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Ensiferum - From Afar
Today there’s a vivid pagan metal scene that is backed up by a lot of bands. Most of the bands never get the chance of proving themselves because, for example, they lack talent. Next to that there are probably a million other reasons why all those bands never get any sort of break through. On the other hand you have bands like Ensiferum. Releasing their first album in 2001 they kept on growing over the years. Two years ago they released Victory Songs which surprised me really well. Now they’re back with its successor, called From Afar.
With an atmospheric intro that’s full of flutes and acoustic guitars they set the right mood for the album. It gets even better when the bombastic title track comes crashing in after this intro. With furious riffs, powerful drums and probably an entire orchestra this title track marches on and made me instantly grab me for my battle axe. The power that exceeds from that song is just marvellous. Everyone who thinks that Ensiferum is calming down after this track is horribly wrong. The tempo remains the same which leads to another great song with a great sing along axe waving chorus.
Does everything on the album only contain viking influences? Hell no. During the song ‘Stone Cold Metal’ there’s a nice intermezzo where the whisteling reminds me a bit of The Good The Bad and The Ugly and the addition of the banjo even made me smile during this song. With ‘Smoking Ruins´ there’s even a semi-ballad that really invites to sing along.
Folkloristic instruments. Check. Epic stories. Check. Waving battle axes. Check. Sing-along viking choruses. Check. Galloping drums. Check. Bombastic killer riffs. Check. Indeed this album has it all if you’d ask me. A great pagan metal album that makes a difference between all those bands within the genre nowadays. Although it contains more folk influences and less viking metal influences it’s still a must have for every pagan metal fan. I wouldn't be surprised if this one would end up in my yearlist.
Ensiferum - From Afar
88/1001Details Spinefarm Records
Released on Wednesday Sep 9th, 2009
Pagan Metal / Viking Metal

Writer @Niamen on Friday Oct 9th, 2009

Tags: #Ensiferum
Tracklisting 1. By the Dividing Stream
2. From Afar
3. Twilight Tavern
4. Heathen Throne
5. Elusive Reaches
6. Stone Cold Metal
7. Smoking Ruins
8. Tumman Virran Taa
9. The Longest Journey (Heathen Throne Part II)
Line up Petri Lindroos – vocals, guitars
Markus Toivonen – guitars, clean vocals, backing vocals
Sami Hinkka – bass, clean vocals, backing vocals
Emmi Silvennoinen - keys, hammond, backing vocals
Janne Parviainen – drums
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