Turisas - The Varangian Way review
|Album:||The Varangian Way|
|Release date:||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]
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'
Written on 08.09.2007 by
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|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.
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