(8/10) „One man army“ is not only a band’s name, it is also the title of the new album from Finnish folk metal rockers Ensiferum. The record continues where „Unsung heroes“ ended. Ensiferum didn’t change a lot when it comes to the songs and the music. But the new longplayer sounds a bit more powerful compared to the predecessor. For sure a first plus for the new disc.
As we know it from Ensiferum’s records the folk metal journey starts with an intro - this time called „March of war“. What comes next is the fast „Axe of judgement“. Rough vocals from Petri Lindroos combined with fast guitars and a melody that sticks immediately. The song is the right mix of hardness and harmony.
The pounding „Heathen horde“ is in a more moderate pace before the title track starts. „On man army“ is one of the best tracks on the album. Beginning with a heavy riff and a brutal punch, the tune continues with power and raw Northern energy. This army is a strong ‚one man army‘.
With "Burden of the fallen“ Ensiferum gives the focus on the folk elements in their music. It is a short acoustic song with clean vocals. The track can be seen as a kind of introduction to the powerful "Warrior without a war“. With the dominant choir I was reminded to Blind Guardian, at least a few times during the song. I would say, a typical Ensiferum song.
After the epical „Cry for the earth bounds“ you get to „Two spades“. This is a fast tune with harsh guitars, but…the song has a weird middle part, that reminds more to 70’s disco pop. The ones of you who know Dschingis Khan, the German disco band, can imagine how the middle part sounds like. I don’t know what Ensiferum had in mind when they wrote this part. It doesn’t disturb, but it feels very weird.
„My ancestor’s blood“ is again a midpace number with a solid groove, followed by the eleven minutes long „Desecendats, defiance, dom“. In case you never heard anything from Ensiferum before, you can listen to this track since it reflects most of the trademarks of the band. The diverse track is well composed and the only thing that might be missing are the harsh eruption that the band shows in tracks like „Axe of judgement“. But however, the anthem is a highlight on „One man army“.
The closer is an acoustic song that provides you a swinging ending of a good metal record. It sounds like a mix of the mighty Leningrad Cowboys and Little Willies. The song is fun, no metal and it still fits into the context of „One man army“.
The new album of Ensiferum will not disappoint fans of the band and is also done it a way that the Finnish five-piece might increase their fan base. I like the power and punch of most of the songs and I’m looking forward to see them on tour this spring.
- 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 spades
- My ancestor’s blood
- Desecendants, defiance, dom
- Neito pohjolan
Label: Metal Blade
Genre: Folk Metal