Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Where is the metal party? Ensiferum (Finland): One Man Army

Ensiferum (Finland): One Man Army
Ensiferum is “fun metal” in a way that other bands are not because the Finns seem unafraid to look like they are having fun. Some bands want to seem angry or depressed, but Ensiferum want none of that negative energy/posturing.
Really, Ensiferum is rather intelligent in the way that they lead the listener to perceive the album. One of the smartest things about “One Man Army” is the sequence of the songs. Even though the band writes all sorts of songs, and stylistically, the band is all over the place, the band front loads the first half of the album with the faster, heavier, more direct songs, which makes the first half of the album something like “epic battle metal” along the lines of modern “melodic death metal.”
That is not the whole story, though. There’s a lot more going on. The second half of the album brings out a veritable spectrum of metal. Power metal melodies, symphonic metal, “Viking metal,” ballads, covers, folk metal, Manowar-ish hymns, epic metal, melodic singing, country music and a bunch of other things come out the woodwork. It’s like Ensiferum has done two albums in one, or it’s like they are the ice cream man, all the flavors are guaranteed to satisfy, stop them when they’re passing by.
Essentially, once the band has established the metal in the first half of the album, they feel free to explore, to have more fun, and do other things, and it does not sound as crazy as it looks on paper, like when I am explaining it. All of this goes to show how skilled these musicians really are, and how open-minded they are, and how much they like to have fun with their metal. Basically, Ensiferum is not for uptight snobs. Yes, go ahead and reach for the six-pack of O’Douls, fire up the grill for the soy sausages and party it up right!
Ensiferum "One Man Army" (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Ensiferum - Neito Pohjolan

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