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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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