One Man Army is the sixth studio album from Finnish folk metal forbearers, ENSIFERUM. Set to drop next month via Metal Blade Records, the predominantly analog-recorded offering was captured by award-winning producer Anssi Kippo (Children Of Bodom, Impaled Nazarene, Entwine etc.) at Astia-Studios in Lappeenranta, Finland and delivers eleven punishingly epic odes alongside four bonus cuts featuring the band’s rendition of Barathrum’s “Warmetal,” Iron Maiden’s “Wrathchild,” Uriah Heep’s “Lady In Black,” and Judas Priest’s “Breaking The Law,” initially unveiled as the covermount CD of issue #94 of Germany’s long-running Legacy Magazine.
In anticipation of the forthcoming release, today ENSIFERUM unveils the official new video for One Man Army‘s title track as well as an in-depth “making of” clip that brings fans deep into the heart of the filming session. Take a looksee at http://www.metalblade.com/ensiferum.
ENSIFERUM‘s One Man Army will be released via Metal Blade Records on February 24th, 2015. 70,000 Tons of Metal voyagers will be able to catch ENSIFERUM‘s battle-ready live performance next week before the band kicks off a lengthy European live incursion, wielding their swords alongside Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum. See confirmed dates below.
1/22-1/26/2015 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise – Miami, FL
2/27/2015 Pakkahuone – Tampere, FI
2/28/2015 Rytmikorjaamo – Seianajoki, FI
3/06/2015 Lutakko – Jyvaskyla, FI
3/07/2015 Nosturi – Helsinki, FI
w/ Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum:
3/11/2015 Zeche – Bochum, DE
3/12/2015 Rockfabrik – Ludwigsburg, DE
3/13/2015 Backstage – München, DE
3/14/2015 Masters of Rock Café – Zlin, CZ
3/15/2015 Club 202 – Budapest, HU
3/16/2015 Szene – Wien, AT
3/18/2015 Live Club – Milan, IT
3/19/2015 Les Docks – Lausanne, CH
3/20/2015 La Laiterie – Strasbourg, FR
3/21/2015 Z7 – Pratteln, CH
3/22/2015 Ninkasi Kao – Lyon, FR
3/23/2015 Le Bataclan – Paris, FR
3/24/2015 O2 Academy Islington- London, UK
3/25/2015 Patronaat – Haarlem, NL
3/26/2015 Hedon – Zwolle, NL
3/27/2015 Biebob – Vosselaar, BE
3/28/2015 Tivoli – Bremen, DE
3/29/2015 Grünspan – Hamburg, DE
3/30/2015 Vega – Copenhagen, DK
3/31/2015 Göta Källare – Stockholm, SE
4/01/2015 Sticky Fingers – Gothenburg, SE
4/02/2015 Inferno Metal Festival – Oslo, NO
8/13/2015 Rockstadt Extremefest – Rasnov, DE
6/19/2015 – 6/21/2015 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
7/30/2015 – 8/1/2015 Wacken Open Air – Wacken, DE
8/06/2015 – 8/8/2015 Party San Open Air – Schlotheim, DE
8/09/2015 Bloodstock Open Air – Walton-On-Trent, GB
8/13/2015 – 8/15/2015 Summer Breeze – Dinkelsbühl, DE
8/13/2015 Rockstadt Extremefest – Rasnov, RO
Forged in 1995 as a trio by guitarist/vocalist Markus Toivonen, and presently featuring current and former members of October Falls, Rapture, Norther, Barathrum and Sinergy, ENSIFERUM has been flying the flag of epic, folk-infused death metal high and proud for two decades. A Latin word translating to “sword bearer,” ENSIFERUM‘s valiant tale begins humbly with three meticulously composed demos that raised the collective eyebrows of the extreme metal underground with their sharp and dexterous fusion of Bathory-ian darkness, Amorphis-styled melody and poignant accounts of ancient sagas and warrior quests. Released in 1999, it was third demo, Hero In A Dream, which included the band’s first-ever integration of female vocals, that reaped the praise and support of Finland’s Spinefarm Records, where the band would remain for five conquering studio offerings.
ENSIFERUM recorded their self-titled debut in November of 2000 at Sundi-Coop Studios in Savonlinna with Tuomo Valtonen (Rapture, Nattvindens Gråt, Darkwoods My Brotherhood). Released during the new millennium’s emerging Viking metal movement, the album featured such guest musicians as Trollhorn (keyboards), Marita Toivonen (kantele) and Johanna Vakkuri (guest female vocals who first appeared on the Hero In A Dream demo). Christened, “an excellent platter of Viking metal,” by Sputnik Music, furthering that “The Finns put forth an excellent effort, one that combines heavy, yet melodic riffing, impressive, folky interludes, and fun sing/growl-along atmospheres,” the record’s methodic, yet organically-executed synthesis of Viking, folk and power metal adorned in fantastical themes of Scandanavian lore sans the more kitschy humppa trappings of many of their sword-wielding peers, earned ENSIFERUM the mass reverence of fans on European shores and beyond.
Second full-length, Iron, found ENSIFERUM holed upin Copenhagen’s Sweet Silence Studios. There in Denmark, during the Fall of 2003, the band’s second full-length was captured by the gifted hands of producer Flemming Rasmussen, notorious for his work on such groundbreaking recordings as Metallica’s Master Of Puppets and Ride The Lightning. For the next decade, ENSIFERUM would gallop their way further into the hearts of metallers of all walks with their epic hymns and grandiose, cinematic live performances. Honing their creative skills both compositionally and thematically with each passing effort, the band’s unification of technically adept metallic guitar sweeps with the more traditional sounds of their homeland a la Finnish kantele, bagpipes, nyckelharpa and bodhrans, and the gentle balance of vocalist/guitarist Petri Lindroos warring growls with Toivonen’s and bassist/vocalist Sami Hinkka’s harmonized choruses, proved continually and deliberately infectious.
By 2013, ENSIFERUM — Toivonen, Hinkka and Lindroos alongside drummer Janne Parviainen and keyboardist/vocalist Emmi Silvennoinen – had become an international folk metal sensation having spread their valiant battle anthems to the stages of some of Europe’s most prestigious metal festivals as well as lengthy live pillagings through North America, Australia, South Africa, China, South- and Central America. That year, the collective joined the legendary ranks of heavy metal powerhouse, Metal Blade Records, for the release of their sixth studio album.