Finnish folk/heavy metal quintet Ensiferum is yet again back on the war path with a fresh new album, Two Paths, loaded from top to bottom with metal jams ready to rock the shit outta 2017. With intricate shredding riffs, slick as sealskin drumming and a vocal maelstrom of goodness attacking all of your senses, Two Paths is an album you’ll not soon forget. It’s an adrenaline fueled yet heavily charismatic good time for anyone ready for some straight up heavy metal to get their blood pumping and a new album to put into regular rotation.
The real opener is the pulse pounding track “For Those About to Fight for Metal,” which is every bit as mosh-inducing as the name implies. The riffs are as solid as the vocals are bold. It sets the stage for your brain to be riled by track after track of riotous metal anthems set to kick your heart beat up a few notches. With “Two Paths” they take it a bit more folk metal with much heavier accordions involved, but the extra maudlin element just serves to make the album delve deeper into the medieval mayhem you were expecting by now. The following track “King of Storms” is the kind of war cry one would imagine thumping through your mind as you rode fiercely and fearlessly into battle. The vocals come out swinging on top of a fierce sonic landscape and keeps raging throughout; the breakdown serves as a reminder that Ensiferum didn’t come to fuck around. With the opener to “Feast with Valkyries” comes a more jovial feel, like attending a grand feast after a victorious war effort. It also slides into subtle intensity, blending the band’s ability to meld powerful male and female vocals together, “Feast with Valkyries” isn’t just a song title – instead they’ve crafted the kind of war song you’d expect to hear sung loudly and unashamedly by comrades in arms after an unquestionable triumph in pubs across the land. While “Don’t You Say” is a quite bit more straightforward vocally, there’s no denying it’s catchy nature as well as possessing its own smooth ferocity. A perfect example of how you can keep it simple while not sounding like a simpleton, it just hooks you in and makes no apologies for it.
Two Paths is an excellent heavy metal album in general but moreso for those looking for more than just hella blast beats and dirty vocals, it’s more of a soundtrack to clashing swords than it is just an average joe metal jam. Still, with the multitude of solid vocal performances, excellent guitar/bass work throughout, quality drumming and even making accordion riffs sound badass, anyone sleeping on this album is definitely fuckin’ up. Coming to your doorstep September 15th, you’d be wise to answer when it comes a-knockin’.
2.For Those About to Fight for Metal
3.Way of the Warrior
5.King of Storms
6.Feast with Valkyries
7.Don’t You Say
8.I Will Never Kneel
9.God Is Dead
10.Hail to the Victor
12. God Is Dead (Alternative Version)
Petri Lindroos – Vocals/Guitar
Markus Toivonen – Guitar/Vocals
Sami Hinkka – Bass/Vocals
Janne Parviainen – Drums
Netta Skog – Digital Accordion/Backing vocals
Rating: 4.0 outta 5.0 axes
Written by Ken Kaiser for Bloodrock Media on September 18, 2017