FEBRUARY 23rd 2015

Review by: Äshe Young

Record Label:  Metal Blade Records

As per usual Ensiferum set the mood as though you are getting ready for a triumphant epic battle. Hence the opening track 'March of war'. Perfect way to start a new album, perfect way to get ready for battle!

Ensiferum is a Pagan/Viking metal band that hails from Helsinki, Finland that deserves a mass amount of credit for their hard work on their 6th studio album produced by Anssi  Kippo . Formed in 1995, they are still none the less a band that will bring fists to a knife fight. With that being said, the second track titled ' Axe of judgment' delivers you your very first punch. From deadly growls/battle calls to heart pounding blast beats, grab a seat on your couch because you will need to sit down for this one.

Whenever I have had the chance to listen to Ensiferum it puts me in the mindset of drinking out of horns and smearing war paint across my face. If you are a fan of them you know what I'm talking about. This album is packed full of Heathen inspired chants and riffs that fully engage your brain into a full on visual experience. You know that scene in Braveheart where they have war paint on and they are about to go into battle? That’s the visual you get and or feel.

In this album they get you to listen deeper and most closer than usual. Faster? Yes.  Melodic? Yes. Did they put their heart and soul into this one ? Absolutely !!! It is a roller coaster of highs and lows that keep you listening. After listening to 'One man army' you get put back on your feet with the soothing classical guitar structure of 'Burden of the fallen'. Once you calm down you're back to heading banging and foot stomping.

 A couple of interesting surprises at the end that still had me baffled are some country inspired tunes. One being a cover of Frankie Laines 1958 single 'Rawhide'. I have always loved that song and to hear a new metal rendition of the classic has left me happy and impressed. All and all this album was great to listen to and I can't wait to pick up a copy February 24th!