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Ensiferum - Victory Songs

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Ensiferum - Victory Songs
Candlelight Records
Ensiferum has been around since the mid 1990s and has released several EPs and demos along with a couple full-length CDs. However, until now the Finnish band's music has never been released in North America.

Ensiferum uses traditional Finnish folk instruments such as bagpipes, kantele, nyckelharpa and bodhrans in addition to the traditional metal arsenal. The result is a distinctive and very appealing sound. Victory Songs is a combination of Viking and folk metal with some black, thrash and even power metal influences.

The best songs on the album are fast and rollicking with great guitar riffs and folk instruments adding a lot of flavor and atmosphere. The mid tempo and slower songs are still good, but when Ensiferum gets their momentum going, they are nearly unstoppable. The vocals are harsh, and a combination of high pitched screams and low pitched growls. There's also a little melodic singing.

Victory Songs is the kind of CD that makes you want to crank it up loud, grab and beer in one hand and a sword in the other and start slaying some dragons.

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