Pagan/Folk Metal has become quite popular nowadays with bands like Turisas, Ensiferum, Heidevolk, Eluveitie and Týr leading the charge. The music usually revolves around anthem like songs about war, conquest and beer, often based on old stories and sagas. The aforementioned Turisas are one of the biggest bands in their specific field. Their Battle Metal album (2004) was instrumental for the current popularity of the whole Pagan/Folk Metal. The warriors from Turisas are back with a brand new album, entitled Stand Up And Fight. Let’s have a beer, draw our swords and see what those guys have to offer.
Back in 2004 their Battle Metal album made quite an impression on me, but I soon lost interest in Turisas and the whole Pagan/Folk Metal genre as a whole. After a couple of listens I’m afraid that Stand Up And Fight won’t win me over again.
Stand Up And Fight gives me mixed emotions. On one side Turisas know how to write great anthems with massive choruses and even more bombast. The use of actual brass instruments adds to the authentic feeling of this album. Compositions like The March Of The Varangian Guard, Take The Day!, The Great Escape and The Bosphoros Freezes Over. The classical arrangements are simply breathtaking. On the other side, songs like Hunting Pirates (Hello Swashbuckle and Alestorm!) and Venetoi! – Prasinoi! and End Of An Empire make me cringe because of the overload of metal cheesiness.
Sound wise there’s nothing to complain about Stand Up And Fight. The production is clear and heavy enough to underscore the heroic and epic elements of Turisas.
I’m sure that Stand Up And Fight will find its way to the Turisas fan base and to Pagan/Folk Metal acolytes in general. This album is not without its merits, but I’m afraid I’m getting too old for this.
written by Raymond Westland