Turisas
Battle Metal


3.5
great

Review

by Fugue USER (58 Reviews)
September 5th, 2008 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Solid first effort from the Finnish band.

Turisas are a 5 piece folk metal band hailing from the town of Hämeenlinna in the south of Finland. By fusing a wide variety of instruments and sounds they create a very symphonic, yet occasionally fierce sound in this clever marriage of genres that they call “Battle Metal”. Listening to this, the similarities with other Scandinavian folk/pagan metal bands becomes immediately apparent. The use of accordions is reminiscent of Finntroll and using choirs for backing vocals seems to be a growing trend in modern metal.

Turisas Are:
- Mathias ‘Warlord’ Nygård: vocals, alto, soprano and sopranino recorders, programming, additional percussion
- Tude Lehtonen:drums/percussion (djembe, udu, congas, bongos, electric percussion)
- Antti Ventola: synthesizers, piano, vibraphone, Hammond organ
- Jussi Wickström: electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, double bass
- Georg Laakso: electric and acoustic guitar

Album opener Victoriae & Truimphi Dominus starts with a very nice instrumental involving horns, violins and choral vocals, amongst more common instruments. The vocals in this intro are actually extremely eerie, with the beautiful female shrieks working delightfully against the deeper, rougher vocals of the men. This track definitely invokes an anticipation of what’s to come, and sets the rest of the album off brilliantly. In comparison to this intro, most tracks are much heavier, although structured just as well. Eponymous track Battle Metal is absolutely stunning, definitely one of the best on the album. The horns and violins especially deserve praise on this track as they are phenomenal. The chanted chorus is as good as any you will hear, and I can tell you from experience that this track is exceptional live.

Other standout tracks on this album are the catchy One More and the one true epic Rex Regi Rebellis. The former has in my opinion has the best chorus on the album and a beautiful introduction involving a marriage of horns and strings. The latter being an all encompassing collection of everything that is good about the album, wonderfully crafted into seven minutes and ten seconds of pure folky metallic bliss. The album is structured expertly by producers Terje Refsnes and vocalist Mathias Nygård, with a flexible track listing that allows short burst of the heavier, metal biased tracks, separated by more instrumentally focussed folksy tracks. This allows the casual listener a little respite between the heavier sections, which makes this a good album to start with if you are new to metal. The production is also spot on, allowing the raw feeling of the music to reign free whilst also controlling and layering the many instruments very well.

The musicianship displayed by the band deserves mention. Technicality is a typical attribute of folk metal, but Turisas are one of the more skillful bands out there. The violins are the high point of the album, excelling frequently. This is especially noticeable on the slower, more instrumentally focussed tracks such as Sahti-Waari which also makes great use of the flute and the accordion, and has a particularly folksy guitar structures. In fact the only instrument not utilized to its full potential would be the keyboards, whose major problem is over usage. Frequently throughout this album, the keyboards dominate the other instruments instead of working in tandem, which is frustrating, but bearable.

Another strength of the album is the vocal strengths of warlord Nygård. His voice seems almost perfect for the style that Turisas have implemented, pulling off angry, raspy vocals just as skilfully as softer, cleaner ones. However it is the narratorial style vocals that he occasionally adopts that make the vocals great. These vocals can first be heard about 3 minutes in on As Torches Rise and he also chooses to use them in Prologue To R.R.R which is a brilliant track if you are at all interested in Finnish folklore. Another nice touch is the female backing vocals that are occasionally evident, the best example of these would be in Midnight Sunrise.

Overall this album is a must get for fans of the genre, and should definitely be checked out by fans of either metal or folk music, as there is definitely something for both here. The majestic instrumentation and crisp vocals are intertwined nicely, and the songs, although a little repetitive towards the back end of the album, are all of a high standard.

Recommended Tracks
Battle Metal
One More
Sahti-Waari
Rex Regi Rebellis

Overall 3.5 Great



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
September 5th 2008


7353 Comments


Wow, that was much harder than I thought it would be. It seems the track names haven't come out in bold, how can I change this??This Message Edited On 09.05.08

Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2008


2682 Comments


You inverted the letter and backslash: [noparse][b][/b][/noparse] is how you do it. Just edit your review by going to My Profile (from the main page) > Edit My Reviews (lefthand panel) and click this record. After you make your changes, I'll put this through. Thanks.

Fugue
September 5th 2008


7353 Comments


Ok I'll do that now, thanks =D

Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2008


2682 Comments


Well done. Welcome, too.

BallsToTheWall
September 5th 2008


44482 Comments


Decent first my man. I don't know what I think about bolding but many seem to have a problem. Also, Rasputin is pretty much the greatest song i've ever heard.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Fugue
September 5th 2008


7353 Comments


Jom : Thanks for the welcome.

and Balls yeah Rasputin's a great song, its easily their best in my opinion.



fritz
September 5th 2008


19 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I picked this up through iTunes about a week or so ago. Very good stuff, and I agree with you on the somewhat repetitiveness. But other than that (which is a minor problem), definitely a solid album. Well-written review, too.

Fugue
November 20th 2008


7353 Comments


Had an hour free (oh the bliss of being a student) so updated this review a bit, making it more informative and easier to read. Hope you like it.This Message Edited On 01.07.09

OvrotLivesAgain
September 21st 2010


1497 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Battle Metal Kicks Ass

Dryden
September 21st 2010


12928 Comments


they should cover more disco songs

TheSpirit
September 21st 2010


17885 Comments


dryden is the world's biggest closet disco fan

Digging: Wreodan Heahl - Laecig

Dryden
September 21st 2010


12928 Comments


WELL THEY ALL KNOW NOW WAY TO GO MAN

TheSpirit
September 21st 2010


17885 Comments


big afros and bell-bottom jeans are nothing to be afraid of

Dryden
September 21st 2010


12928 Comments


ur right im gonna embrace it and im taking u with me

TheSpirit
September 21st 2010


17885 Comments


as long as i get star shaped shades i'm in

Dryden
September 21st 2010


12928 Comments


never leave my house without them. were set

TheSpirit
September 21st 2010


17885 Comments


gonna hustle till i can't hustle no more

OvrotLivesAgain
September 21st 2010


1497 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ten Masked Men - Stayin' Alive

Disco Death Metal

Im serious.

OvrotLivesAgain
September 21st 2010


1497 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELue28A9qJA

Theres link for ya

6Dark6Cell6
October 18th 2010


255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I saw these guys live with ensiferum and they were badass enough that I picked both their cd's. Im not sure which which one I like more yet...



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