Finnish? Check! Death metal? Check! Thrash metal? Check! Folk influences? CHECK! What is their to say about Ensiferum that they don’t already wear on their sleeves and put in their music? They have been producing fantastic power/thrash/death/folk metal for years and the new album “Unsung Heroes” is no different. You get a little bit of everything from the band on this album.
The album opens with a song that should, SHOULD, make you want to wage war on your opponents! Of course I am talking about “In My Sword I Trust”. As soon as that opening riff kicks in I find myself head banging every time. I love those anthemic songs that make me want to be in Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. So epic and powerful and really shows how proud the band members are of their heritage and the way of life their ancestors lived. The problem is “Unsung Heroes” and “Burning Leaves” follow in that same direction and in many ways get stale. They have a very similar sound and all-in-all lack in a diversity that the band is usually is good at it.
The lack of diversity ends their though. With “Celestial Bond” and “Star Queen(Celestial Bond Part II) we see the introduction of a female vocalist. I can’t really find out who the female vocalist is, but she has that perfect, soulful Finnish folk sound that makes these songs perfect. I am a sucker for female folk vocals and this track is perfect. From the string instruments and the wind instruments to the acoustic guitars; a perfect break from the fast paced metal.
“Retribution Shall be Mine” is the fastest, heaviest, and most like old Ensiferum than any song on the album. Deeper growls, higher screams, and blazing fast riffs and drums show that the band can still dig in and get down when they need to. Not that their is anything wrong with the more stripped down and groove elements in the music, but hell they made their place by playing fast paced folk metal enthused with some thrash! The closing track “Passion Proof Power” as a fantastic culmination of everything the album has to offer. Groove, fast paced, folk, female vocals, classic Ensifirum. It culminates all the elements that make the album fantastic and really shows a band that can bring their sound and influences together.
A fantastic album that combines multiple influences into a fantastic metal masterpiece. As you start digging deeper into the album and realizing the overall theme and sound the band is going for you will not be disappointed. I know I wasn’t.