monkey of doom, on february 08, 2008 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ensiferum, for anyone who didn't know, play a brand of Folk/power metal with extreme vocals. This is their self titled album and the best record they have ever done. Not a lot of people know the history of the band, so I'll do a short recap. They've released three albums (s/t, Iron and Victory songs) and they are responsible for making this reviewer do little jigs everytime he does housework. It's probably my favourite CD along with Gamma ray's 'Somewhere out in space'. It's pure escapism, the way music should be. When they released their second album, Main vocals/lead guitar playing Jari Whatever you call him left the band to start up his own project, the self proclaimed Epic winter metal outfit, Wintersun. The sound of this album is huge. Production is amazing, strangely it has better production than either two albums released in it's wake. Ensiferum's sound is a culmination of what is good about folk and power metal with some cream on the top. Clean Vocals, Harsh vocals, Chanting, heavy riffs, melodic breaks, this album has a lot of musical ideas. And they are all executed so well. Coming from an avid hater of most Extreme vocals, I'm impressed by Jari's Punchy Growl. it's a very high sound he makes, and his clean vocals are awesome as well. // 10
Lyrics: My favourite tracks as follows.
Hero In A Dream - totally in your face track but melodic at the same time. Verse riff is a palm muted, Hetfield type affair. If you don't like the lyrics in the chorus you are probably dead. Its a very well structured song, has a lot going on and its all brilliantly executed. The solo shows promise of what Jari can actually do on guitar, well before the his manic solos on the Wintersun album.
Token Of Time - very, very folky mid tempo track.One part of it bursts into a little Jig section which always make me want to dance. Ahem. The lyrics are typically insane ('I shall fight to restore the moon!') A Great Track, the mixture of clean vocals alongside growled works very well.
Guardians Of Fate - another song in the 'Fry your ass off' collection, this track completely rips. The pre chorus has a huge viking riff, it fits in so well with the song despite it being a slow point in the song. Chanting ensues, it sounds like something you'd hear a Irish pub band play.
Little Dreamer - mid tempo. Quite melodic and has excellent vocals and lyrics. Verse riffs use some tremelo picked ideas. The drums hook in well in these sections.
Windrider - a bit of a grower this one. I didn't like first of all but listening to it a few times, it's probably one of the more stronger tracks on the album. Many different sections including two very melodic bits (the last one being fantastic). The lyrics are very strong, for some reason it makes me think the Windrider is an undead Viking Warrior, driven by revenge. Its probably not even about that, the mind wanders.
Treacherous Gods - 'The land is silent, before the storm!' And with that Battlecry, the kickassery commences. I love this song. Absolutely adore it. The lyrics, the vocals, the riffs. It has a fast section at the end of the track, if you fail to be impressed by it you shouldn't be listening to music at all. Makes me want to unleash the 'Inner viking' and fight mighty gods.
Eternal Wait - ballad like song. Vocals are astounding, heavenly layered choir type effect with male and female voices. Sounds very 'Greensleeves' at the start of it. Awesome, plain and simple. // 10
Overall Impression: Without a doubt, if you are going to buy an Ensiferum album, buy this one. It is a great introduction to their somewhat tiny catalogue. The only things wrong with it is one track I haven't mentioned. 'Old man' is a pretty good song but not my cup of tea. Very slow in places but I can see how others would like it. All the other tracks I haven't mentioned are wonderful. Battle song and Abandoned are powerful tracks. Probably the best album of all time. If you are a would be Warrior who likes Turisas, Eluveitie and Finntroll, then you probably own this. If you don't you have no excuses. A gem. I would buy it a million times over. Plus it is great to wash dishes to. // 9
ZombieDuck, on august 03, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well, Ensiferum play something called 'Folk Metal' which is a cross of Scandinavian folk music and Death Metal. When I first heard of it, I didn't know that that was what it was, but I thought two things: 1 "wow, This is really awesome." and 2 "whoa, this is weird. But awesome." Well, it turns out that those first impressions were 100% correct. Ensiferum is extremely melodic, complex, and interesting musically. The guitars have both acostic and electric sections, sometimes in the same song, and are executed expertly. The musicions all around are quite gifted. The drumming is excellent, complex, and in many places, quite fast. As for the bass, it is audible most of the time, and fits in perfectly with the songs, I couldn't ask more from it. The guitars are really fantastic, the songwriting in fact, is fantastic.It really seems old fashioned with the sound (midevil and stuff), and almost like jig music, except metallized. The sound of the music has a complexity and feel to it as though it should be played on a violin, however, the use of regular rock instuments, along with the keyboard, are welcome and don't sound out of place. The whole effect is rather overwhelming and powerful, and paints very specific scenes and mental pictures. It took me a while to appreciate all of this, however once I really got into it, I was blown away. The whole CD is quite good for learning to play these songs on guitar or any of the other instruments mentioned.
Here is the track list:
02.Hero In A Dream
03.Token Of Time
04.Guardians Of Fate
05.Old Man (Vainamoinen)
06.Little Dreamer (Vainamoinen,pt.2)
I Recogmend it for anyone interested in melodic guitar parts, a midevil sound, and hoarse, deep vocals. // 10
Lyrics: When I first listened to this album, I wasn't that impressed with the lyrics on it. I was, however, very impressed with the actual singing that was on the album, just not the lyrics. At first I thought it was all about fighting and dying, (mainly from songs like' Battle Song') but when I listened to songs ernestly, I found that I was wrong. While violence is found (again, 'Battle Song'), it is far from being a dominant theme, trust me. I was quite mistaken with my first assumption, I now wish that I had actually paid more attention to the lyrics on my first inspection. Now for the vocals themselves, sufice it to say, that they are incredible. The lead singer screams, yells, growls and even sings (that's right, sings!), all of which he does extremely well. The lyrics he sings are pretty legible throughout most of the album, with a few exceptions. I like this since I like the album more when I understand what it is about. I think that the best song that displays his singing talent is 'Eternal Wait', which is really an great song as far as lyrics and singing goes. So over all I give it a 9, higher if they weren't quite so repetitive. // 9
Overall Impression: This album is quite a favorite of mine. The pacing, ebb and flow, and feeling of this album work really well. I think all the songs are worth a listen, however, here are some of my favorites:
Token Of TimeGuardians of FateLittle DreamerAbandonedTreacherous GodsEternal WaitGoblins Dance
Over all, I love it. I may not take it too seriously as far as lyrical content goes, but the same goes for bands like Iron Maiden, it doesn't mean that they aren't amazing bands. I don't really hate anything about this album, and I would really recogmend it for anyone interested (for learning on guitar too). They ask here what I would do if it got stolen, well, it can't be stolen. I borrowed it and put it on my itunes. But if my computer was stolen, I'd track down the dirtbags, shove tissues down their mouths until they gave it back, then burn them a copy of this CD because it is a great album. Overall Impression gets a 9, I give it this because it is not a masterpiece that will goe down in history as such (Master Of Puppets, Nevermind, Rein in Blood, ect.)that would deserve a 10, yet it is better than your above adverage 8/10 album. // 9