Rating:
9.0
Ensiferum - Ensiferum
2001


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


My first experience with growls started by chance when I was searching amazon for new metal and I discovered the genre of viking metal. This immediately caught my attention and I read several bands with special interest the reviews on Ensiferum, which obviously had some good debut album released in 2001. Then I searched other sources for this band because amazon did not have it available so I got me a copy via eBay. Of a three cd order this was the first one I listened to and I was shocked, because yet I had not come across growls that have a quite aggressive impact on the ear when you hear them for the first time, but the winds from the north a blowing fortunately strong, below I will tell you why:

Viking metal is a kind of melodic death with typical melodies from the northern european countries from former times. In Ensiferum I discovered the only imaginable incarnation of that. Soon I found out that compared to clean vocals, growls have a certain strength that cannot be achieved with clean ones. Combined with beatiful melodies, furiously fast drumming, great keyboard musical background, choirs and clean vocals, acoustic parts, well just anything you can imagine, not to forget the northern folkish influence Ensiferum let the cold icy winds from Finland blow out of the speakers of your stereo! On their debut they have managed to play so many good songs that do themselves rock a strong 10 on the richter scale of metal. 'Hero In A Dream' is a great example of this, 'Windrider' my personal favourite, 'Treacherous Gods', 'Eternal Wait' and 'Battle Song' all match this category, but the performance on the other of the 12 songs is not less remarkable. Only song number twelve 'Goblins Dance' falls behind. The latter is musically and lyrically the most aggressive and least melodic, thus not comparable to the other eleven quasi-masterpieces on a masterpiece.
All in all the albums features are great songs, with great melodies, technically brilliant and in uncomparable composition (the only similar song I know is Crimson Rain from Einherjer), thus refreshing the listener from the usual suspects of metal. After Esiferum I rarely found songs out of the extreme genre that I really enjoyed.

With 'Goblins Dance' forcing down the rating and few other songs that I cannot give a full ten this album deseves a strong 9.0 and everything out of this genre that meets my ears has to be measured with comparison to this fantastic milestone in my personal history of musical experiences. I can hardly wait for the successor any more.


Band profile: Ensiferum
Album: Ensiferum


 


written by Pierre Tombale | 00.00.0000

Staff review by
fade

Rating:
9.5
2001 was just about to become history when I received this cd in the mail. It was three days before 2002 and I found myself on an airplane home to spend the New Year. The plane had just taxied off the runway as I placed Ensiferum's debut self-titled album in my cd player. I had not heard much about this young Finnish band before I had ordered the CD but was told, since I like Moonsorrow and Finntroll, I would eat this cd up for breakfast lunch and dinner. Well, I am still eating it and it sounds better every fucking time.

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published 06.02.2004 | Comments (8)



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BlueMobius - 18.07.2007 at 08:01  
This is one of my favorite albums. The song writing is superb, and it never gets old. Ensiferum does a good job of making each song unique and interesting without losing the sound that defines the band.
Infurnace - 19.07.2007 at 14:27  
Great album, that's for sure. Those were the good old days with Jari..
Leper Messiah - 07.09.2007 at 21:51  
Just perfect...
Sentenced Odiin - 10.10.2007 at 18:11  
best album ever!:beer::banger:
Doc Godin - 26.11.2007 at 08:17  
Its great, I find it lacks alot of the catchy riffs found in Iron but its still great, wouldnt agree with the rating but i can see where your coming from.
Opium - 26.11.2007 at 08:30  
Wow, I'd say "Goblins Dance" is actually my fave track here, strange remark, IM.

The rating is a tad too high as well, IMO. I'd give this about 7.5.
peterjohnvernon - 02.04.2008 at 23:15  
"Viking metal is a kind of melodic death with typical melodies from the northern european countries from former times. In Ensiferum I discovered the only imaginable incarnation of that."

Try listening to Amon Amarth, especially Versus The World album... they achieve this perfectly, they even make it sound easy to do, as they don't use keyboards or synths, just plain riffing which takes you back 1000 years.
Doc Godin - 04.04.2008 at 10:56  
Written by Guest on 26.11.2007 at 08:30

Wow, I'd say "Goblins Dance" is actually my fave track here, strange remark, IM.

The rating is a tad too high as well, IMO. I'd give this about 7.5.

Agree about the 7.5. I don't know why but there was that much that was too gripping about this album. Maybe because it embodies a lot of the Viking type metal cliche's but lacks the grandiose production values that makes cliche viking metal enjoyable.
Powerslavex - 07.10.2008 at 23:39  
one of the best albums ever a hero in a dream a breathtaking song:maniac:
Ellrohir - 25.09.2009 at 12:33  
I have to apologize for what i said, this album isnt that great...it is...
Uirapuru - 30.12.2009 at 18:42  
Ill never give more than an 8 for this one. Seems exaggerated. Its good enough to enjoy.

Funny how the Battle Song resemble the Tuatha de Danann's own Battle Song...
Sword_Chant - 28.02.2011 at 18:58  
Best Ensiferum Album Ever - also one of the best viking metal releases ever imo.
Windrider - 16.03.2011 at 18:31  
This review is old... very old!
Beastofmetal456 - 09.06.2011 at 20:13  
Very good album.
moe5512 - 30.03.2013 at 19:42  
To be fair, Goblin's dance was actually just a bonus track

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