Artist: Turisas Title: “Battle Metal” Rousing Combat For A Decade (2004-2014) Label: Century Media Records Release Date: 7/26/2004 Genre: Battle Metal
“Onnea!!!” I’m just taking a moment to raise a glass and the horns for the debut album “Battle Metal” by Finland’s Turisas which was released on this day ten years ago. Of course perhaps it would be better to raise ones sword and shield when you consider the type of music that this particular band delivers. Congratulations to “Battle Metal” for rousing glorious combat for the battalions of fans around the world for a solid decade now. Truth be told the debut album escaped me and it would not be until 2008 when I first got a proper exposure to Turisas who were performing on the very first “Paganfest” tour of America with Ensiferum, Tyr and Eluveitie. The album the band was touring at this time was “The Varangian Way” so I had to go back a little bit after seeing that performance and I was glad I did since I loved what was being presented on the release. Looking back on the album itself I found the greatest appreciation in tracks like the title number along with “The Land Of Hope And Glory”, “One More” and since I used to play drums a lot I felt the driving force of “Among Ancestors” was fantastic. There is also a lot of serious violin work on “Sahti-Waari” and it’s this kind of thing that keeps Turisas music apart from the general pack. If you’ve not yet heard this album I should point out that a lot of the songs are sung by several voices at the same time. You feel as though you are sitting in a grand hall of victorious warriors who are singing about the epic battles that they are now toasting to. Great stuff. You readers can tell me your own favorites in the comments for this post if you like. Continue reading Turisas’ “Battle Metal” Rousing Combat For A Decade (2004-2014)→
Artist: Amon Amarth Venue: The Fillmore NY (New Yotk, NY) Opener: Eluveitie, Holy Grail Date: 4/25/2010 Label: Metal Blade Records
Once again New York City was finding that they needed to prepare for a Viking invasion as the mighty Amon Amarth were making a return to the vicinity and bringing along those Pagan Folk Metallers Eluveitie with them. We’ve seen Amon Amarth doing their thing a few times already and while they have been around for years, tonight would only be my fourth time seeing them in action. It’s always a solid night of Metal when these Swedes come a calling and since we have not caught them since the latter part of 2008, we felt it was high time to take part in the show. The gig went something like this…….
Holy Grail: Starting off the show would be Prosthetic Records recording artists Holy Grail and this would be my very first time seeing them do their thing. I love the name right off the bat as it resonates with the kind of energy one expects from a Metal band and luckily their live sound matched. The attacked the stage with a healthy dose of what we now call “Traditional Metal” and I am so much more inclined to that than “Old School” when it comes down to classification. I liked what I was hearing and have yet to hear their official debut on the label, but it is safe to say that if you are enjoying bands like White Wizzard who are also doing a similar thing, than your quest for the Holy Grail has completed since they are now officially here to deliver the goods. I wish them well, and will definitely see them again if the time permits. Onto a little Eluveitie. Continue reading Amon Amarth @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (4/25/2010)→
The brutal cold was finally upon us in my city of New York, and while this is often the kind of climate that finds one remaining in the warmth of one’s home, the need for some bracing air and wandering were upon me in a much stronger sense. With this being the case I set forth to traveling the village streets of Bay Ridge with my comrade in arms The Beehive Hairdresser. This neighborhood is a place that I’ve lived in for most of my life and the region is very interesting for the most part with it’s numerous parks and some cool history. The region was primarily the home to a lot of Norwegian folks for many years and while it has become a little more diverse since those decades past their influence and culture still resonate in the neighborhood. This influence led me on what I coined my “Quest for Vikings” today and how could you blame me when we found this gigantic rune monument erected in the honor of the famous Norse explorer Leif Ericson.
Artist: Kopiklaani Venue: The Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY) Opener: Tyr, White Wizzard, Swashbuckle, Desdemon Date: 1/14/2010 Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the forest, Korpiklaani was back and headlining another tour that was bound to increase the energy and alcohol levels of many a Metal fan in the region. Tonight’s adventure would effectively be my first Metal show of the year and considering it was going to be the return appearance of Finland’s Korpiklaani, I could think of no better way to start off 2010. The band last visited these shores when they headlined the second Paganfest USA back in May of 2009. That was an exemplary show that found Ireland’s Primordial, Finland’s Moonsorrow and Montreal’s Blackguard all on point for the causes of Metal. While my first Metal show of the year this was not my first actual show as I had gone to see legendary Blues guitarist Johnny Winter only a couple of days prior to this event. After expanding my mind with the sounds of the inspirational guitarist I felt that I was absolutely ready for the rousing blast of Folk Metal fun that Korpiklaani brings to the beer pint stocked table. Joining them for the tour would be Tyr, Swashbuckle, White Wizzard and the whole shebang would be started off by one area band. I made sure to get in early enough to see everyone because from beginning to end I knew this was going to be a fun night. Continue reading Korpiklaani @ Gramercy Theatre (1/14/2010)→
Artist: Ensiferum Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY) Opener: Ex Deo, Blackguard, Martyrd Date: 12/5/2009 Label: Candlelight Records
See if you can stick with me on this. Ensiferum announced the “Heathen Crusade” a few months ago and this would be the bands first US headlining go round since they commanded the stage during the first Paganfest in 2008. The show was going to find them joined by Hypocrisy, ExDeo and Blackguard and it was sure to be something to remember. However, the wonderful and often problematic Visa situation found Hypocrisy pulling off the tour and this disappointed many because the band was going to have Children Of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho as a part of their lineup for the tour. The show was also originally set for The Fillmore NY but as it drew closer to happening the Metal faithful found it moved to the Gramercy Theatre a few blocks away. If you have visited both venues you will know full well that Gramercy is a bit smaller in terms of bodies that it can fit inside. Are you still with me? Good because this gets a little more interesting. Given the fact that a show was already happening at Gramercy that night with Winds Of Plague, the Ensiferum show would begin immediately after the Winds show ended. This would make a very late night for the Viking Metal fans of NYC who were coming to the show. My plan was to try and photograph some of Winds since I would be in the same space but my timing was off and instead I went to a showing of the Black Metal documentary “Until The Light Takes Us”. With Hypocrisy off the bill, ExDeo and Blackguard were moved up a notch on the event roster and to guarantee a little extra attention local boys Martyrd would start off the now very late show. Here is how the night went down. Continue reading Ensiferum @ Gramercy Theatre (12/5/2009)→