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Ensiferum

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Helsinki, Finland (1995 – present)

Ensiferum (Latin ēnsiferum (neuter adjective) meaning “sword bearer”) is a folk metal band from Helsinki, Finland.

In 1995 Markus Toivonen played guitar with some friends in a band called ”Dark Reflections”, which played mainly covers of certain heavy metal bands including Megadeth, Pantera and many others. Later on, Markus felt that the band in which he was playing offered him very little inspiration and wanted to play something different. Markus was hugely inspired by folk music and also found himself fascinated with melodic death metal bands like Amorphis and Dark Tranquillity. Then one day Markus asked the band’s drummer, Kimmo Miettinen, if he wanted to play heroic folk ’death’ metal with him. Kimmo agreed. Next Markus and Kimmo asked their friend Sauli Savolainen, if he wanted to come and play the bass. Fortunately, he said yes. Now they had a band. Only trouble was that the band had no name at the time. One day Markus was visiting Sauli at his home, when he found a book; a Latin Dictionary. Markus casually opened the book. And from the first randomly picked page he glanced at a word. Ensiferum. Markus found the word fascinating and the translation “sword-bearing” excited him.

In year 1996 Ensiferum started its training in January 1996 at the Pasila Youthcenter in Helsinki (the same place their earlier band, Dark Reflections, had their rehearsals). Markus begun writing songs in 1995, which he finished in 1996. The songs were ”Knighthood”, ”Old Man (Väinämöinen)” and ”Frost”. Later in the same year, Markus convinced Jari Mäenpää (at the time a member of the band Immemorial, and an experienced solo artist) to join his band as a singer and second guitarist.

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  • HawkXV

    I didn't like Unsung Heroes as much as their earlier albums, apart from "In My Sword I Trust" and "Passion Proof Power" which are really great songs. "One Man Army" sounds really awesome though, so I'm really looking forward to hear more from their upcoming album!

    18 Jan 6:55pm Reply
  • bassius

    The plane has crashed into the mountain.

    15 Jan 7:01am Reply
  • gu1tarplayer

    Good song, I like it! Of course it's not the same standard as the first 4 albums, but it's still decent song. But yeah, production is quite bad. Especially the drums and the guitars.

    14 Jan 9:15pm Reply
  • Boulesis

    I agree the production isn't very good although they've already given the reason why the album will sound like that. The drumming was pretty good and the choirs are just typical Ensiferum. The song is pretty decent I think.

    14 Jan 6:22pm Reply
  • umosay

    Definitely not keen on those choirs, they feel very hollow... but I'm not keen on Markus or Sami singing alone really either, which happened way too much on UH. I think they sound best singing together. Markus style melodies seem like a thing of the past now, he used to write them with ease but if this new album follows this track it seems like a lot of rhythm stuff, which isn't great cause the guitars are pretty thin. They've really struggled to make a nice production since Victory Songs.

    14 Jan 7:45am Reply
  • Schander

    This one's undoubtedly going to turn out just as horrible as Unsung Heroes... if not worse.

    13 Jan 7:37pm Reply
  • Meat_Wolf

    The choirs are abCHOIRrent. Just like on PPP from Unsung Heroes. Overall, a dull song, nothing special, far from the best Ensiferum offerings.

    13 Jan 1:19pm Reply
  • Pheneks

    I feel like Petri's vocals are too low in that mix and the choir is way too prominent.

    13 Jan 12:45am Reply
  • FeskarN_89

    Really solid song, hope the rest will be even better. Petri's solo sounds similair to some Norther solo.

    12 Jan 8:28pm Reply
  • umosay

    Actually quite like it, not as raw as I was expecting. Pete sounds good. I like the darker feel to it.

    12 Jan 5:52pm Reply
  • M-arius

    New video for One Man Army - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv0CRm94ObE

    12 Jan 5:19pm Reply
  • Vaitti

    I'm pretty sure its technically an EP but doesn't matter what it is, doesn't make it any better :D

    29 Dec 2014 Reply
  • umosay

    @Vaitti: It's not an EP, it's 4 cover songs from their past. Warmetal is the only 'newly' recorded cover in that which will be a bonus track on the new album.

    27 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Muinaiset

    I thought the Warmetal cover was awesome. Maybe hearing the original helps.

    27 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Vaitti

    Wow and I thought Unsung Heroes was bad... this new EP has to be some kind of a joke, right?

    27 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Russian_Wolf

    не знаю оригиналов, но каверы в ипихе понравились

    26 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Pheneks

    Even though Warmetal is a cover, it sounds pretty good to my ears. Of course I'm not expecting them to return to form, but I feel it'll be at least better than Unsung Heroes.

    26 Dec 2014 Reply
  • umosay

    Bit concerned after hearing Warmetal. Decent song, but I'm not a fan of raw productions, reminds me of the last Amon Amarth album.

    25 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Dark_Althor

    "Heathen Throne part III", that sounds EPIC, can't wait :)

    22 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Kr1g

    В 2009 году это было ахуенно, а сейчас это ЕЩЕ АХУЕННЕЕ!!!!!!!

    19 Dec 2014 Reply
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