Ensiferum One Man Army Label :Metal Blade Records Release Date 23rd Feb
This is Ensiferums sixth album and its a 15 track (four bonus tracks) goliath from the Finnish horde.
Personally am not that familiar with the bands earlier work, but what I have heard in the past is impressive, so this release bodes well when a statement from Sami Hinkka has been blazened across the bands promos for this album "We Finally reached the level song writing and soundwise that we have been reaching for on our previous albums"
The album opens with folksy pipes and heroic tones as it builds to its zenith the instrumental leads into "Axe of Judgement " which swings and cracks heads open , you really could be just departing the viking long boat and running up the beach, axe and swords at the ready, attacking your foes with this scorching number."Heathen Horde" slows down a bit and is a highlight , its got that punch the air and singalong chrous vibe that will see whole venues singing , and saluting these sword bearing heroes.
Which funnily enough is what the bands name Ensiferum means in latin "Sword Bearing" .Title track "One Man Army" is up next, like the previous track its chest thumping derring do chorus will see the bands faithfull partying, singing and drinking copious amounts of mead from their horns of valhalla! "Burden of The Fallen" takes you on a magical , smooth journey its a short calming piece as tales of battle told.
"Warrior without a War" is a combative soaked in metal rhyme, its a swaggering dominant number.
"Cry for the Earth Bounds" opens with choral effects , now this is what I have become to really love about the whole Pagan / Folk Metal scene , the way the music uplifts you and makes you feel alive and ready ,in a different way to traditional metal, its the heavy and soul inspiring riffs , added with folklore etc, epic is a word but better than epic ! "Cry for the Earth Bounds" is a highlight also closely followed by "Two of Spades" its fast, frantic and battle worthy.
"My Ancestors Blood" has some excellent , telling lyrics which then leads to the penultimate track running just short of twelve minutes "Descendents , Defiance, Domination" its a masterful and gripping tune as the band weave thier magic. "Neito Pohjolan" is the final track and errr a bit different lets say, sung in Finnish its more of a dance track, and just does not fit in at all. You get four bonus tracks a cover of Frankie Lanes "Rawhide " is excellent!! The other three may surprise you! its always great when a band mix it up and try something a little bit different.
So to sum up , this is a cracking album full of different features to please everyone!
Review: Seb Di Gatto Score: 9/10
Track Listing: FacebookWebsite 1.March of War
2.Axe of Judgement
4.One Man Army
5.Burden of the Fallen
6.Warrior Without a War
7.Cry for the Earth Bounds
8.Two of Spades
9.My Ancestors’ Blood
10.Descendants, Defiance, Domination
12.Rawhide (Bonus Track)
13.Warmetal (Barathrum cover) (Bonus Track)
14.Candour and Lies (Bonus Track)
15.Bonus Song (Bonus Track)
Sami Hinkka – Bass Guitar / Vocals
Petri Lindroos – Guitar / Vocals
Markus Toivonen – Guitar / Vocals
Janne Parviainen – Drums
Emmi Silvennoinen – Keyboards / Backing Vocals