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Ensiferum
Victory Songs

Company: Candlelight
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Grim Gaijin
Genre: Heavy, Viking
Rating
4



  • The perfect introductory album for a metal genre that continues to rise to the top



  • Several years ago I conducted an interview with Aramath of Woodtemple and during the interview I mentioned that Viking Metal seemed to be a dying genre. He quickly put me in my place by telling me that it was alive and stronger than ever. Now, two years later, I could not agree more! With constant stellar releases by the likes of Woodtemple and Moonsorrow, and with the awesome lineup of this year’s Paganfest that included such heavyweights as Tyr and Ensiferum, Viking Metal is stronger than ever. One of the stand-out bands of the Viking Metal scene is Finlands' own, Ensiferum. With the release of their third full-length album, Victory Songs, Ensiferums’ unique blend of Viking influences and traditional folk melodies make them one of the most enjoyable bands on the scene today.

    Ad Victoriam leads the charge as the albums instrumental opener that sets the scene as if a worn-and-torn Viking ship is returning to port from battle - hoisting the flag of victory. Next, Blood Is the Price of Glory breaks down the wall of silence with traditional Scandinavian metal riffs, and borderline black metal style vocals. With a style faster than your typical Viking metal act, Blood sounds more like Cradle of Filth than Tyr or Moonsorrow. The third song is Deathbringer from the Sky and the opening vocals would make King Diamond or Rob Halford proud. With more of a Folk influence than the previous song, Deathbringer is still a fast-paced heavy hitter that fans of all genres of metal could get into. The next song, Ahti, starts off with pummeling blast beats and melodic rhythms, and garnishes a heavier folk influence. Next comes One More Magic Potion. Starting off with a traditional folk-style acoustic passage and then pulsating into a melodic metal assault, this song represents every aspect of the Ensiferum sound. Wanderer could be considered the albums pinnacle folk metal track. With a slower pace, clean vocals, and plenty of acoustic guitars in the mix, Wanderer is another highlight track that does the Viking Metal genre proud. Next comes Raised by the Sword. Again, starting off with a folk influenced passage, the song quickly kicks in with blast beats, a killer riff, and an awesome blend of harsh and clean vocals. The New Dawn again reminds me of classic Cradle of Filth (minus the black metal style vocals). The final song on the album is the ten and a half minute opus called Victory Songs. The songs starts off with more folk melodies and then blasts into a metal midsection before closing out the song the way it started.

    Victory Songs by Ensiferum is an excellent metal offering for fans of all types of metal. As Ensiferum seems to progress forward with each release, they are sure to be around for a while to continue the claim of Viking Metal victory! For those that are new to Ensiferum and the Viking Metal scene in general, Victory Songs is the perfect introductory album for a metal genre that continues to rise to the top.


    About this Writer:
    David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ENSIFERUM
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    One Man ArmyEnsiferum
    2015
    Greg Watson4/4/2015
    Victory SongsEnsiferum
    2007
    David Loveless7/3/2008


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ENSIFERUM

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: ENSIFERUM
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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