Ensiferum - Iron review
|Release date:||April 2004|
01. Ferrum Aeternum
03. Sword Chant
04. Mourning Heart (Interlude)
05. Tale Of Revenge
06. Lost In Despair
07. Slayer Of Light
08. Into Battle
09. LAI LAI HEI
11. Battery [Metallica cover] [Japanese bonus]
Ensiferum has become, almost instantly, the classic folk/viking metal band. With only 2 albums, their combination of folk riffing, use of folk instruments, simple and catchy songs and both clean and growled vocals have made them the kings of the genre. They are probably the most listened folk metal band along with Finntroll. And fuck, they deserve it. Their debut showed us what they were capable of, and most fans see that as the pinnacle of the band.
But to me, Iron is better. It's shorter, yes, but that doesn't mean it's worse. Shorter albums have less chance of having something wrong. The songs are each very different from each other. In the debut, the three first songs were very similar. Then we had 3 ballads, together. Most people think song order doesn't matter but I'm rating albums. When I rate an album I think of it putting on the CD player, from the beginning to the end. And in that way, Iron obliterates the debut in every way.
First the opener. Holy shit. This may be the best opener I've ever seen on any album. It's that good. Are you sad? Listen to this song, and you'll be happy again. It's probably the most "in your face" song on the album, and one of the best Ensiferum songs. Probably one of the best folk songs ever.
But the album always has the same quality. See how each song has much more personality than the debut. "Sword Chant" is really cool, with Jari changing from clean to growled vocals a lot. "Lost in Despair" is another highlight, and the first ballad of the album. It may match "Old Man" as my favorite Ensiferum ballad (and song). "Slayer of Light," on the other hand, it's as brutal as Ensiferum can be.
You want more? "Into the Battle" has the best Ensiferum solo, and one of the best solos I've ever heard. Check the 3:30 mark. It's also insanely epic. Then, the longest Ensiferum song, "LAI LAI HEI", begins as a ballad, but then it picks up, and shows insane riffing. The "lai lai hei" part is also very uplifting.
As you can see, each song has something that makes it special and different from the others. That's what makes it better than the debut, where some songs were so similar it was not funny. But anyway, if you are going to try this band, check any album of theirs. Both are insanely good, catchy and funny. One of the best ways of getting into folk/viking metal. Now I hope their next album with the new singer doesn't disappoint me...
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