Melodic folk metallers ENSIFERUM have announced their first ever #1 chart position in Finland!
The band’s newly released album “One Man Army” debuted at #1 in the Finnish album charts this week. Alongside this have been top 5 entries in the iTunes metal charts in multiple countries, as well as receiving accolades in many other Metal charts, including the top spot on EMP’s charts.
Friday (6th March) and Saturday (7th March) will see the band’s final two shows on the Finnish leg of the tour, before heading out on their full European tour, which will kick off March 10th in Lingen (DE) with a special “Fan Appreciation Show”.
To read our review of “One Man Army”, released on 24th February via Metal Blade Records, visit this location.
Artist: ENSIFERUM Album: One Man Army Label: Metal Blade Records Release Date: 24th February 2015
Tracklist: 1. March Of War 2. Axe Of Judgement 3. Heathen Horde 4. One Man Army 5. Burden Of The Fallen 6. Warrior Without A War 7. Cry For The Earth 8. Two Of Spades 9. My Ancestors’ 10. Descendants, Defiance, Domination 11. Neito Pohjolan
Bonus Tracks: 12. Rawhide 13. Warmetal 14. Candour and Lies 15. Bonus Song
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.
“One Man Army”, the primarily analog-recorded long player was tracked between September and November of 2014 with award-winning producer Anssi Kippo (Children Of Bodom, Impaled Nazarene, Entwine etc.) at Astia-Studios in Lappeenranta, Finland and boasts eleven heroic victory psalms.
“The composing process was slow as always,” elaborates Hinkka of the “One Man Army” birthing process. “We twist and turn every note, chord and part upside down so that we can be sure that the result is the best possible. We cut down the actual amount of tracks on the record and really arranged the instruments more wisely.”
“On the new album, we took many things musically to the next level so we decided also to try something new graphics-wise,” relays Hinkka. “Gyula HavancsÃ¡k did a phenomenal job! For the first time it was really nice to be more involved with designing the cover and all details. Our humble gratitude to Gyula for all the patience and really amazing results. We couldn’t be more satisfied!”
From the very first track we are thrown head first into what we know to be ENSIFERUM inside and out. The battle awaits, the tension is high, the hairs on your neck dance like a fairy in an undisturbed fountain, unaware of its prey, lurking, watching, waiting to strike. Death is coming, you tremble with a fear, an excitement, a nervousness; yet your given perch upon the pillars of the gods to observe the upcoming monstrous, epic, beauty is set before you. Watch… and feel.
Let the battle commence!
“One Man Army” is as epic as previous releases, but is much more concentrated into delivering heavy, head-banging, immense chorals, impressive licks and riffs which not only destroy all expectations, but really deliver one hell of an album, which is by far one of the greatest things I’ve had the privilege to hear in years. The guitar solos are executed beautifully, technically brilliant, and keeping in tone with the track. For me, this is a must as so many bands fail at this.
Vocally, this album delivers an immense feel throughout. ‘Heathen Horde’ really shows how well combining different vocals can work in an album. Melodies are flying, and the fountain fairy is dead! We’re given catchy sing-a-long choruses to disturb the neighbours, truly magical elements of highly technical composed metal and folk, moulded together in a very special release.
Track after track the vocal lines keep you physically connected to the music and battle before you. The beat of the drums messing with you at every given opportunity, and you letting it.
The title track ‘One Man Army’ really delivers an exceptional display of terror. Your heartbeat becomes one with the kick of ‘Janne Parviainen’ as the drums pull you into the music, pushing your senses up into an explicit display of horror, whilst remaining technically brilliant. Chorally strong, musically immense, epic level ‘Infinite’. – ‘It has been told, one of the gods fell off his perch during this track, and has been missing since. A search party has been organised, and will commence within the next ten thousand years’.
By the time you get to the tenth track your mind should be so immersed in the spell ENSIFERUM have laid out before you. If your limbs have not fallen off, and your sense of balance is beginning to restore, I implore you to attempt the powerful ‘Descendants, Defiance, Domination’ with the mesmerizing ‘Maiden-esq’ lyrical harmonies conjuring a path of spine tingling beauty. As the longest track on the album, you wouldn’t notice, as it really takes advantage of keeping you attached all the way. Riff by riff you become immersed into the track, beat by beat you become a part of the creation, vocally and rhythmically destroying every inch of sanity you thought you had at the beginning of this album.
Showing how versatile ENSIFERUM are with their composing, ‘Neito Pohjolan’ is a real treat to hear. Although oddly placed, it has an interesting country music feel to it, yet somehow still works really well with the rest of the album.
I’ve heard so many versions of ‘Rawhide’ over the years, from country versions to metal and even a thrash version, but this version is really, really good. The bonus tracks are a great addition to an exceptional album, full of little hidden qualities which really define ENSIFERUM as giants in their genre.
My personal favourite tracks on this epic album were:
Burden Of The Fallen
Two Of Spades
“One Man Army” is an exceptional album which should be experienced by all.
Sami Hinkka – bass/vocals Petri Lindroos – guitars/vocals Markus Toivonen – guitars/vocals Janne Parviainen – drums Emmi Silvennoinen – keyboards/backing vocals
Epic folk metallers FROSTTIDE have announced via their official Facebook page that they will be supporting ENISFERUM on a tour of Finland, starting in February:
“We are really happy to announce that Frosttide is supporting Ensiferum in their “One Man Army” Finnish shows at Tampere, Seinäjoki, Jyväskylä and Helsinki! What a great way to celebrate the release of our second album Blood Oath! Who’s coming!?”
20.03.2015 DE – Leipzig, Hellraiser
21.03.2015 DE – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
22.03.2015 NL – Tilburg, 013
23.03.2015 DE – Hamburg, Markthalle
24.03.2015 CH – Pratteln, Z7
25.03.2015 DE – Saarbrücken, Garage
26.03.2015 DE – Frankfurt, Batschkapp
27.03.2015 DE – München, Backstage
28.03.2015 AT – Wien, Arena
29.03.2015 DE – Berlin, Postbahnhof
04.04.2015 FI – Helsinki, Bar Bäkkäri
24.04.2015 FI – Lahti, Torvi
02.05.2015 FI – Helsinki, On the Rocks
As previously announced, FROSTTIDE are set to release their new album “Blood Oath” on 27th February via Noiseart Records.
Tracklisting for “Blood Oath”:
2. Blood Oath
3. Gates Of The Asylum
4. Fate Redefined
5. Traitor Within
7. New Reign
8. Winds of Winter ́s Call
9. One Night In Bangkok (Murray Head-Cover)
10. Apache (The Shadows-Cover)
International fans of Nordic heavy metal are taking that devotion a step further: They’re learning tricky languages like Norwegian and Finnish to better appreciate their favorite bands.
When students at the University Of Vienna were asked why they chose to study Finnish, “for 97 percent of them, the primary target of interest was heavy metal music,” Marjut Vehkanen, Secretary General of the Helsinki-based Centre for International Mobility (CIMO), tells YLE.fi. “This somewhat surprised us.”
According to Vehkanen, learning Finnish is challenging because Finnish is different from nearly all other languages.
“There’s a lot to memorize at first,” she says. “But if you study hard in the beginning, then you’ll find it’s a very logical language.”
“It’s quite a well-known phenomenon that students in Italy study Norwegian because they’re interested in metal,” a Norwegian professor in Italy named Siri Nergaard told The Wall Street Journal back in June.
“Every time someone tells us that our music has inspired them to learn, for example, Nordic languages, it gives me another reason to keep doing music,” bassist Sami Hinkka of Finnish folk metallers ENSIFERUM said. “But it’s quite far from studying an internationally rather useless language… Studying is always good for your brain and it broadens your mental horizon, so if someone has a passion for something, even if it might seem really trivial to others, I say go for it. Follow your heart.”
Metal Blade Records are proud to announce the signing of Finland’s ENISFERUM to their label:
Finland’s ENSIFERUM have spent the past 18 years honing the steel of their folk-infused battle metal auditory attack. Their albums are further bolstered by a live show that has become one of the most entertaining in all of metal. Proof of ENSIFERUM’s status as one of the most vital bands in modern metal was made apparent through their headlining slot on this year’s Paganfest USA tour. To further spread the band’s music to a worldwide audience, ENSIFERUM has forged a deal with Metal Blade Records! The band inked the deal with Metal Blade CEO Brian Slagel during thePaganfest USA tour, and all parties are enthusiastic about new music and new possibilities.
Bassist/backing vocalist Sami Hinkka comments: “We are really looking forward to our co-operation with such a great and legendary label as Metal Blade. The next full length album should be out in early 2015. We have already started working with the new songs and it’s obvious that the next album will be another step ahead for Ensiferum. And now that we have united forces with mighty Metal Blade nothing can stop us! The next album is going to be something that will rock the very foundations of folk metal genre.
We also would like to thank Spinefarm Records for all these 13 years, it’s been as blast but now it is time for us to move on and head bravely towards new challenges.
The future looks bright for Sword Bearers!” ENSIFERUM will be touring throughout Europe and South America this summer as they continue their live campaign in support of their most recent album, Unsung Heroes. Confirmed dates can be seen below, as well as on ensiferum.com and facebook.com/Ensiferum. ENSIFERUM merch is available now at http://shop.ensiferum.com.
04/26 Oulu , FI Teatria
04/27 Helsinki, FI Virgin Oil
04/28 Losheim Am See, DE Hexentanz Festival
05/05 Istanbul, TR Headbangers Weekend Istanbul
05/18 Gelsenkirchen, DE Rock Hard Festival
05/20 Leipzig, DE Wave Gothic Treffen
06/07 Espoo, FI Kivenlahti Rock
06/20-22 Nummijärvi, FI Nummirock
06/26-30 Tokaj-Rakamaz, HU Hegyalka Festival
07/11-13 Ballenstedt, DE Rockharz Open Air
07/22-26 Tolmin, SL Metaldays
08/07-10 Jaromer, CZ Brutal Assault
08/09-10 Villena, ES Leyendas del Rock Festival
08/15-17 Dinkelsbühl, DE Summer Breeze
08/15-17 Falun, SE Rockstad Falun
South American Tour
05/28 Bogota, CO Teatro Las Vegas Nevada
05/30 Santiago, CL Blondie Club
05/31 Buenos Aires, AR Teatro Vorterix
06/01 Sao Paulo, BR Carioca Club
06/02 Rio De Janeiro, BR Teatro Odisséia
ENSIFERUM is: Petri Lindroos – vocals/guitar Markus Toivonen – guitar/backing vocals Sami Hinkka – bass/backing vocals Janne Parviainen – drums Emmi Silvennoinen – keys/backing vocals
For more information on ENSIFERUM, which in latin means “sword bearer”, view their complete history at ensiferum.com.
“Unsung Heroes”, the fifth album from Finnish folk metallers ENSIFERUM, has entered the official chart in the band’s home country at position No. 3. Released on August 27 via Spinefarm, the CD was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, SENTENCED) at Petrax studio (CHILDREN OF BODOM, NIGHTWISH) in Hollola, Finland and other locations in the Hämeenlinna area. According to a press release, the hour-plus follow-up to 2009’s “From Afar” “sees the Finnish five-piece — founded in 1995 — pushing their signature sound to bold new heights of drama and excess. A cinematic experience from first note to last, ‘Unsung Heroes’ takes the listener on a journey of genuine light and shade, with the 16 minute-plus ‘Passion Proof Power’ showing that when it comes to the epic statement, ENSIFERUM are very much in the front-line, swords at the ready.”
Commented the band: “We’ve tried to push the different aspects of what we do as far as we can; the sonic scope is wider than ever. The folk elements go further down that path and the metallic parts will absolutely rip your face off!”
Once again, album art (see below) has been supplied by Kristian Wåhlin, with featured special guests including members of APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER and legendary Finnish singer and actor Vesa-Matti Loiri.
“Unsung Heroes” track listing:
02. In My Sword I Trust
03. Unsung Heroes
04. Burning Leaves
05. Celestial Bond
06. Retribution Shall Be Mine
07. Star Queen (Celestial Bond Part II)
09. Last Breath
10. Passion Proof Power