Turisas are undeniably one of the masters of Folk/Viking/Battle metal and their newest album, Stand Up and Fight, is on par with their other two albums, The Varangian Way and Battle Metal. It's a sweeping epic, grandiose in scale.
Like every band in this genre, every song is full of glory in battle, defeating enemies and drunken parties. What makes these guys stand apart from the others is their shear musical ability. This album could have easily turned into a cheese-fest with songs about hunting pirates and heroic acts. It never does.
The guitar work is fast and technical with incredible solos and ridiculously fast riffing. The violin is what pushes this album into truly great territory. It adds another depth to the music and makes it more melodic and symphonic. I just wish they would include real trumpets and brass, not synth ones. Mathias Nygård's vocals have never sounded better. I did enjoy his deeper growls on this album. He seemed to use these slightly more than on other albums. That's not to say it's all like that; he uses clean singing for most of the album, but those moments of rough are incredible.
My only problem with this album is that it sounds exactly like their other two albums. On the one hand, that's not a bad thing; their other albums were great, and if something isn't broken, it doesn't need fixing. On the other, a little development and change would be nice. I would like to see some progression in their music. On their album, The Varangian Way, there were moments of prog/jazz influence. I'd love for them to explore this more.
So, sit back, pour yourself some mead or ale, and visit the cold, northern lands of the Vikings. You won't be disappointed.
Standout tracks: Stand Up and Fight; Fear the Fear
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