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Turisas - The Varangian Way

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Turisas - The Verangian Way
Century Media Records
It's often been said that a band has their whole lives to write their first album and only a few months to do the second. The result is often the so-called "sophomore slump," where the second album doesn't live up to the first. The Finnish battle metal band Turisas has taken their time with their second release, and three years after their debut, show they are in no danger of that pitfall.

The Varangian Way is an epic and spirited concept album that tells the story of a journey through the river route of Eastern Europe back in the 9th - 11th centuries. Those who followed this path were called Varangians, thus the title of the album. The songs are bombastic Viking metal with majestic arrangements using strings, choruses and orchestral elements. The vocals are a combination of raspy growls and melodic singing.

Even though the songs are grand and majestic, they are still reasonably focused and don't go completely over the top. The Varangian Way has the scale and scope of a movie soundtrack, but there are also many smaller and quieter moments that give the album a great balance. Metal guitars, folk instruments and epic orchestration make this a rousing and memorable album.

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