Folk Metal / Symphonic Metal / Heavy Metal • Finland
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Turisas is a Finnish symphonic folk metal band from Hämeenlinna. They were founded in 1997 by Mathias Nygård and Jussi Wickström and named after an ancient Finnish god of war.

Turisas combine elements of folk metal and power metal, with perhaps some influences of symphonic metal as well. The album title Battle Metal has given rise to the term "battle metal" being used as a description of folk metal (as stated by Metal Hammer magazine) but it may not be a canonical metal subgenre.

On October 28, 2005, the guitarist Georg Laakso was badly injured in a car accident and due to the extent of his spinal cord injuries, on July 12, 2006 issued a statement of his permanent resignation from the band on the official website. Nevertheless, the band continued to work on their second album, titled The Varangian Way, which was released in early 2007. Jussi Wickström recorded
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TURISAS Discography

TURISAS albums / top albums

TURISAS Battle Metal album cover 3.92 | 13 ratings
Battle Metal
Folk Metal 2004
TURISAS The Varangian Way album cover 4.12 | 17 ratings
The Varangian Way
Folk Metal 2007
TURISAS Stand Up and Fight album cover 4.10 | 17 ratings
Stand Up and Fight
Symphonic Metal 2011
TURISAS Turisas2013 album cover 3.13 | 6 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2013

TURISAS EPs & splits

TURISAS The Heart of Turisas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Heart of Turisas
Folk Metal 2001

TURISAS live albums

TURISAS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TURISAS Promo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Folk Metal 1999

TURISAS re-issues & compilations

TURISAS singles (4)

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To Holmgard and Beyond
Folk Metal 2007
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Folk Metal 2007
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Heavy Metal 2010
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Stand Up and Fight
Symphonic Metal 2010

TURISAS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


TURISAS Turisas2013

Album · 2013 · Symphonic Metal
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Turisas2013 (2013) is the fourth full-length album by Finnish metal act Turisas. It’s possibly the all time winner for the worst named album award and certainly raised my eyebrows when it was first announced. But Turisas have certainly made their mark by this stage in their career so while the title may be cheesy as hell and incite some sniggering it's not really a reason to dismiss the release.

Turisas have however, in my opinion at least, always been a love them or hate them kind of band. Originally a folk metal act who made their name with the albums Battle Metal (2004) and The Varangian Way (2007), they began to change their sound towards a more dominant symphonic metal approach with their previous release Stand Up and Fight (2011), further spiced with folk, power and progressive metal elements. Despite being a fan of folk metal Stand Up and Fight was the release that won me over to Turisas.

Turisas2013 continues down roughly the same path, although it would be very easy to consider this the album that Turisas lost the plot on, not only because of that title. It's certainly their quirkiest bunch of songs they've ever put to record, but also their most grand and varied. It's difficult to really put a precise genre on a release like this but I guess at the end of the day symphonic metal still suffices although I've half a mind of brand this as avant-garde and be done with it.

I've given Turisas2013 several listens now and it's certainly proved a difficult listen. Musically the band, who have gone through some line-up changes since Stand Up and Fight, are superb, as is the clean singing of Warlord Mathias Nygård (I have never been that impressed with his growls and that remains true of Turisas2013). Overall Turisas2013 reminds me of ideas hinted at on Stand Up and Fight, in particular a song called End of an Empire; theatrics being an element that quickly stands out. This isn't a description that applies to all of Turisas2013, but certainly stronger portion of it than on its predecessor.

Power metal plays a fairly large role in several songs, such as Piece by Piece. I'm also tempted to say it's these moments when the album seems it's most focused but that's difficult because then you also have a song like Run Bhang-Eater, Run! This is actually the main folk metal contribution to Turisas2013 but it's also got some power metal. It's easily the strangest song. I'm afraid that I have to admit to not being anything close to an expert on the folk music of different cultures and countries but to hazard a guess I'd say the folk in Run Bhang-Eater, Run! is influenced by a Balkan or perhaps Arabic country. There are also some sex moans. It's certainly a different and interesting track for Turisas, but those sex moans do make it incredibly awkward to listen to.

"Random" would be a good way to describe Turisas2013. This isn't an album that seems to have been made with any intent for it to be anything in particular. You even have a track like No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea, which is pretty much a drinking song. I'd be more inclined to expect something like this from an act like Alestorm, but for Turisas it sees them going into some unexpected 'hard to take them seriously' territory, so I'd say eyebrows can safely be raised for more than just the album's title.

There are still shades of the Turisas that impressed me so much with Stand Up and Fight on Turisas2013, such as the song Ten More Miles, but overall this is such a perplexing album that even after several listens I still can't make up my mind whether I actually like it or not. I know I certainly don't love it the way I loved Stand Up and Fight however. I know I don't hate it either. But do I like it? Maybe I'll make up my mind on that one day but for now I'm going to leave Turisas2013 with a three and a half stars range rating; the music and clean vocals are praiseworthy enough to have earned that however ultimately the only thing this album succeeded in doing is to leave me wonder what the hell I just listened to. No album has ever done that before, so I guess this is one unique achievement that Turisas2013 has earned.


(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/turisas-turisas2013-t3314.html)

TURISAS Turisas2013

Album · 2013 · Symphonic Metal
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Kev Rowland
First, an admission that apart from this album I have only heard a few songs from Turisas. I have kept meaning to investigate the band as they seems to be a heck of a live outfit according to what I have read, but somehow I have never managed it. So, it was with some real interest that I put this album on, and to say that I was surprised is something of an understatement. I know that they have suffered some line-up changes since the last one, but maybe that has had a larger impact than was anticipated as while this is a solid album it is nothing more than that, and I was incredibly disappointed. “No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea” is a throwaway number that I would have expected from an act like Alestorm (I refused to see them in concert, my son-in-law was most upset), not a band with a reputation like Turisas. Even The Pogues were better at this style of music and I’m not a fan of them either!

But, this isn’t a bad album throughout, just not what I expected. Opener “For Your Own Good” contains some really good piano which keeps the song grounded, and Mathias Nygård has strong vocals which keep everything on track as the song builds into something far more symphonic and powerful than the introduction suggested. But I expected more folk elements and less power metal, and some of the reviews I have been reading seem to suggest the same. Overall there are a few good numbers but not enough to make it anything special.

TURISAS Stand Up and Fight

Album · 2011 · Symphonic Metal
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Stand Up and Fight is the third full-length album by the Finnish symphonic folk metal band Turisas, released in 2011, four years after their previous offering, the highly regarded The Varangian Way. Sound wise at first listen it would seem that not much has changed within Turisas since the last album, delivering more of the same. That would be just fine, since more of the same is very highly appreciated as far as this band is concerned! However on further listens back to back with The Varangian Way is becomes apparent that prominently Stand Up And Fight is much more of a symphonic metal album than a folk metal album. It is true that Turisas has always delivered folk metal in a highly symphonic way, but here it is to the point that some parts of Stand Up and Fight have a Rhapsody of Fire like quality to them, which results in a metal album of really epic proportions. It still has folk in it, by this time symphonic influence has come to the fore.

Opening the album is The March Of The Varangian Guard. An instant highlight of the album, it’s quickly apparent that Stand Up and Fight is the work of a band at the top of their game and the reprise of the chorus of To Holmgard and Beyond, a song from The Varangian Way, as the bridge of the song is sure to bring smiles to the faces of fans of the previous album, even if it is delivered in spoken word rather than sung this time around. Other than this the album is full of excellent tracks and the quality never takes a dive throughout the albums nine track duration. There are of course more true highlights, not least of these is the album’s title track, which has lyrics that are highly addictive and inspire me to listen to the track many many times. The true gem of the album however has to be the album’s longest track, End Of An Empire, which is where the band get so symphonic and epic than acts such as Rhapsody of Fire ought to be taking notes. Musically epic, the song also has a prominent progressive quality to it, you can hear that there’s a lot going on in this track. Vocalist Mathias Nygård delivers some truly exceptional vocals here that really fit the mood.

Nygård really delivers vocally throughout the album though. Like on The Varangian Way he varies his vocals between cleans and some harsher screams, though these are used sparingly and tastefully throughout. A good thing, because his cleans are really epic and suit Turisas’ music the best but when his screams arrive they really cause some punch in the air moments.

Other really great songs include Hunting Pirates (I can’t help think of Turisas in all their Viking glory chasing down Alestorm in some sort of sea bound chase when listening to this song, though mainly because off the title) and The Great Escape. I think that the only track that doesn’t capture me as much as the rest of the album is its closer, The Bosphorus Freezes Over. Maybe it’s because it has to keep me interested straight away after the epic piece that was End of an Empire but it’s also because the majority of the vocal is spoken word and when it isn’t its choir vocals instead and while the choir vocals work very well throughout the majority of Stand Up and Fight, here they don’t quite do it for me. I enjoy the track to a point, and it uses symphonic elements really well to close the album in a nice epic fashion, but it’s a mid-paced affair that seems almost out of place at times and is the only reason I can’t give the album a perfect score.

Overall though I’m very highly impressed by Stand Up and Fight. It’s actually the first album from Turisas that has really caught my attention but it’s firmly placed the band in high regard with me and I certainly won’t be overlooking them again. A highly recommended album for fans of folk and symphonic metal alike.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)

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