Rating:
8.6
Turisas - The Varangian Way
28 May 2007


Disc I [CD]
01. To Holmgard And Beyond
02. A Portage To The Unknown
03. Cursed Be Iron
04. Fields Of Gold
05. In The Court Of Jarisleif
06. Five Hundred And One
07. The Dnieper Rapids
08. Miklagard Overture
09. Rasputin [Boney M cover][director's cut edition bonus]
10. To Holmgard And Beyond [radio edit version] [director's cut edition bonus]
11. To Holmgard And Beyond [single edit version] [enhanced edition bonus]
12. Rex Regi Rebellis [Finnish version] [enhanced edition bonus]
+ Battle Metal [video] [Live at Party San '06] [enhanced edition bonus]

Disc II [DVD]
01. Battle Metal [Live at Rock Hard Festival 2007]
02. To Holmgard And Beyond [Live at Download Festival 2007]
03. In The Court Of Jarisleif [Live at Download Festival 2007]
04. Rasputin [Boney M cover][Live at Download Festival 2007]
05. Battle Metal [Live at Download Festival 2007]
06. Battle Metal [Live at With Full Metal Festival 2007]
+ Rasputin [Boney M cover][video]
+ To Holmgard And Beyond [v karaoke]
+ Photogallery


With a "drakkar" on the cover art, you know this is Folk Metal from Scandinavia. I haven't been too immersed into this booming musical genre; as the few bands I tried to listen to all failed to really impress me. Korkiplaani bores me, Finntroll is not my cup of tea, Tyr sounded promising, but I quickly forgot about them. Folk or Pagan Metal has been rampaging the European scene recently, with countless bands displaying their Norsemen roots, with songs filled with epic battle lyrics and imagery full of medieval paraphernalia.

Then came Turisas latest album, The Varangian Way. For once, all of the corny elements of this musical style could not mask the quality of the music. As you can probably tell, I am not a big fan of that whole Pagan/Folk Metal. I find it overrated, as was Power Metal a few years back [bring in the hate mail]. However, this album cannot be denied its share of praise. Epic melodies are everywhere while the vocals are diverse and at times captivating. Turisas use all elements of the genre without overdoing any of them, and this is their force. Some elements of surprise are littered throughout the album such as the very gypsy-sounding 'In the Court of Jarisleif'.

The production is way better than on their debut album Battle Metal, creating another level of strength to all the fundamentals. The change is especially notable on keyboards and vocals. While the guitar work is not anything outstanding, the great song writing and the epic symphonies really fashion a crowd favourite.

To wrap it up, The Varangian Way is a very solid album, from A to Z. It sounds more mature than 2004's Battle Metal. The vocals are what impress me the most, but the quality of tracks such as 'To Holmgard and Beyond' and 'Miklagard Overture' makes this record special. This is a definite pick for any Folk/Pagan Metal fan out there.


Highlights: 'To Holmgard and Beyond' and 'Miklagard Overture'

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


Band profile: Turisas
Album: The Varangian Way


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 08.09.2007

Guest review by
Doc Godin

Rating:
9.4
After a 3 year or so hiatus Turisas is back with an epic masterpiece that undoubtedly blows there previous effort completely out of the water.

Before I get into the different aspects of this album I should quickly explain the storyline to this album for those who don't already know (it is a concept album). To sum the storyline up its simply a group of vikings on a journey for the sake of going on a journey, exploring and such, and every now and then focus' on the main character-Hakons reflections and inner thoughts about his life and trying to find his name.

Read more ››
published 09.09.2007 | Comments (1)



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hard_tom - 08.09.2007 at 21:59  
Very good job, Turisas.
The last song "Miklagard Overture" with great mix of acoustic and heavy guitars and clean and brutal voice can´t I get from my head...
I agree with DEMONIC TUTOR, very solid album.
But maybe next record of Turisas will bring more songs in quality of "To Holmgard..." and "Miklagard..."
Baz Anderson - 08.09.2007 at 22:37  
this is the better of the two Turisas albums by far in my opinion.. this is a good album indeed
they are Finnish though, so not in the immediate Scandinavia - I will just point out. haha

but yes indeed - definitely more mature, and much more of a solid album
ylside - 08.09.2007 at 23:07  
Great album. I especially like "In The Court Of Jarisleif". Great tune.
ApocalypticaMax3 - 09.09.2007 at 00:17  
Quote:
But maybe next record of Turisas will bring more songs in quality of "To Holmgard..." and "Miklagard..."


AND In the Court of Jarisleif =| This song is SO fckin GOOD XD
Doc Godin - 09.09.2007 at 00:55  
I wouldve rated it higher. And I know theres going to be people telling me "But Dr.Rock, you infantile moron, not all albums can be 10". which I am aware, but this is one of the few albums I genuinly beleive deserves a 9.6 or something in that region....compared to some albums getting 9.5s that definitly arent deserving.
Valar - 09.09.2007 at 16:52  
Killer album, great review.
Judas - 09.09.2007 at 17:04  
I found this album to be waaaaaay better than 'Battle Metal', because it's held my attention for almost twice the period that the earlier effort did. I'm not bored with this, because the songwriting is more varied, they're not just destined to be another gimmick band. Great album, I'd say a 9/10, and good review too.
Collin - 11.09.2007 at 15:22  
Written by Judas on 09.09.2007 at 17:04

I found this album to be waaaaaay better than 'Battle Metal', because it's held my attention for almost twice the period that the earlier effort did. I'm not bored with this, because the songwriting is more varied, they're not just destined to be another gimmick band. Great album, I'd say a 9/10, and good review too.


Same here, I wasn't too impressed with the first album. I find it very overrated and I can't understand what all the hype is about. But this one I find really interesting from the first to the last minute, it is much more varied and the vocals are really impressive, as said in the review. A great album. Would be a killer if all the songs were like "To Holmgard And Beyond"
Judas - 11.09.2007 at 15:50  
Written by Collin on 11.09.2007 at 15:22

Written by Judas on 09.09.2007 at 17:04

I found this album to be waaaaaay better than 'Battle Metal', because it's held my attention for almost twice the period that the earlier effort did. I'm not bored with this, because the songwriting is more varied, they're not just destined to be another gimmick band. Great album, I'd say a 9/10, and good review too.


Same here, I wasn't too impressed with the first album. I find it very overrated and I can't understand what all the hype is about. But this one I find really interesting from the first to the last minute, it is much more varied and the vocals are really impressive, as said in the review. A great album. Would be a killer if all the songs were like "To Holmgard And Beyond"

The opening and closing tracks are AMAZING. 'To Holmgard and Beyond' and 'Miklagard Overture' are so bloody epic and awesome that I think a lot of bands wanting to play a similar style of music would have just put down their instruments after listening to those two because they will never achieve this level of brilliance.
schwanderen - 12.09.2007 at 14:54  
Written by Judas on 11.09.2007 at 15:50

Written by Collin on 11.09.2007 at 15:22

Written by Judas on 09.09.2007 at 17:04

I found this album to be waaaaaay better than 'Battle Metal', because it's held my attention for almost twice the period that the earlier effort did. I'm not bored with this, because the songwriting is more varied, they're not just destined to be another gimmick band. Great album, I'd say a 9/10, and good review too.


Same here, I wasn't too impressed with the first album. I find it very overrated and I can't understand what all the hype is about. But this one I find really interesting from the first to the last minute, it is much more varied and the vocals are really impressive, as said in the review. A great album. Would be a killer if all the songs were like "To Holmgard And Beyond"

The opening and closing tracks are AMAZING. 'To Holmgard and Beyond' and 'Miklagard Overture' are so bloody epic and awesome that I think a lot of bands wanting to play a similar style of music would have just put down their instruments after listening to those two because they will never achieve this level of brilliance.


EXACTLY! Turisas has comes through on so many levels that many other bands have been trying to come through for years. Turisas stand shoulder high ambitionsvise from any other Viking band.
But The Varagnian Way is a step forward for the band, i wouldnt claim either Battle Metal, or TVW to be better than the other. The force of The Varagnian Way, is the depth and the craftmanship of the album. The production is smooth no dents or bumps, the red thread of the album with the storyline entweining with both lyrics and music is incredibly original. Plus i think Nygaard has though this album through, with a musical setting, just listen to the end of "501"... Or any other track on the album for that sake...
With so many other bands harvesting a 9 or 10, i believe Turisas could easily top that kind of score with this release. I would claim it to be a milepole for the entire genre... And metal for that sake...
Marcus - 23.09.2007 at 08:19  
Great album, much better to listen to the Battle Metal IMO, if only all bands could compile releases of this caliber.
Ellrohir - 09.10.2007 at 22:24  
it begins really great and epic with To Holmgard And Beyond...i expected much...yes, Portage to Unknown is quite nice and then Fields of Gold too, but the rest of the album slowly fell into average in my ears...
+{Jonas}+ - 12.02.2008 at 17:16  
This album kicks ass. Even more epic, if that's even possible, than Battle Metal

"Time for a toast for our generous host,
JARISLEIF!
JARISLEIF!"
Metalbound7 - 10.11.2008 at 13:03  
To Holmgard and Beyond is the most Epic song ever, i just discovered Turisas a few months ago and until then i cant stop listen the two perfect albums they have released so far.
DanielViking - 11.11.2008 at 21:18  
One of the best albuns of viking metal ever! nice review.
Harlequin - 03.03.2009 at 23:30  
The ending of "Miklagard Overture" is so fucking epic it hurts.
Nicko's Nose - 20.08.2009 at 09:11  
Man, the chorus in Portage To The Unknown sounds almost exactly like the chorus in Finntroll's Fiskarens Fiende! It's just not as fast and not as good.
wormdrink414 - 20.08.2009 at 09:49  
One of the reasons I couldn't get into Battle Metal was because of the reliance on incessant synth work. The Varangian Way, on the other hand, eases off the synths and injects more folk instruments and a more refined folk atmosphere, making it the better album. It is more "epic" and much less anthemy (for lack of a better term) than Battle Metal. I gave it a 9.
Uirapuru - 31.12.2009 at 03:49  
Written by wormdrink414 on 20.08.2009 at 09:49

One of the reasons I couldn't get into Battle Metal was because of the reliance on incessant synth work. The Varangian Way, on the other hand, eases off the synths and injects more folk instruments and a more refined folk atmosphere, making it the better album. It is more "epic" and much less anthemy (for lack of a better term) than Battle Metal. I gave it a 9.


Very well written, I second that!
Sword_Chant - 08.03.2011 at 15:57  
Great album, probably the best work of Turisas.. even better than the follow up album. Wonder if they'll ever top this... maybe one day. 'Miklagard Overture' sure is the song that makes the album great... I feel privileged to own the album.

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