Turisas – Turisas2013

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Review by Raymond Westland

Century Media

Finnish folk metal/battle metal heroes Turisas are often sees as one of the leading acts in the ever popular folk/pagan metal genre. With The Varangian Way (2007) and Stand Up And Fight (2011) the band released two concept albums. At the risk of becoming a parody of themselves, singer and mastermind Mathias Nygard decided to do things a little differently on the band’s upcoming album, entitled Turisas2013. Battle Metal from 2004 is still a landmark record in the whole pagan/folk metal subgenre, but the band never managed to recapture the magic of that album on its two successors. They didn’t managed to get that done on Turisas2013, but for some reason the new album resonates a lot more with me, despite it’s not exactly the album of the year for me either.

First of all, the new album is a bit darker and by turning the amount of choirs/gangstyle vocals down, a big chunk of the overall cheesiness disappeared with it. Secondly, although there’s still plenty of humpa going on, the folk influences are considerably less and some of the songs could have easily been put on any given Blind Guardian album. This is especially the case with ‘For Your Own Good’ and ‘Into The Free’. Of course, there are still plenty of room for more traditional Turisas feel good songs, like ‘Run Bhang-Eater Run’ and ‘Ten More Miles’. A folk metal album without at least one song about getting incredibly drunk is a total bore, so luckily Nygard and Co included the cleverly titled ‘No Good Start Ever Starts With Drinking Tea’ for all your folk(s)y needs.

I do appreciate the ballsiness of stepping away from a successful formula and trying something new, yet at the same time Nygard and Co are desperately trying not to alienate their core fanbase with their new album. This makes Turisas2013 somewhat of a schizophrenic affair. I prefer this album over The Varangian Way and Stand Up And Fight, but I’m sure diehard Turisas fans will heartily disagree with me on this one. Turisas2013 is an enjoyable but somewhat of a transitional record.

Turisas – Turisas20136.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. For Your Own Good
  2. Ten More Miles
  3. Piece By Piece
  4. Into The Free
  5. Run Bhang-Eater Run
  6. Greek Fire
  7. The Days Passed
  8. No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea
  9. We Ride