Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ensiferum - From Afar

That Ensiferum are an awesome band, is a fact well known. That From Afar is one hell of an ass-kicking album, is a fact that can only be believed by hearing it. Staying on top of the game, Ensiferum have made a brilliant album by infusing every element that goes into make that perfect Viking metal album. Victory Songs was a terrific album that put Ensiferum on top of the viking metal pack, but following it many other bands popped up with their music sounding like well what to say - like every other band in the genre. But with From Afar Ensiferum once again shows to every one that they are the leaders of this genre.

Packing all the classic Viking metal elements like haunting keyboard choirs, melodious flute notes, Nordic rhymes, rapid fire riffing at bolting rhythm, listening to the album makes one hell of an epic experience. Instrumental wise, the musicians do perfect justice to the album by playing with panache. The intro track By Dividing Stream contains a masterfully done acoustic piece, thanks to Markus. The towering riffs in Heathen Thrones along with the horns keeps your spirits high by making you headbang as hard as possible. The horns in fact are a part of their elaborate orchestra inclusion that builds around the band's core music. This can be noted in their songs like Elusive Reaches and Longest Journey.

Emmi Silvenoinen , the ban's new keyboardist keeps up to the expectations of the band by playing some fluid melodies in tracks like Smoking Ruins and Longest Journey. In fact the keyboard plays an essential role in keeping the glorious viking era atmosphere throughout the album. Their longer compositions like Heathen Throne, though boring in the end shows that the band is adept even at slower rhythms. Production of the album too is top-notch, due to efforts by their previous producers Janni Joutsenniemi.

Where Victory Songs is a straight forward album showcasingEnsiferum's mix of black, folk, and power metal elements; From Afartakes the song-writing to a different level and is therefore much more diverse in song structures and general pacing of the album. Although a few of the songs from the album do slip below the radar and the long songs are simply not as good as Victory Song,Ensiferum are once again showing the light for other bands to follow within this style. Ensiferum are a band that cannot disappoint

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