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Victory Songs

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Album Review

Quite often, bands that are described as melodic death metal are not genuinely melodic. At the Gates, Age of Ruin, and In Flames are examples of genuinely melodic contributors to death metal, but in many cases, the word melodic has been applied to death metallers who — truth be told — treat melody like a mere afterthought and favor brutality for the sake of brutality. Thus, it is important to stress that melody is never an afterthought on Ensiferum's Victory Songs; it is a crucial part of what the Finnish band does on a death metal/folk-metal album that, for all its intensity and in-your-face aggression, is highly musical and thrives on intricacy and craftsmanship. There are quite a few different influences on this epic disc, ranging from power metal, thrash metal, punk, and progressive rock to European folk; in fact, Ensiferum combine their amplified guitars, bass, and drums with traditional acoustic instruments that have been used in Scandinavian folk for many years. The thing that makes Victory Songs relevant to extreme metal isn't so much the song structures as the vicious lead singing of Petri Lindroos, who replaced former lead singer Jari "Arbaal" Mäenpää and has worked out nicely for Ensiferum. Lindroos is usually mindful of metalcore's tortured screaming more than death metal's deep "cookie monster" growling, and extreme singing dominates the album. But if Victory Songs contained nothing but clean vocals, Ensiferum would pretty much sound like a faster, thrashier version of Manowar, Savatage, or Iron Maiden (with more of an interest in traditional European folk instruments). And if Victory Songs sounds somewhat Celtic at times, that's because Scandinavian folk was a major influence on Celtic music thanks to the Vikings, who invaded the British Isles many centuries ago. Victory Songs is an excellent, consistently rewarding demonstration of how death metal can, in fact, be truly melodic.

Customer Reviews

Great album!

I love this album. I think Petri was a fine choice in a replacement for Jari. Yes, his sound is a bit different, but I think they really proved to their fans that they are still highly capable of continuing the epic viking metal that their work with Jari made so popular. This album features a great mix of the brutal, in your face death metal, and the slower tempo melodic folk songs. It really makes you feel like you are riding on a journey with a troop of great viking warriors. And if you just can't live with out Jari...let the fun continue with Wintersun!

not their best, but of course its still good

this is their first full length cd since their former vocalist quit the band. the new vocalist does a pretty good job. the vocals are not the same or better, kind of like with the scenario with Finntroll's new singer. the guitar, drums, and all the folkness is still what youd expect from ensiferum. heres the song ratings. 1. Ad victorium 6/10- just bc it is an instremental and i dont like instrementals very much. 2. blood is the price of glory 9/10 - sounds like classic ensiferum 3. deathrbinger from the sky 9/10 4. ahti 10/10- fastest song on the album 5. one more magic potion 10/10- 2nd best song on the album. lyrics are kind of corny but its a catchy song 6. wanderer 10/10- best song on the album.good slow song. reminds me of their song Eternal Wait, which is one of my favorite songs 7. raised by the sword 9/10 - doesnt really stand out but its good. a little long though. 8. the new dawn 9/10 9. victory song 9/10- reeaaallly long. some of it is boring. not slow, just kind of drug out haha. but the part around 8 and a half minutes is really cool. thought not their best, this is another great album from ensiferum.

Ensiferum ftw

I can not beleive itunes finally has Ensiferum on it, they are the best band in the world. Why are you reading this review when you could be buying this album?!?!


Formed: 1995 in Helsinki, Finland

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s

A melodic power/death/folk metal band delving in Viking legends for lyrical inspiration, Helsinki, Finland's Ensiferum had to continually coexist with various simultaneous metal projects undertaken by its members. Founded in 1995 by guitarist Markus Toivonen, Ensiferum worked up a number of demo tapes before finally attracting the attention of Finland's powerhouse metal label, Spinefarm, which released their eponymous debut in 2001. The sophomore Iron followed in 2004, and both albums featured vocalist...
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Victory Songs, Ensiferum
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Customer Ratings