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THE METAL OBSERVER - Review - TURISAS - Battle Metal

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2 tablatures for Turisas

Turisas - Battle Metal (9/10) - Finland - 2004

Genre: Viking Metal
Label: Century Media
Playing time: 57:19
Band homepage: Turisas


  1. As Torches Rise
  2. Battle Metal
  3. The Land Of Hope And Glory
  4. The Messenger
  5. One More
  6. Midnight Sunrise
  7. Among Ancestors
  8. Sahti-Waari
  9. Prologue For R.R.R.
  10. Rex Regi Rebellis
  11. Katuman Kaiku
Turisas - Battle Metal

Let’s make it clear already from the start: TURISAS’ debut album is definitely something extraordinary in the Folk Viking Metal genre. Or should I perhaps write Battle Metal instead? It is actually ok if we keep the term Folk Viking. Pagan inspirations of this Finnish quintet can not be more distinctive. They are present in their music, image as well as the lyrics on this superb album. In fact I guess that not only Folk Viking Metal fans could be attracted to this release. Its sounds could probably also draw attention of Symphonic Metal listeners as you can find here bombastic passages, raging and calm vocals,  catchy orchestrations and majestic choirs. The music is composed in a perfect way and it contains an endless amount of haunting and memorable melodies. Too sweet? Absolutely not as the tracks are at the same time full of something wild and untamed. The album is just permeated by the Viking spirit and Nordic romanticism (a bit more about that further in the text).


Even though it is their debut album, TURISAS emerge here as a group, which is aware of its skills and plans cautiously every single detail in the process of making the music. Any songs that could be particularly recommended? Well, in fact each of them is worth listening and one can for example surely get absorbed by the dramaturgy in “As Torches Rise”, sublimity of “Battle Metal”, folk spirit of “Sahti-Waari” or heroism in “Rex Regi Rebellis”.


Yet, I have to complain about one thing. While musically this album really rocks, some lyrics don’t actually hold the same good level. Sometimes they are simply banal. Of course everyone has his own taste but personally, I don’t really appreciate so much texts saying things about warriors who should come together and build an undefeatable army… On the other hand – it is Battle Metal we are talking about so I should perhaps turn a blind eye to this disadvantage. There is though a glorious exception here – the lyrics on the eleventh track partly written by singer Nygård and partly by one of the greatest representatives of romanticism in Finland, Zacharias Topelius (Turisas use some excerpts from his work about Finnish cavalry in the Thirty Years War). Something excellent! It is worth to add that the album consists of English, Finnish as well as Swedish lyrics.


To sum it up, Finns’ release is indisputably a record that one should acquaint oneself with. It is hard to point out any stand-out tracks as all of them are equally awesome. Just listen and enjoy.


(Online February 22, 2008)

Sebastian Jazdzewski

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