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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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Album Review: Mach Dich Frei by Finsterforst


mach_dich_freiIn my CD collection I have a few CDs where I have no idea when or where I bought them.  They just kinda appeared.  One of those is this double CD called Urwerk by Finsterforst.  It’s nothing outstanding; an ok record.  Still for the life of me, I can’t remember ever buying it.  Anyhoo, I’ve only really listened to it a handful of times and it basically sounds like Moonsorrow plus an accordion player hopped up on a cocktail of cocaine and amphetamines.  Not bad, but a tad repetitive, long-winded, and that overload of accordion can get a bit annoying at times.  I do appreciate the ‘what if Korpiklaani were a black metal band’ thing as an experiment, but… Oh, well.  So, when I saw that we got a promo for the latest record from this anomaly in my CD collection I decided to give it a spin to see if these guys were still berating listeners with post-neo-accordion-black-metal.  To my surprise, what I found is nearly a whole different band who kept their best elements, shook their formula around, and sent their accordion player to rehab.  In short, a band which has really matured a lot since my last experience with them.

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