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Ensiferum - Unsung heroes | FESTIVALPHOTO

Ensiferum - Unsung heroes



Formed in 1995, Ensiferum can probably be counted as one of the pioneers of Finnish folk metal, with other well known bands in the genre being formed later - Turisas (1997), Finntroll (1997) and Korpiklaani (2003). Bands like Turisas and Korpiklaani have perhaps eclipsed Ensiferum in the UK in recent years, mainly down to touring more, but Ensiferum are still going and producing some great folk metal. The name Ensiferum means "Sword bearer".

"Unsung heroes" is the bands fifth album (sixth if you include the album that was just re-packaging their early demos), and is certainly an epic - it clocks in at just over an hour in length, with one track alone lasting a fraction under 17 minutes !

Brief comments on a few tracks

The album opens with "Symbols" an instrumental track that has the feel of a movie soundtrack. It's a nice piece of music.

The album proper opens with "In my sword I trust", and the pounding drums and the power of the guitars reminds you immediately that Ensiferum are a folk METAL band. The vocals when they start have a folk feel to them which balances out the metal to create a nice folk metal song. As if to throw people off balance we also get some growling metal vocals which boost the heaviness

"Unsung heroes" slows the pace slightly, but is still good and heavy with a mix of growling and clean vocals. Midway through the song the pace slows dramtically for a folky instrumental section before picking up the pace and power again.

"Celestial bond" is definitely at the folk end of the spectrum. It's a slow acoustic track with delicate female vocals.

"Retribution shall be mine" then wakes up any dozing metal fans with a good fast heavy song.

The album ends with the seventeen minute epic "Passion proof power". It feels like an album in its own right (well OK an EP anyway as its the right length for that).

With this album Ensiferum have produced an album that gives prominence to both the metal and the folk sides of the music. Often you get metal with a bit of folk, but here there really is a very well crafted mix. There are parts that are almost pure folk, and other parts that are brutally heavy metal, and Ensiferum have managed to make them work together superbly well. By using far more of the folk element than many of the big bands in the genre, Ensiferum have made this album stand out from the crowd.

A great album that is recommended for all fans of folk metal.

"Unsung heroes" will be released on 27th August on Spinefarm records.

Track listing:

1. Symbols
2. In my sword I trust
3. Unsung heroes
4. Burning leaves
5. Celestial bond
6. Retribution shall be mine
7. Star queen (Celestial bond part II)
8. Pohjola
9. Last breath
10. Passion proof power

Writer: Anthony May
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