tour:

Aug. 17 – Summerbreeze festival – Dinkelsbuehl, Germany
Sept. 26 – Bochum, Germany – Zeche
Sept. 27 – Langen, Germany – Stadthalle
Sept. 28 – Arnhem, Netherlands – Luxor Live
Sept. 29 – Berlin, Germany – SO36
Sept. 30 – Osnabruck, Germany – Hyde Park
Oct. 1 – Paris, France – La Machine

More dates will be announced soon.

In the meantime you can check out the lyric video for the first single here:

 

For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum/

http://metalblade.com/ensiferum/

 

Ensiferum announce tour dates for 2016

Posted in Misc., News, Uncategorized with tags , on 27th November 2015 by izaforestspirit

The Finnish folk metal band Ensiferum are due to hit the road again next year. They will be visiting The UK and Ireland in February with the Estonian folk metal band Metsatöll as support. Check the poster below for the dates:

They have also announced their European tour dates for April 2016.

Here is a statement from the band:

Greetings from Ensiferum camp! One Man Army -world tour has already visited many cities but there is still lot more to come. We shall not rest before every metalhead has partied with us like there is no tomorrow! Now we are very proud to announce European tour in April 2016 with brilliant lineup! More info later, so please be patient, we promise that it will be worth it. Folk on!”

There hasn’t been any details about who their support acts will be but you can check the dates below:

01/04/16 DE – Lichtenfels – Ragnarök Festival
02/04/16 NL – Rotterdam – Maasilo
03/04/16 BE – Antwerp – Trix
04/04/16 DE – Frankfurt – Batschkapp
05/04/16 LU – Esch/Alzette – Kulturfabrik
06/04/16 DE – Hannover – Capitol
07/04/16 DK – Copenhagen – Amager Bio
08/04/16 DE – Leipzig – Hellraiser
09/04/16 AT – Wien – Szene
10/04/16 HU – Budapest – Barba Negra Club
12/04/16 RO – Bucharest – Arenele Romane
13/04/16 BG – Sofia – Mixtape 5 Club
14/04/16 SR – Belgrade – Dom Omladine
15/04/16 HR – Zagreb – Vintage
16/04/16 DE – Burglengenfeld – VAZ Pfarrheim
17/04/16 CH – Solothurn – Kulturfabrik Kofmehl
18/04/16 IT – Milan – Fabrique
19/04/16 DE – Karlsruhe – Substage
20/04/16 IT – Köln – Live Music Hall
21/04/16 DE – Berlin – Columbia Theater

Finnish fans have an opportunity to see them live this year during their Finland tour in support of Children of Bodom on these dates:

09/12/15 FI – Tampere / Tähtiareena
10/12/15 FI – Seinäjoki / Rytmikorjaamo
11/12/15 FI – Jyväskylä / Paviljonk
12/12/15 FI – Oulu / Super Park

https://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum

http://www.ensiferum.com/

http://www.metalblade.com/ensiferum

Ensiferum announce plans to record sixth studio album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 10th July 2014 by Nico Davidson

Finland’s heroes of folk metal, Ensiferum will be returning to the studio later this year to record the sixth album in their ongoing saga. Whilst touring Europe recently, the band have been crafting new battle hymns for the sixth album which will be acting as their debut on Metal Blade Records.

Ensiferum plan to record the new album in September and October of this year with producer Anssi Kippo at Astia Studio in Finland. The release date is tentatively scheduled for early 2015. Bassist Sami Hinkka has offered the following update:

Hi folks! They say that time flies when you are having a good time and we couldn’t agree more. We have been quite busy touring around the world since our previous album came out few years ago. Between tours we have worked hard with new songs and now we are very proud to announce that Ensiferum will hit studio again right after summer festival season.

On the new album we will take everything to eleven, it’s going to be fast, furious, epic and full of surprises but of course there will be classic Ensiferum elements included.

We will do the album with the one and only Mr. Anssi Kippo. Pre-production is already going really well and in few weeks we will record another demo of all new songs. Then it’s time to continue twisting and turning all the details so that in early 2015 our fans on every continent can be sure to get in their hands the best folk metal album ever made. Stay tuned for more info!

Ensiferum online:

http://ensiferum.com
http://twitter.com/EnsiferumMetal
http://facebook.com/Ensiferum

Lost Society give the low down on the first five tracks from Terror Hungry

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 12th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Lost Society are set to unleash their new album Terror Hungry next month through Nuclear Blast. In anticipation of the new album, the guys have filmed a video giving fans the down low on the album. Lost Society decided to do this while on tour so each track is covered in a different country and/or city, giving fans a chance to see what life on the road with these four Finnish dudes is like. The first clips which covers the first five tracks can be viewed just below:

Part One: Spurgatory

Part Two: Game Over and Attaxic

Part Three: Lethal Pleasure and Terror Hungry

Lost Society online:

http://facebook.com/lostsocietyfinland
http://youtube.com/lostsocietyfinland
https://twitter.com/lostsocietyfi

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The Privateer – Monolith

Posted in Review with tags , , on 13th December 2013 by izaforestspirit

The Privateer
Monolith
Released 15th November 2013
Power Metal/ Folk Metal
Released via Trollzorn Records

 photo Theprivateer-Monolith-Artwork_zps44ebaad4.jpg

‘Monolith’ is the second album from the pirate themed German power metal band The Privateer. It is the follow up to their debut The Tempest’ which was released in 2011.

After a short instrumental intro it’s straight on to the first full track; the folkish sounding, violin-infused ballad A sequel from a distant visit, which seems a world away from the usual pirate themed metal clichés such as Alestorm. Although this is still technically falling under the power metal banner, there’s a lot more depth to The Privateer than your standard “let’s all dress up as pirates, drink ourselves silly and wave some plastic swords in the air” -metal. For starters, violin is a prominent feature in their music, giving the songs a slight melancholic feel which is evident in tracks such as Ember Sea, a track packed with atmospheric elements mixed in with the guitars and catchy “epic” choruses.

There’s also a handful of faster, catchy and more upbeat songs on here such as the title track, which brings back some of the “fun” and energy that was missing earlier. The aforementioned track incorportates elements of Ensiferum (the chorus singing style) along with hints of both Eluveitie and Apocalyptica. They have even decided to add a German-language track Störtebeker, which reminds me of earlier works by Die Apokalyptischen Reiter for some reason. The lead vocals tend to vary slightly in style depending on the track, offering a somewhat unusual mixture of rock and melodeath-styled semi-growls.

Then it’s back to good old “epic” power metal for the remainder of the album with tracks like their namesake The Privateer, providing the obligatory pirate anthem complete with lyrics about “Jolly Rogers” and For what lurks in the storm, which features a female backing vocalist. The only exception is the melodic, acoustic instrumental The Tides, which highlights the skill of both the guitarist and the violin player. A pleasant addition but I’m not sure if it’s enough to make this album stand out.

Overall ‘Monolith’ reveals the ambitious nature of the band and their willingness to experiment with different genres. Mixing folk and power metal may be a bold move but it’s not an easy one to execute properly. Whilst I value the effort and applaud their skills as musicians, I think that The Privateer have bitten off more than they can chew with this release.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Gloryhammer announce first UK tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Gloryhammer, the new power metal project featured Alestorm’s Christopher Bowes, have announced their first headlining tour of the UK for September and October. The tour which is in support of the band’s debut album Tales from the Kingdom of Fife, will start off in the historic kingdom of Fife before the band make their way gradually down south. Tour dates are as follow:

Sept. 25th DUNDEE – Reading Rooms
Sept. 26th GLASGOW – Classic Grand
Sept. 27th SHEFFIELD – Academy
Sept. 28th MANCHESTER – Sound Control
Sept. 29th BRISTOL – The Fleece
Sept. 30th LEICESTER – 02 Academy
Oct. 1st LONDON – The Garage
Oct. 2nd BILSTON – The Robin 2

Gloryhammer will also be appearing at this year’s MetalDays Festival in Slovenia, alongside acts such as Benediction, Arkona, Nya, Bloodshot Dawn, Alestorm, Powerwolf, Ensiferum and many more. Kingdoms from the Tale of Fife was release on 29th March 2013 via Napalm Records and is available from all the usual retail outlets.

Gloryhammer online:

http://www.gloryhammer.com
https://www.facebook.com/gloryhammer

Ensiferum sign record deal with Metal Blade

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , on 24th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Finnish heroic metallers Ensiferum have spent the past eighteen years honing the steel of their folk-infused battle metal auditory attack. Their albums are further bolstered by a live show that has become one of the most entertaining in all of metal. Proof of Ensiferum‘s status as one of the most vital bands in modern metal was made apparent through their headlining slot on this year’s Paganfest USA tour. To further spread the band’s music to a worldwide audience, Ensiferum has forged an alliance of epic proportions with Metal Blade Records. The band inked the deal with Metal Blade CEO Brian Slagel during the Paganfest USA tour, and all parties are enthusiastic about new music and new possibilities.

Bassist and backing vocalist Sami Hinkka comments:

We are really looking forward to our co-operation with such a great and legendary label as Metal Blade. The next full length album should be out in early 2015. We have already started working with the new songs and it’s obvious that the next album will be another step ahead for Ensiferum. And now that we have united forces with mighty Metal Blade nothing can stop us! The next album is going to be something that will rock the very foundations of folk metal genre. We also would like to thank Spinefarm Records for all these 13 years, it’s been as blast but now it is time for us to move on and head bravely towards new challenges. The future looks bright for Sword Bearers!

Ensiferum will be touring throughout Europe and South America this summer as they continue their live campaign in support of their most recent album, Unsung Heroes, which was released last year through Spinefarm Records. Confirmed dates can be seen below. Ensiferum merch is also available now at this location.

Ensiferum European Festivals dates:

04/26 Oulu , FI Teatria
04/27 Helsinki, FI Virgin Oil
04/28 Losheim Am See, DE Hexentanz Festival
05/05 Istanbul, TR Headbangers Weekend Istanbul
05/18 Gelsenkirchen, DE Rock Hard Festival
05/20 Leipzig, DE Wave Gothic Treffen
06/07 Espoo, FI Kivenlahti Rock
06/20-22 Nummijärvi, FI Nummirock
06/26-30 Tokaj-Rakamaz, HU Hegyalka Festival
07/11-13 Ballenstedt, DE Rockharz Open Air
07/22-26 Tolmin, SL Metaldays
08/07-10 Jaromer, CZ Brutal Assault
08/09-10 Villena, ES Leyendas del Rock Festival
08/15-17 Dinkelsbühl, DE Summer Breeze
08/15-17 Falun, SE Rockstad Falun
South American Tour
05/28 Bogota, CO Teatro Las Vegas Nevada
05/30 Santiago, CL Blondie Club
05/31 Buenos Aires, AR Teatro Vorterix
06/01 Sao Paulo, BR Carioca Club
06/02 Rio De Janeiro, BR Teatro Odisséia

Ensiferum online:

http://ensiferum.com.
http://twitter.com/EnsiferumMetal
http://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum

 

Odraedir – Troll’s Cave EP

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 5th February 2013 by izaforestspirit

Odraedir
Troll’s Cave EP
Released: March 2013
Pagan /Folk Metal
Self-Released

Troll’s Cave‘ is the new EP from the Czech folk metal band Odraedir. It is the follow up to their first demo ‘Pagan Forest’ which was released in 2011.

First up is the title track with what resembles a homage to Finntroll. The vocal style, guitar melodies and song structure are very similar. Just add a touch of flute and jaw harp to the guitars and keyboards and you’re in for a very catchy folk metal treat of a song! The Rise of Cernunnos has the same uplifting feel to it and it’s hard to listen to it without being tempted to dance, air-guitar, head-bang or at least sway along. Unlike the previous song however, this one features a short, melodic instrumental part half way through the track which acts as a break in the party as if to catch your breath or grab the nearest refreshment.

Last up is Campfire, a catchy instrumental featuring what appears to be a homage to Ensiferum’s ‘Lai Lai Hei’. If you’re not already dancing around in the mosh-pit, I suggest you get there soon! Then the song lives up to its namesake with the sounds of a burning fire marking the end to this delightful EP.

4/5 – a highly enjoyable EP. Thanks for cheering me up!

Iza Raittila

Æther Realm – One Chosen by the Gods

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 4th February 2013 by Hannah

Æther Realm
One Chosen by the Gods
Released 8th January 2013
Folk/Death Metal
Self-Released

North Carolina’s Æther Realm– no, they’re not from Finland- are a brilliant band that play no holds-barred, folk spirited metal that rouses the soul and provides an excellent soundtrack for generally epic activities- from pillaging villages to playing Skyrim. Their debut album, ‘One Chosen by the Gods’ is a solid and impressive offering that is incredibly atmospheric, and very strong from the first track to the last.

Opening on the mighty ‘Oak’, the album dives headfirst into epic folk melodies that are intertwined expertly with harsh vocals and an excellent use of both hard, metallic riffs and a softer, instrumental sound. As with the rest of the tracks, the lyrics are effective and play along to the ‘Viking’ theme exceedingly well. Second track ‘Journey of Discovery’ begins with an atmospheric, almost cinematic sound. In fact, this wonderful song in its entirety would be suitable for a fantasy epic. Fantastic effort here, with a good use of vocals and instrumentation throughout. This epic quality continues with ‘Hourglass’, which also contains a nice variation in tempo throughout, and helps to keep the album as a whole even more interesting. There are some very intricate melodies at play here, which adds to the multi-layered feeling of the track altogether. The band’s namesake song, ‘Æther Realm’ is a much faster paced track, with a heavy, stomping tempo that is reminiscent of horses galloping into battle. As heard on the previous song, this track contains some nice tempo changes and this helps to showcase the talent of the band well.

If I had to pick a favourite of the nine tracks on offer here, track number five would probably be it- but the fact it was so difficult for me to decide this shows how strong all of the songs on this album are! ‘Swampwitch’ is an incredibly catchy tune, with an infectious refrain and an impressive and not too excessive guitar solo. I particularly like the group of voices shouting the title throughout the chorus. Eponymous track ‘One Chosen By The Gods’ has a ferocious beginning, and it doesn’t disappoint as the track progresses. It’s a fantastic, rasping battle-cry of a song, complete with pounding, machine-gun drums. There’s an interesting use of symphonic keys in the mix here, which adds another melodic element to the track and lends it an almost video game-esque quality to the sound. Next song, ‘Ravensong’, includes a great use of choral vocals, with (the almost signature) sweeping melodic background- another excellent song, which is becoming something of a trademark for Æther Realm! The penultimate offering, ‘Winter’s Grasp’, is almost progressive in parts, and lends itself well to comparisons with Wintersun. Even so, in some ways this would be the weak link of the album, if it was at all possible to single out any of these songs as being ‘weak’- I merely feel, personally, that a slightly rawer, folk edge would have lent itself to the song a little better. Album closer ‘Odin Will Provide’, however, is a truly epic way to bring this triumph of an album to a close. Here are, once again, a strong melody, supported by fantastic and intelligent lyrics and another catchy refrain. This track ensures that the album makes its mark on your memory!

Overall, ‘One Chosen by the Gods’ is an excellent debut offering from a band that is well on their way to taking their place in the glorious ranks of the other Viking-clad folk metal behemoths. Æther Realm’s sound is somewhere in between Ensiferum and Wintersun, and if they can constantly deliver goods as solid as this, they will have nothing to worry about. A fantastically impressive set of songs, with no real weak link among them, and it has certainly whetted my appetite for more. I look forward to seeing what more Æther Realm have in store.

5/5

Hannah O’Flanagan

 

Ensiferum announce Finland tour dates for January

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 5th December 2012 by Nico Davidson

Heroic folk metal outfit Ensiferum have announced tour dates for their home country of Finland in January 2013, as part of their Unsung Heroes Part Two tour.

Tickets are available from this location.

Dates are as followed:

January
17 – Henry’s Pub – Kuopio, Finand
18 – Kerubi – Joensuu, Finland
19 – Stoppari on the Rocks – Mikkeli, Finland

Ensiferum has also announced that their show in Sydney, Australia show on March 15th at The HiFi, as part of their Unsung Heroes tour of Australia, is now an all-ages show instead of 18+. The tour poster and dates for their Australia tour can be viewed below:

March
15 – The HiFi – Sydney, Australia
16 – The Espy – Melbourne, Australia
17 – Coniston Lane – Brisbane, Australia

 

Incursed – Fimbulwinter

Posted in Review with tags , , on 23rd November 2012 by izaforestspirit

Incursed
Fimbulwinter
Due for release/Released: November 2012
Epic Viking Metal/ Pagan Metal/Folk Metal
Released via Label: Unsigned

‘Fimbulwinter’ is the second album from the Spanish viking metal band Incursed. It is the follow up to their 2010 debut ‘Morituri’. The band has been compared to the likes of legendary viking and folk bands such as Ensiferum, Falkenbach and Mithotyn.

Now, I don’t think I’m the only who has trouble trying to piece together a link between the Vikings and Spain… Oh well.. nevermind, onto the music…

After the symphonic or should I say “epic” (read Ensiferum-style) instrumental intro track ‘Endless, Restless, Relentless’, it’s straight into some pagan metal with ‘Svolder’s Battle’ sounding like mixture of Korpiklaani and Falkenbach with hints of the aforementioned Ensiferum and possibly even Alestorm. Ok, so there’s no real accordions in here but the keyboard and guitars do a pretty good job of ensuring that the song is still catchy. Similar things can be said for the next track ‘Ginnungagap’, which has more of that symphonic feel to it due to the keyboards. The one thing which lets this song down are the vocals, as there are moments when I really can’t make out a single word that this guy is trying to say.

It’s pretty clear that these guys are really into Ensiferum as some of the song structures resemble those of the Finnish folk metal legends. One example of this are the vocal patterns on ‘Jörmungandr’. ‘Homeland’ features a somewhat unusual acoustic guitar intro but then it resumes the pre-set path of the previous tracks offering more of the same Ensiferum-esque folk metal melodies. One thing that sets these guys apart is their Spanish accents which are ever the more audible on the tracks where you can actually make out the words.

This album does have a few surprises, though. One of them is the country and western themed elements of ‘Nordwaldtaler’, which are sandwiched neatly between the folk metal style guitars and keyboards. Another noteworthy track is the catchy instrumental ‘Finnish Polka which really highlights the skills of both of guitarist and the keyboard player.

3/5 – It’s a very Nordic, folk metal sounding album by a Spanish band. I’m somewhat confused by this and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

Iza Raittila

Spinefarm expand street team plus free goodies

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 19th October 2012 by Nico Davidson

Our good friends over at Spinefarm Records (Home to bands such as Ensiferum, Jettblack and many more) are expanding their street team. Amongst receiving stuff like free tickets to Spinefarm gigs, meet and greet opportunities, etc aren’t enough to make you wanna join the Spinefarm street team, we’ve got some good news for you: Spinefarm will randomly select ten new sign-ups to receive the following:

Redlight King – Something For The Pain (Album)

Tarja – What Lies Beneath (Album)

Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist (Album)

Jettblack – Raining Rock (Album)

Ensiferum – Unsung heroes (Album)

A Spinefarm poster

Alice Cooper face paint

Of course, even if you don’t win the stuff above, when you sign up to the Spinefarm street team, you’ll still be in for a chance at free tickets to Spinefarm gigs, meet and greet sessions with your favourite Spinefarm bands and a lot more. So, to sign up, just click here. Or here. Or here.

 

Knaat – Die Lichtung

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 10th October 2012 by izaforestspirit

Knaat
Die Lichtung
Released October 2012
Pagan Metal/ Folk Metal
Self-Released

‘Die Lichtung’ is the debut album from the German pagan metal band Knaat. According to their own statement, the band follows in the tradition of folk metal bands such as Equilibrium, Eluveitie, Korpiklaani and Ensiferum.

So after an ‘Intro’ akin to that of the opening credits to a battle scene in some epic movie, we enter folk metal territory with title track ‘Die Lichtung’ causing Knaat to sound like a Germany’s answer to Korpiklaani. It’s accordions galore with some equally catchy metal guitar riffs mixed in along with symphonic keyboards added for that “Ensiferum- twist”. However, it’s not all about the folk instruments, as ‘Unter Heiligen Hufen’ proves that these guys are also skilled guitarists offering some great solos to accompany the vocals and keyboards.

Then it’s time to hit the local tavern for some much needed refreshments as ‘Schenkentanz Intro’ and ‘Schenkentanz’ set the scene for a big feast with a catchy folk metal soundtrack to match. Yes, ‘Schenkentanz’ is one of those infectiously catchy tracks that will have you attempting some random polka dance moves whilst in the middle of a mosh-pit. ‘Sturm auf Windhelm’ features some flutes mixed in with the guitars creating a pleasant sounding blend of folk and metal. Another noteworthy tracks include: the accordion-laden ‘Spielmann’, which is the closest this band come to matching the speed and overall style of their fellow countrymen Equilibrium; and the final chapter of this release ‘Nordmannen’ offering more of the same catchy folk metal with some funny chanting towards end.

So if you’re a fan of Korpiklaani don’t let this album pass you by!

4/5

Iza Raittila

 

Unsung Heroes available for 24 hours to stream

Posted in News with tags , , , on 28th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

To celebrate the release of brand new album Unsung Heroes, Ensiferum, the highly visual troupe who’ve long been a market leader when it comes to stirring, armour-plated anthems, will post a stream of the album in its entirety, available to listen to for 24 hours.

Click here to stream.

The Finnish quintet return to UK soil in September as part of the extensive European ‘Bearers Of The Sword’ tour, accompanied by special guests and fellow Spinefarm artists, Profane Omen.

September 2012:

18 – O2 Academy, Islington, London
19 – Moho, Manchester
20 – Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland
21 – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Ensiferum launch new video

Posted in News with tags , , on 9th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

Ensiferum, the highly visual troupe who’ve long been a market leader when it comes to stirring, armour-plated anthems, have unleashed their brand new video for In My Sword I Trust; this is the lead track from the Finnish outfit’s forthcoming fifth studio album, Unsung Heroes, set for release via Spinefarm Records on August 27th.

Recorded in Wrocklaw, Poland, and directed by Rafal Szermanowicz for Grupa#13, the clip – according to Ensiferum“Tells how ordinary town people rebel against a greedy and cruel king and the upper classes. There are swords, corpses and drinking; pretty much all you need for a great video! We are looking forward to playing this new Ensiferum anthem to our fans around the world. Folk on!”

The Finnish quintet return to UK soil in September as part of the extensive European Bearers Of The Sword tour, accompanied by special guests and fellow Spinefarm artists, Profane Omen.

September 2012:

18 – O2 Academy, Islington, London
19 – Moho, Manchester
20 – Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland
21 – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Ensiferum – Unsung Heroes

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 31st July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Ensiferum
Unsung Heroes
Released: 27th August 2012
Heroic Metal/Folk Metal
Released via Spinefarm Records

Ensiferum are one of the most renowned metal bands to hail from Finland. Unsung Heroes, the fifth album from the Finnish metallers and produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, is described as a “cinematic experience”. Since their first album, the band’s musical ambition and vision has gone strength to strength with each new release.

Symbols is the first track of the album, setting the mood with a delicate orchestrated piece. The track is one of those that sends a chill down the spine, containing a subtle majestic feel that calls forth an epic atmosphere without dulling the mood that is created. As the track comes to its end, In My Sword I Trust begins, which screams out with a typical Ensiferum sound. The riffs are heroically played, swaying back and forth alongside the drums and keyboards, making for a sagaic sound while the vocals gallantly join the fray. The lyrics paint quite the mythic image that adds emphasis to the music.

Unsung Heroes, the title track, summons forth a fearless new sound blending soothing keyboards with the howling vocals and guitars. The slower pace of the song builds up the Hollywood-like sound, blending with the unflinching sound of the guitars and vocals. Burning Leaves, a song I’m sure a lot of Ensiferum fans are no accustomed with, begins with a folky section before the heavier sections kick into action like axe-wielding warriors at the beginning of a battle. The folkier sounds of the song dance gracefully and handsomely with the other elements of the track. The vocals sound almost romantically performed, keeping true to the traditional Ensiferum sound.

The poetically titled Celestial Bond begins with an alluring use of vocals that takes me back to when I first heard the final track of Iron. The music is almost fairy tale-like in its performance, painting an enchanting aura. Retribution Shall Be Mine shakes up the album a bit, screeching forth with fast paced drumming and manic guitar playing. The vocals are beyond bloodthirsty, screaming like a berserker seeking a worthy opponent. Retribution Shall Be Mine is definitely one of those songs that would make for a great mosh pit anthem.

Star Queen, which is part two of Celestial Bond, follows in the same soothing vein of Celestial Bond, even during in the heavier sections. The keyboards weave through the song majestically and seductively, creating the grandiose sound that any Ensiferum fan is accustomed to. Pohjola switches between sounds rather interestingly, combining through its entirety a use of dark sounds and dramatic choirs along with the abounding epic riffs and a use of spoken word in what I believe to be Finnish. The breezeless soundings of Last Breath follow soon after, bringing with it a gloomy yet heroic mood. The careful balance of vocals and acoustic guitars with the subtle orchestration creates a typically folky-yet-Ensiferum sound.

And so the saga that is Unsung Heroes comes to its final chapter; the 16 plus minute epic Passion Proof Power. The cawing of ravens and various other sounds of nature ring out at the beginning before the song marches into a horde of heavy guitars and pounding drums, with the cinematic orchestration that gently weaves its way into the song. As the track progresses, the vocals are introduced, strengthening the song. The keyboards offer up nibbles of folk elements as well, giving Passion Proof Power that true Ensiferum sound. The track displays a use of darker sounds and awe-inspiring female vocals, that are – and I hate to say it – almost gothic.

The use of harsher us of vocals make Passion Proof Power sound more callous and barbaric and the keyboard solo brings about a very power metal feel. Other elements from previous tracks make an appearance as well including the spoken word. The second half of the track contains the heavily thespian side of Ensiferum’s music, especially with the combined use of harsher and female vocals and a very august sound ringing from the guitars. However, fortunately for those who can’t stand too much of a dramatic sound in their metal, the other half also displays the raw powerful sound of Ensiferum’s music as well.

When a band tries to balance a cinematic experience with a powerful metal sound, they usually fail as a rule. Ensiferum, on the other other hand, have managed to perfectly balance the two together and still throw in some extra elements for good measure. Unsung Heroes really does show how far the band’s sound has come and developed over the years and is a clear indicator that Ensiferum are at the top of their game.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Ensiferum reveal album art for Unsung Heroes

Posted in News with tags , , on 27th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Ensiferum, the highly visual troupe who’ve long been a market leader when it comes to stirring, armour-plated anthems, will have their fifth studio album released through the Spinefarm label on August 27th 2012.

Titled ‘Unsung Heroes’ and produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Sentenced, Apocalyptica, etc.), will be the hour-plus follow-up to 2009’s ‘From Afar’, and sees the Finnish five-piece – founded in 1995 – pushing their signature sound to bold new heights of drama and excess.

A cinematic experience from first note to last , ‘Unsung Heroes’ takes the listener on a journey of genuine light & shade, with the 16 minute-plus ‘Passion Proof Power’ showing that when it comes to the epic statement, Ensiferum are very much in the front-line, swords at the ready.

“We’ve tried to push the different aspects of what we do as far as we can,” reflects the band, “the sonic scope is wider than ever. The folk elements go further down that path and the metallic parts will absolutely rip your face off!”

Once again, album art has been supplied by Kristian Wahlin, with featured special guests including members of Apokalyptischen Reiter plus legendary Finnish singer & actor, Vesa-Matti Loiri.

A video is also currently being planned for lead track, ‘In My Sword I Trust’.

SEPTEMBER: UK / Irish dates (part of the extensive European ‘Bearers Of The Sword’ tour):-

18 O2 Academy, Islington, London
19 Moho, Manchester
20 Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland
21 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Special guests on the tour are fellow Finns and fellow Spinefarm artists, Profane Omen.

Unsung Heroes