Ensiferum – One Man Army – Metal Blade Records – Release: February 20th 2015.
The standard-bearers of battle metal like to take their sweet time to create a supreme piece of music. It’s been nearly two and a half years since their last album “Unsung Heroes” assaulted the world, but now Ensiferum is back with the creation of the “One Man Army”!
Petri Lindroos – Vocals & Guitar
Markus Toivonen – Guitar & Vocals
Sami Hinkka – Bass & Vocals
Janne Parviainen – Drums
Emmi Silvennoinen – Keyboards & Backing Vocals
One Man Army
The intro welcomes us with a good traditional tavern tune. A short and peaceful time to slam back the flagons and sharpen the blades before the ‘Axe of Judgement’ hits you with a relentless assault! A rich and full sound backed with a good old choir, Ensiferum-style! Right off the bat I have to say that I never really enjoyed Lindroos’ vocals, but on this album I finally get the click with his singing.
Luckily there is no question about musicianship as the songs are packed tight with strong riffs, pounding drums and glorious keyboards. It’s been a while since I enjoyed an Ensiferum album this much. There’s a nice mix of furious tracks like the opener and the title track, but there are also the slower and more epic songs like ‘Heathen Horde’ and ‘My Ancestor’s Blood’.
And of course there will always be that one mighty and epic song, which in this case is ‘Descendants, Defiance, Domination’. An eleven minute epic piece, with a long melancholic intro before slowly building up into a bombastic crescendo of Ensiferum-brand metal.
And again, as is tradition, we close the album with a nice oddball of a folky piece called ‘Neito Pohjolan’.
The warriors of Ensiferum have struck again! “One Man Army” has turned out to be a nicely diverse album filled with bombast, occasional melancholy and the celebration of battle. Raise your swords and horns for the sword bearer!
- March of War
- Axe of Judgement
- Heathen Horde
- One Man Army
- Burden of the Fallen
- Warrior Without a War
- Cry For the Earth Bounds
- Two of Spades
- My Ancestor’s Blood
- Descendants, Defiance, Domination
- Neito Phjolan
Score: 4,6 out of 5
Text by Robert Popovic