Ensiferum – Ensiferum (2001)


Ensiferum – Ensiferum
January 7th, 2001 (Finland); Spinefarm Records
LP (55 min.)
Epic Folk Metal

Track list:
01. Intro
02. Hero in a Dream
03. Token of Time
04. Guardians of Fate
05. Old Man (Väinämöinen)
06. Little Dreamer (Väinämöinen Part II)
07. Abandoned
08. Windrider
09. Treacherous Gods
10. Eternal Wait
11. Battle Song
12. Goblins’ Dance

There are several bands that I could credit for getting me into Metal. Some of them are System Of A Down, Narnia, Nightwish, Skillet, then later Demon Hunter, Red and Theocracy. But there is one band that I always name when asked which Metal band was the first one I listened to. I hold them alone responsible for sparking my interest in heavy music. This band is Ensiferum. I even know the one single song that made me say: “This is it. This is the kind of music I want to listen to!” This song was “Wanderer” from their third full length record Victory Songs. Another song that was absolutely essential for me at that time was “La iLai Hei” from their second album Iron. Generally, these two albums were the ones that I listened to most of the time. Yet, the album that grew to become my favorite by them over the years is their self titled debut album Ensiferum.

Ensiferum can be considered as one of the pioneer bands of Viking Metal. Their music is an amalgamation of Melodic Death Metal, Folk, symphonic elements and vocals that range from throat ripping Blackened Death growls to epic male choirs.
There is hardly anything about this album that I don’t like. It has beautiful melodies, fantastic solos, great vocals, epic lyrics, a huge level of variation and emotion throughout.
From catchy, fast paced songs like “Guardians Of Fate” to martial war chants like “Battle Song”, slower, almost depressive tunes like “Old Man”, bottle xylophone decorated Blackened craziness (“Goblins’ Dance”) and huge, epic, atmospheric hymns like “Treacherous Gods”, Ensiferum explore the different dimensions of the genre on this album and create a ridiculously entertaining, amazing and surprising work of musical art. From a technical standpoint the music on this album maybe isn’t the most challenging to play but the songwriting talent is outstanding, in my opinion. The balance between atmosphere and melody, Folk and Metal elements, slow and fast songs, clean vocals and growls and all the other elements of Ensiferum‘s music is as close to perfection as a Viking Metal album can get.
Do yourself a favor and listen to this classic if you haven’t already!

Listen to the album on Spotify.