Two Paths - Ensiferum

The kippis!

Ah yes, those poor fins. They are always sorted, when the scandinavian countries pride themselves on their great accomplishments. They may not be vikings, along with the rest of us, their ancient gods, forced to take on a name change, and even the russians have given up trying to understand what they are saying. But these frustrations have, however, borne fruit, in the form of a series of attacks and a solid pile of alcohol (hjemmebrændt, of course), all of which provides a fabulous breeding ground for metal. Preferably the kind of the metal, involving accordions, war paint, blistering fast guitar solos and a language that no one understands a høstblomst of. Despite that the fins prides itself on being down to earth, or perhaps rather partly buried in a sprutforårsaget depression and a little too nihilistic view of the world, so is their metal, often grandiose, epic and magnificent. Here is Ensiferum as to whether any, prima representatives for the glorious and drunken tralala-metalscene, as the finns have built with a suppressed pride – so the kippis!

Sing, like no one understands!

Folk metal is a fun size. It is a genre, where there is a very big difference, depending on where the band comes from – how does it work in any case. It seems that a bands geographical oprindelseslokation is to determine how much should be audible, how fast the pace should be, how many odd instruments that should be with, etc. This is both good and bad. The positive is that it makes the genre seem a nice organic, and you never quite know what you get out from the label "folk metal". Just this may, however, also be what scares people away. Ensiferum is the essence of the Finnish people, and this proves once again on the Two Paths, because the disc meets all of the requirements that are to Finnish people. It goes lynhamrende quickly – check! There are odd instruments – check! There are acoustic parts, which reinforces the idea that there is an active storytelling – check! There are plenty of woo-oo-ooh and tralalaaa, which only gets better as promillen rises – check! It is serious metal, but at the same time, total hyggemetal – check!

Charming unemployment

Two Paths has everything you can expect from Ensiferum – see the aforementioned checklist. It all comes with a understated and thoroughly Finnish charm. Markus, Sami, Petri, Janne, and Netta has delivered something that could very well be this year's folk metal album; a professional and versatile work with several dimensions, and they manage to actually change the musical direction in the middle of it all, which is good work. For the best as you sit and think, "Well, well, it is a little silly it all, huh?" during a number, such as "For Those About to Fight For Metal", it all becomes suddenly much more intimate and serious to the end with a number such as "Hail to The Victor". Also connect with the ballad "Unettomaan Aikaan", which means something in the style of "unemployed time". However, I doubt that Ensiferum is to be unemployed in the next period of time.

>> Check the songs and lyrics here