Ensiferum is one of the pioneers on folk/pagan metal, a genre of metal that had become a quite big all over the world, after almost three years, these Finnish metal warriors are coming back with a whole new album titled One Man Army. an album that will take you back to their early days, and that showcase the heavier side of the band
One of the things about this new Ensiferum album is not the fact that is epic as their previous albums, that is a given really, but what we see on this album is a heavier sound rather than filling the songs with folk instruments and melodies, this album is more metal than folk or pagan. That was a factor that perhaps lacked on their previous album Unsung Heroes (2012). In One Man Army, you can feel the heaviness of their music on songs like, Axe Of Judgement, One Man Army, Two Of Spades, and My Ancestor’s Blood, which still have those folk elements, but the riffs, drum parts, and even vocal parts are a mixture of thrash and death metal.
One Man Army keeps delivering epic folk metal moments with songs like Heathen Horde which features a Norwegian speech part interpreted by Heri Joensen of TYR. Burden Of The Fallen, Warrior Without A War, and Cry For The Earth Bounds are the best examples of typical Ensiferum folk metal songs within this album, but the song that personally won me over was Neito Pohjolan, a curious song that features the voice & accordion of Netta Skog (ex Turisas), and that breaks away from the typical Ensiferum folk type of song, and not too epic, or heavy. it’s just a fun and cool song.
The album also has a couple soft songs that are kind of atmospheric and almost ritualistic. Descendants, Defiance & Domination is one of them. There is also three bonus songs, Rawhide, Warmetal, & Candour And Lies. From those i think the cowboy/folk metal style of Rawhide gets the cake for me, it’s fresh, fun and different form the rest of the album. Warmetal is definitely among those heavy songs I mentioned before. Overall One Man Army is a strong folk metal record that brings back the epic, heavy, and fun side of Ensiferum all in one, The album represents the character of Ensiferum, and it shows how heavy they can be.
The Age Of Metal recently spoke with Petri Lindroos vocalist & guitar player of Ensiferum about One Man Army, their challenges at the time to create the record, the guest musicians participating on it, and their touring plans for 2015.