Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Way Or The Varangian Way

Turisas's follow up album "The Varangian Way" sees the band with a bit more focus which I think is in part due to the conceptual theme. It's the story of the Varangian's that ventured eastward and southward through what is now Russia into Constantinople. A fascinating topic. Lately I've been picking up all kinds of Viking themed music and this is a fine album.

The album still has the heavy symphonic sound, but more viking metal style guitar work, and a lesser folk metal feel. There is even a sense of traditional Russian music in the melodies which makes me think of Swinish Multitude's "Paddy's In The Kremlin" just more metal.

The album sets sail with "To Holmgard And Beyond" which is a triumphant symphonic tune with a strong viking metal feel. The clean vocals and gang chorus' enhances that sound. "A Portage Into The Unknown" continues with some beautiful orchestrations that are movie soundtrack quality and a more majestic viking sound. I'm reminded more of Thyrfing style viking metal on this album.

"Field's Of Gold" brings out their Bal-Sagoth style orchestrations and a very theatrical feel. "Five Hundred And One" takes the minimal folk elements into majestically theatrical metal tune. The narrative vocals adds some nice atmosphere. "In The Court Of Jarisleif" is a flat out traditional style folk metal tune with a Russian flavour and a party atmosphere much like Korpiklaani.

"The Dnieper Rapids" is a harsher faster tune with black metal intensity and some crushing riffs. However, my favourite track is "Cursed Be Iron". This song has some killer Einherjer style riffs and is probably one of their more brutal tunes even with the traditional elements. I'm hoping they play this song at Pagan Fest this coming Friday!

The album closer is a powerful majestic tune with a regal, triumphant chorus and an epic theatrical sound. If Symphony X played viking metal this would probably be what they sound like. A huge tune and a great ending.

Everything on "The Varangian Way" just seems to fit and the Russian/Viking themes both lyrically and musically is beautiful and well executed. Turisas is branching out musically with losing their style. They are enhancing it.

Coming up next week will hopefully be Turisas's "Rasputin" ep which I want to pick up at the concert or if not Tyr's "How Far To Asgaard".


Blogger Louisiana said...

nice to have you visit. hope you are well yourself. hugs..

11:40 AM  
Blogger anonymous jones said...

Ra ra Rasputin - will we ever recover from that? BTW, when I clicked on this site through your profile at Useless Men, what came up was a INXS post from 2007. Weird, huh?

7:03 PM  

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