REVIEW: Ensiferum – ‘Thalassic’ by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy
Ensiferum are pioneers in melodic folk metal and their new eighth album ‘Thalassic’ which is released July 10th 2020 via Metal Blade Records asserts this yet again. The album’s title translates from ancient Greek as “of or relating to seas” and this theme is strong throughout and the mythology touched upon in the album helps take the bands sound to another level being their most forceful offering yet.
Opening orchestral instrumental track ‘Seafarer’s Dream’ is atmospheric with the swooshing of the sea waves to help set the scene which goes on to be accompanied by beautiful melodic acoustic guitar which progresses and gets more dramatic as it goes on much like a choppy sea. With a very triumphant and demanding approach this marks the perfect way to prepare for the ride ahead…
The first soaring single follows ‘Rum, Women, Victory’ which is an instant anthem and sure to be a fan favourite, capturing all the best and jaunty folk metal elements, being extremely melodic with a massive singalong fun chorus with insane and skilled guitar work throughout.
Latest single ‘Andromeda’ about the Greek mythological character follows and keeps spirits and energy high in another cracking track with powerful harsh vocals in the verses and contrasting clean vocals which are highly effective in the chorus with grand and boastful instruments lifting the track to massive heights.
‘The Defence Of The Sampo’ carries on the mythological themes with the Sampo in Finnish mythology relating to a magical artifact that bought riches and good fortune to the holder. The track portrays this story wonderfully with a purposeful and glorious sound. The high octane ‘Run From The Crushing Tide’ is fast with memorable group chants and an appropriately crushing impactful chorus, making for yet more flawless folk metal.
‘For Sirens’ immediately swaggers wonderfully like every track so far being rich, depthful and features particularly strong and memorable clean vocal sections with more robust and hard-hitting fierce vocals, whereas ‘One For The Sea’ is a lighter melodic largely clean offering, which is just as powerful and keeps things dynamic and highlights the bands brilliant craftsmanship further with driving intense instrumental waves.
Mixing things up with ‘Midsummer Magic’ which has a different upbeat lively vibe embracing the fun and taking a step away from more serious themes addressed throughout the album making a welcome summer party anthem to get swept up in and forget your troubles.
Final song ‘Cold Northland’ (Väinämöinen Part III) is the longest offering yet, taking us on one last momentous quest. It opens with a beautiful melodic piano piece which is sombre and continues to be gloomy yet magnificent in its entirety as it gallops along in a doom driven cacophony, ending on their most aspiring track which is executed wonderfully. This ends in the most striking way it could, closing this new and thrilling chapter for the band perfectly.
‘Thalassic’ is truly epic and brimming with depth and grandiose, being their most ambitious offering to date, it is highly immersive featuring new exciting elements aided by the use of an overall theme and the brilliant addition of clean vocals from new member Pekka whilst sticking to their well-loved and signature folk metal roots and sound. The album is flawless from start to finish and is an easy contender for one of the best metal releases of 2020 so far.
‘Thalassic’ is out 10th July 2020 via Metal Blade Records.
Check out our interview with Petri from Ensiferum to find out more about the album and the band: https://darkartconspiracy.com/2020/07/04/interview-ensiferum/
Check out the bands latest video/single for ‘‘Andromeda’: