For a band that has been around for over twenty years, there’s a surprising amount of energy in Ensiferum’s latest offering. The Finnish folk metal masters are back with Two Paths, an album full of power, awesome riffs, and incredible musicianship but lacking in originality.
The record kicks off with “Ajattomasta Unesta”, a slow-building track that sets you up for what’s to come: An epic album full of power, a Viking Warrior’s battleground. With song titles such as “For Those About to Fight for Metal”, “Way of the Warrior” and “Feast with Valkyries”, you’d be expecting something grandiose and full of power. Two Paths is exactly that. As with the best of battle metal, and anything with a dose of the Viking, there are plenty of folk and classical instruments thrown into the mixture of death growls, blast-beats, and chugging riffs.
It’s an enjoyable sound, but one you likely would have heard before if you’re into anything similar, such as Turisas. The most original piece on the record is “I Will Never Kneel”. This track is darker, slower and ever so memorable. It’s the standout song on an album full of energy and passion, but little in the way of experimentation. There’s plenty to enjoy, but little to write home about that hasn’t been done before.
Two Paths is a good ride through forests, mountains, and battlefields, but not a spectacular one. You’ll come away from the album surprised by the tempo and energy, considering that Ensiferum have been around since 1995. Moreover, with tracks such as “I Will Never Kneel” and the epic opening combo of “Ajattomasta Unesta” followed by “For Those About to Fight for Metal”, you will also get some new earworms. This is good folk metal stuff, folks.
Two Paths Track Listing:
01. Ajattomasta Unesta
02. For Those About to Fight for Metal
03. Way of the Warrior
04. Two Paths
05. King of Storms
06. Feast with Valkyries
07. Don’t You Say
08. I Will Never Kneel
09. God is Dead
10. Hail to the Victor
11. Unettomaan Aikaan
12. God is Dead (Alternative Version)
13. Don’t You Say (Alternative Version)
Run Time: 53:32
Release Date: September 15, 2017
Listen to the the band’s song “For Those About to Fight for Metal”