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Ensiferum – Thalassic

by Cherie Wong at 04 August 2020, 9:37 PM

On July 10, 2020, folk metal legends ENSIFERUM released their eighth full-length album “Thalassic.” Although they barely need an introduction, here is a brief one. ENSIFERUM is a Finnish band that formed in 1995. Since then, they have undergone a few lineup changes. Keyboardist and clean vocalist Pekka Montin is the newest addition since their previous album. ENSIFERUM’s previous album “Two Paths” was released in 2017. Though not extraordinary, the album was still fairly decent. With the large variety of folk metal available, how does “Thalassic” compare?

Thalassic,” as the name suggests, is entirely related to the sea. Aside from the lyrical content and theme, the sound of ENSIFERUM is still the same. As usual, ENSIFERUM’s riffs are great throughout the album, galloping along at a decent pace that is impossible to not nod your head to. The guitar melodies are highly spirited. The vocals are a mix of clean and dirty, though the majority on this album is clean.

Like their other albums, the album begins with an instrumental intro track “Seafarer's Dream” that simultaneously builds anticipation and echoes the theme of the album. The next track, “Rum, Women, Victory” was released as a single, no doubt due to the lively, fast-paced riffs and catchy chorus. Whenever concerts resume, this track would be so much fun to hear live. For me, one of the standout tracks was “For Sirens.” The catchy melody, keys, and mix between clean singing and growls create a simple but fantastic folk metal track.

After that is the lengthy power ballad “One With The Sea.” Power ballads are not usually my favorite, but this one grew on me after a few listens. Depending on your ballad preferences, you’ll either think it was a welcome addition or an unnecessary interruption to a track list that’s filled with fast-paced tracks. You could just skip to “Midsummer Magic,” a lively and folky ditty. “Cold Northland (Väinämöinen Part III)” is an epic eight minute closing track. The track is dynamic enough that the length is barely felt.

Overall, ENSIFERUM has outdone their previous album with “Thalassic.” The album has catchy hooks and an epic sound, exactly what you would expect from ENSIFERUM. A few tracks blend into one another, but there are also a few memorable tracks on this album. If you’re a fan of their atmospheric and symphonic folk metal with majority harsh vocals, there’s not a lot of that here. If you’re a fan of their simple, sing-along worthy tracks, then you’ll like this album.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

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)
Sami Hinkka – Bass, Vocals, Guitars (Acoustic), Bouzouki
Petri Lindroos – Vocals, Guitars
Janne Parviainen – Drums, Percussion
Pekka Montin – Keyboards, Vocals
Markus Toivonen – Guitars, Vocals (Backing)
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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