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“The Varangian Way” (Paganfest Tour Edition) by Turisas

Artist: Turisas
Title: “The Varangian Way” (Paganfest Tour Edition)
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 4/29/2008
Genre: Viking Metal/Folk Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

To celebrate their appearance on the Paganfest Tour the mighty Turisas had chosen to re-release their sophomore album “The Varangian Way” in a “Limited Paganfest Tour Edition”. Since I had missed the album when it was first released in 2007 I felt that this was the perfect chance for me to catch up on the band as I had not yet done so either. I also felt that it would better prepare me for the assault that they would deliver during that tour as it was an event that I was definitely not going to miss in terms of my concert going adventures. Sadly, my CD would not arrive in time for the show so I only had my Rhapsody and YouTube.com outlets to better enrich my Viking Metal background on this particular outfit. Soon after I enjoyed that killer show the CD arrived and I felt that it was really something that was up my alley. “The Varangian Way” is the bands follow up release to their debut “Battle Metal”, and it finds the Finnish Vikings in fantastic form right from the onset of the CD with the rousing “To Holmgard And Beyond”. The track oozes with an adventurous vibe and as it plays you feel as though you are setting sail with the band in search of whatever glory they are aiming for. There is a rousing chorus which you will quickly find your fists in the air for and lucky for you this is only the beginning. “A Portage To The Unknown” makes you feel as though you are speeding through the high seas with its driving double bass drumming from Tude as their Warlord commander Mathias lines out the battle commands that the listener would be smart to follow without question. The release only gets a couple of songs in before you realize just how strong and adventurous its overall spirit is. They deliver a sound that works well with their visual side and nothing about them seems contrived like some other bands that still hold the sword of battle in the air after so many years. Perhaps one of the things that make Turisas so interesting was their use of Folkish instruments like the accordion and violin. They work in perfect melodic harmony with the bass and guitars and don’t seem like “extra” instruments but instead perfectly fitting puzzle pieces. We get a true Folk Metal rocker with “In The Court Of Jarisleif” and this one will have you dancing with furious abandon and starting some celebratory spinning with whomever you find around you. I recommend either putting your beverages aside or chugging them before getting involved with this one. It’s a really fun tune to say the least.
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