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The first offering from Turisas, taking their name from the Finnish God of War, was released in 2004 and the title Battle Metal sums up the album perfectly. Vocalist Mathias "Warlord" Nygård composed every song and the overall atmosphere is one of beautiful carnage.
Violins, accordians and choir singing sit alongside guitars and drums to masterful effect. The album is a little rough compared to their later material but is a must listen to anyone who is a fan of their work. Their sound is aggressive but well woven though you could mistake it for heavier material due to Nygårds vocals which were more "metal" and less "smooth".
Album highlights personally are "The Land of Hope and Glory", "Battle Metal", "Midnight Sunrise" and "Rex Regi Rebellis". There are also two "different" tracks on the album, namely "Sahti Waari" which is a violin driven goliath designed to make you move your feet and finally "Katuman Kaiku", a sweeping flute anthem that oozes atmosphere and gives way to a powerful guitar riff that stirs emotion when not even a word is uttered.
Not as much of a finished article as their later material but the quality for their fans is there and the album is one of my firm favourites.
The first album from the party-loving Finns, who added the sub-genre 'battle metal' to folk metal. Mainly influenced by the Varangain Guards, a group of Norse warriors who were essentially paid mercenaries for the Byzantine kingdom, they have managed to find a little bit of a niche amongst all the other Viking/folk metal out there.
They've obviously thought about the lyrics and the theme, but still don't expect anything too clever. As with most other folk metal bands, its all about the catchy tunes, silly costumes and getting very drunk at the gigs. The songs are anthemic, fun to shout along to and easy-to-replicate face paint all adds up to great time when seen live. As Torches Rise, Battle Metal and One More are all now gig favourites, and its worth getting the album just for these. There are some definite filler tracks, and the band themselves admit now to the naivety of some of the songs, but this is an all round great folk metal album.
Whether it's glam, folk or viking metal, the Finns love a bit of drama in their metal. Battle Metal is the 2004 debut album by cheesy folk power metal band Turisas. Battle Metal is an apt name for a band whose lyrics, look and sound completely focus on battles!
Turisas have some power metal riffs, melodic backing choirs that you might expect to hear on a Therion or other symphonic metal act's album combined with folk instruments such as flutes and violins.
The subject matter all revolves around battles and combined with the above this gives the band a distinctive sound, the lead vocals vary but are often rather more brutal than you'd expect from what is overall a rather light-weight, somewhat classical sounding metal band. The drumming is also suprisingly aggressive and gives the music a battle like kick to it.
Battle Metal and Land of Hope and Glory are particularly catchy tracks, just about every track on the album is fashioned in a war anthem way that makes it memorable and appeals to the inner warrior in all of us. I'm not overly fond of this type of metal but can hear that the album is technically good and also very well produced, this album will appeal to many fans of melodic metal and perhaps power metal too, Blind Guardian and Therion fans will be in safe territory with this album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Victoriae & Triumphi Dominus
2 As Torches Rise
3 Battle Metal
4 Land Of Hope And Glory
6 One More
7 Midnight Sunrise
8 Among Ancestors
10 Prologue For R.R.R.
11 Rex Regi Rebellis
12 Katuman Kaiku