Rating:
9.3
Turisas - Stand Up And Fight
23 February 2011


Disc I
01. The March Of The Varangian Guard
02. Take The Day!
03. Hunting Pirates
04. βένετοι! - πράσινοι!
05. Stand Up And Fight
06. The Great Escape
07. Fear The Fear
08. End Of An Empire
09. The Bosphorus Freezes Over

Disc II [limited edition bonus CD]
01. Broadsword [Jethro Tull cover]
02. Supernaut [Black Sabbath cover]
+ The March Of The Varangian Guard [video] [acoustic live version]
+ Stand Up And Fight [video] [acoustic live version]
+ To Holmgard And Beyond [video] [acoustic live version]


Turisas is a symphonic folk metal band from Finland that incorporates a very visual and battle oriented stage presence. Right off the bat you're probably thinking of one word, and that word is "cheese", and I can't really say that you'd be wrong when you make that accusation. They certainly are very outward with their appearance on stage as well as in their music, and people either seem to love that about a group, or absolutely despise it. A lot of it will probably depend on what you're expecting, and one look at the admittedly silly album cover will most likely give you an idea. It's the same style that they've had their whole discography, only seemingly bloated with more corny-but-catchy Viking ballads and war chants. Again, that is a good point. However, on their latest release, Turisas have managed to craft a surprisingly great symphonic metal record that succeeds in both vigor and charm.

Everything seems to just click into a solid nook of melody and energy. The starting track helps to set the mood with the guitars and symphonics booming forward for an in-your-face intro, and then takes advantage of the surprising tone it has set by going into a more silent sort of marching anthem. From there, the chorus basically hits you like a wall. The choirs, the orchestras, and everything else just erupt into a cavalcade of magnificence. In a nutshell, the intro song was perfect for this particular record.

The rest of the band isn't all that technical, and the guitars usually stick with power chords, although some of the solos they have are really amazing. The vocals I admit could use just a little work, but to tell you the truth they don't really sound that bad. They fit the style the band seems to be going for and aren't really bad enough to the point where they're distracting.

The orchestras, on the other hand, are fantastic. This is some of the finest composure I've seen in symphonic metal in a long time. They add that much more to the music, to the point where I find myself listening to and humming along to the orchestral parts instead of the guitars. Turisas really outdid themselves in terms of songwriting and consistency on this album. Every song has memorable hooks and riffs that will be stuck in your head for days. As far as perfect material for live shows, this is exactly the kind of anthemic song structure that gets crowds really riled up.

Even with all of these upsides to the record, there will still be people who don't like it. That's simply because it isn't their thing. While I think the symphonic melodies are mind-blowing, others will think that they're too overblown and silly. Same as how I think that some of the vocals are only a minor issue, others simply won't like the blatant image and unprofessional cleans that are present here and there. In short, this record is not for everyone, but listeners who do like symphonic and epic sounding choirs and bombastic orchestras and vocals, and enjoy fun and humorous music every now and then, will love this release.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Turisas
Album: Stand Up And Fight


 


written by PsychoticNK | 18.06.2012


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



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AngelofDeth - 20.06.2012 at 00:54  
Tbh this seems more of a bio/description than a critical record review... Though I do agree with most of the stuff said.

I love the album but the thing that really bugs me is that its not enough material for the four-something years we had to wait for this to be released. Theres only 9 tracks and 3 of those tracks are intermission songs(Take the Day, βένετοι! - πράσινοι, Bosphorous) so really theres ONLY 6 SOLID SONGS. wtf is up with that?

Dont get me wrong I love those 6 songs and the intermission tracks as well but After about 4 months I was already done with the album and cant listen to it anymore because I know every part of every track. They said they took so long to make this album b/c they didnt want to repeat themselves but I think no one wouldve minded some extra Varangian Way-style songs thrown in, considering that album was only 8 songs as well.

Great album but wouldve appreciated at least a few more original tracks added to the album. Hopefu;lly they vcan release some new stuff soon.

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