|Turisas - The Varangian Way|
|1. To Holmgard And Beyond||5. In The Court Of Jarisleif|
|2. A Portage To The Unknown||6. Five Hundred And One|
|3. Cursed Be Iron||7. The Dnieper Rapids|
|4. Fields Of Gold||8. Miklargard Overture|
There can be few bands that have been
viewed by so many as nothing more than a pure gimmick than Turisas.
These Finnish boys, clad in their fur boots, brandishing swords, while
jumping from their long boats have all the hallmarks of being the next
Lordi; who oddly are also Finnish (must be something in the water)?!?
Looking beyond the Viking helmets and war paint, do Turisas offer
anything of merit other than striking stage personas?
The bands rise has been meteoric to say the least, which may explain why often the band are seen as 'Johnny come latelys'. Not having toiled in the underground for numerous years producing a string of demos seems to have robbed the band of credibility in many peoples eyes. Combined with the bands odd demeanor, and you have to some nothing more than a fad band.
Taking "The Varangian Way" on merit, the album is quite varied and a unique sounding record. Hey, how many metal bands can claim to have a full time accordion player within their ranks? With "Battle Metal" still reverberating in most peoples minds, the follow-up album was always going to be a tough proposition. Rest easy however as Turisas have lost none of their epic grandeur; nor none of their tongue-in-cheek humour that made their debut such a success."To Holmgard And Beyond" is a rousing call to arms, and really does uphold the old adage; 'start as you mean to go one'. "The Varangian Way" rampages along with all the raucous majesty of the Viking chieftain himself. Rather than continue down the path of creating "Battle Metal" part II, Turisas have taken the brave decision to strip back and simplify what was a winning formula in pursuit of a fresh sound. Unquestionably Turisas, and fans of the aforementioned "Battle Metal" need not worry however as you won't be found wanting. Nor will their be the feeling that this is a reconstituted version of the album that proceeded it.
Turisas's longevity is impossible to predict. They are not so much genre definers but genre creators, and while they continue to push boundaries in the pursuit of fresh ideas; challenging themselves to reinvent themselves, and their music, you feel the bands humourous persona will not become tiresome.
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