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Album Review: Ensiferum – One Man Army


Ensiferum-One-Man-ArmyAlbum:  One Man Army

Label:  Metal Blade

Song:  15 (including four bonus tracks)

Length:  68 Minutes

Previous Albums:  Ensiferum (2001); Iron (2004); Victory Songs (2007); From Afar (2009); Unsung Heroes (2012)

Genre:  Folk Metal

Location:  Finland

I like the opening riff to One Man Army (the song not the album).  It isn’t revolutionary in terms of guitar riffing, but the way it kicks off the song reminds me of early thrash metal; energetic and enthusiastic.  Take away the folk elements from this song and its core is pure speed/thrash metal.  Before you dismiss Ensiferum’s One Man Army (the album) as just another niche folk metal album, think again. Yes, you will hear all of the fundamentals of a folk metal album, but if you take the time to peel away the layers you’ll hear there is more buried between the swords, spears, and pre-battle hymns than you might expect.  And I will say this…the folk parts seem much more tame compared to older albums.

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EP Review: Insomnium – Ephemeral


downloadI am a little late to the Insomnium game.  My first taste was during the release of One For Sorrow and as a result of that album, they cemented themselves as a band of interest in my life.  I then went back one album and enjoyed that too.  I still have others on my list of albums to buy and will get to them soon I hope.  I also had a cool opportunity to meet them and see them live a couple of years ago.  Needless to say, when a new EP presented itself to me (or the world I should say), two things went through my mind.  First, where the hell did this come from and second, why just an EP?  I can’t say I am complaining, but I am a little bit because I was looking forward to a full-length release.  However, if there is one thing I learned in my life is patience and I am sure the full-length studio album will follow.  Based on my minimal research, there will be an album in 2014.  So, we wait, but for now we can enjoy four new tracks; three of which are instrumental.

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