ENSIFERUM - Thalassic

July 13, 2020, 22 days ago

(Metal Blade)

Rich Catino

Rating: 8.0

review heavy metal ensiferum

ENSIFERUM - Thalassic

Eighth studio album from the Finnish folk melodic death metallers, Thalassic title translating from ancient Greek as "of or relating to seas", reflected in the creative cover artwork. New keyboard player/lead clean vocalist Pekka Montin and violinist Lassi Logren recorded folk instruments on a few tracks. Like fellow countrymen Finntroll, Korpiklaani, and Turisas, Ensiferum also bring an authentic quality to the genre by use of instrumentation and orchestration from their homeland. 

As on opening instrumental “Seafarer's Dream”, the genre combines epic qualities of cinema scores like Conan the Barbarian to compliment the power metal riffs and spirit and gruff death metal vocals. “Run, Women, Victory” is a charging sword in hand fierce opener, but already by second track “Andromeda” pulling in more Blind Guardian twin leads and melodic clean vocals as a counterbalance. See also “The Defence Of The Sampo” which could have fit on a Gamma Ray album where I also hear Kai Hansen at moments in the vocals and a strong steadfast power metal tempo. “One With The Sea” is a change in the mood, the slowed tempo and riff, vocal delivery more a somber solemn expression. Looking for a drinking spirited song in 2020 with your buddies, “Midsummer Magic” is it, complete with group gang chants, grab your stein! At almost nine minutes, sounds of an approaching ship, piano, layered orchestration for “Cold Northland (Väinämöinen Part III)” the longest tune. “Merille Lahteva”, one of two bonus tracks a light-hearted local village jam with acoustic guitars, strings, and native spoken language.


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