CD review ENSIFERUM ‘Thalassic’

If you visit Markus’ Heavy Music Blog more frequently, you know that Folk/Viking Metal is not my particular area of expertise. But there are exceptions and among them are certainly Ensiferum from Finland. Since 1995 the quintet has been one of the protagonists of a style that combines Death Metal, Folk Metal and Viking Metal and the way Ensiferum approaches the subject is very exciting which is reflected in the popularity of the band, reaching 9th rank in the German LP charts with their latest album ‘Two Paths’.

Now, three years later, it is time to add a new record to the offer and what ‘Thalassic’ delivers will surely be as successful as the previous album. In contrast to the predecessor though, ‘Thalassic’ is a record whose songs are thematically linked.

The title of the eighth album comes from the ancient Greek and can be translated as “of or related to seas” and this is exactly what the new longplayer is about – water and sea. If you look at the songs, it is certainly a rough and stormy sea on which the Finns are sailing. The album begins instrumentally. ‘Seafarer’s Dream’ is the overture for eight songs that know how to please followed by ‘Rum Women Victory’, which is the first smasher to be unleashed on the listeners.

Ensiferum don’t take prisoners prisoner and kick ass. Fast and tunefully the melodies are catching the attention instantly. ‘Andromeda’ is a bit slower than the opener. It’s more hymnic before it gets cinematic with ‘The Defence of the Sampo’, the latter surely a highlight on the album.

A song that is worth mentioning is ‘Midsummer Magic’, not only because it’s great to listen to, but also because it creates a strong overall atmosphere. ‘One With the Sea’ is a thumping epos with a tremendous ambience and the same goes for the stunning closer ‘Cold Northland (Väinämöinen Part III)’.

Ensiferum deliver another masterpiece with ‘Thalassic’. A further development is recognizable but without endangering the typical sound of the band and therefore worth a strong recommendation.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Seafarer’s Dream
  2. Rum, Women, Victory
  3. Andromeda
  4. The Defence of the Sampo
  5. Run from the Crushing Tide
  6. For Sirens
  7. One with the Sea
  8. Midsummer Magic
  9. Cold Northland (Väinämöinen Part III)
  10. Merille Lahteva (Bonus Track)
  11. I’ll Stay by Your Side (Bonus Track)

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Viking Metal

Release Date EU: July 10th, 2020

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