Rating:
9.8
Ensiferum - Iron
19 April 2004


01. Ferrum Aeternum
02. Iron
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
10. Tears
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...

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Ensiferum
Album: Iron


 


written by Talvi | 29.12.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Katatronik - 29.12.2006 at 14:51  
Aahh what a great album... Maybe the first album is better but also this one is very impressive. I hope with you that the new singer will be as good as Jari
matthioso - 29.12.2006 at 16:04  
A great album. better than the first one, I agree. There is only one thing on this album of which I'm not pleased about. It's the last song 'Tears'. I mean, what the hell is that song?
All the other songs are superb.
Talvi - 29.12.2006 at 16:10  
Written by matthioso on 29.12.2006 at 16:04

A great album. better than the first one, I agree. There is only one thing on this album of which I'm not pleased about. It's the last song 'Tears'. I mean, what the hell is that song?
All the other songs are superb.


It's natural having an acoustic outro/ballad on some albums. It's what it's called a great ending, or just beauty
Doc Godin - 14.02.2007 at 04:01  
Ive only heard 'into Battle' 'Sword Chant' and 'Lai Lai Hei' but those 3 tracks alone seem to be worth the purchase, im definitly going to be picking this one up.
Sentenced Odiin - 28.02.2007 at 13:26  
ensiferum (the album) is better. but this is fuck every god in heaven hehe...
Talvi - 05.03.2007 at 19:02  
Written by Sentenced Odiin on 28.02.2007 at 13:26

ensiferum (the album) is better


I like going against the mainstream opinion
Doc Godin - 15.06.2007 at 05:14  
Written by Doc Godin on 14.02.2007 at 04:01

Ive only heard 'into Battle' 'Sword Chant' and 'Lai Lai Hei' but those 3 tracks alone seem to be worth the purchase, im definitly going to be picking this one up.

And Dr.Rock did eventually pick it up, and it was awesome, not entirely awesome though, songs like 'Slayer Of Light' and 'Tale Of Revenge' bore me after a cool intro.
Fane - 14.09.2007 at 22:52  
First folk metal band which I had heard and the first album as well. Until that point when I heard Iron I had only listened something like Metallica, Bodom, Sodom etc. so I my reaction was something like "Wow.. There's something like this?" (yes I was young idiot..). A masterpiece in my collection.. always
Valentin B - 14.09.2007 at 23:03  
the title track has such unbelievable drumming, and it's such an insane song i wanna bang my head till it explodes everytime i hear that intro.

also tears is good but gets repetitive after a while.
Stalker - 19.11.2007 at 21:39  
OK, review is pretty good, and this album is far better than 1st one.
Damn, I didnt know why everyone seems to get crazy with this band, and I was taking them as one of the most overrated bands, until Ive heard this album. It is very good, in fact, in some parts even majestic! "Slayer of light" is one of the most ass-kicking songs Ive heard lately, and there are many more excelent songs on album. OK, tastes are different, but still I dont know how can somebody compare 1st album with this one....
Powerslavex - 07.10.2008 at 23:37  
i love this album ensiferum rules
Luciferion - 21.01.2009 at 20:47  
Best ensiferum album just beats out Victory songs, oddly enough wasn't a huge fan of the self titled. The title song is the highlight for me.
Fat & Sassy! - 15.07.2009 at 22:55  
Very solid album, but I didn't really find anything "amazing" on this album. Sure beats the shit out of anything I've heard by Finntroll, though. Lai Lai Hei is the highlight of this album.
Ellrohir - 25.09.2009 at 12:34  
I would say weaker than "Ensiferum" and compare it to newer albums isnt fair i think
GamlaSonn - 01.10.2009 at 00:33  
I also think its weaker than Ensiferum mainly because it's shorter and has more acoustic fillers
Uirapuru - 30.12.2009 at 19:07  
Im going with the ones who thought the Self-titled better.

''Iron'' is weird sometimes. All songs have a very nice and catchy intro, but then theres just heavy chaos without much sense, I got distracted, and when I see the song is over and I did not enjoy it.

It kinda follows: Catchy intro, hyper fast guitar drums and vocals, folk interlude, hyper fast guitar drums and vocals, sudden end.

Dissappointing.
Destructo - 08.03.2011 at 18:54  
Although I still rate the debut album even more (it got a 10 from me)....this one is certainly not at all behind in any way. The only song I don't fancy is "Lost In Despair". Not that it's a bad song, far from it. I just tend to skip that one when hearing this album. Rest of the album is killer, as can be expected from Ensiferum. So overall, it's a 9.5 from me, which is just below perfection.
ErnilEnNaur - 20.03.2011 at 09:22  
Written by Uirapuru on 30.12.2009 at 19:07

Im going with the ones who thought the Self-titled better.

''Iron'' is weird sometimes. All songs have a very nice and catchy intro, but then theres just heavy chaos without much sense, I got distracted, and when I see the song is over and I did not enjoy it.

It kinda follows: Catchy intro, hyper fast guitar drums and vocals, folk interlude, hyper fast guitar drums and vocals, sudden end.

Dissappointing.


Agreed. I also find it disappointing that in "Tale Of Revenge", there is only one short segment with clean vocals ("One light, so cold and pale"), because it is the best part of the song. I kept wishing that they'd repeat it at least once more in the song. It's a very good album, but few if any songs live up to the fantastic debut.
Kuroboshi - 30.04.2011 at 16:21  
Good folk metal album, but I'm with the ones who prefer their debut. Haven't heard anything after this album from them, except that horrid ep. For me, Finntroll will always be the masters of folk metal.

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