Tonight’s openers PYTHIA  look the part but they sound like a rusty washing machine.
Knowing how good their folky bombast sounds on record, we can only put it down to a bad day. Conversely, METSATÖLL  are epic. Their recipe of bagpipes, flute and throat singing with upbeat, Estonian metal and a Celtic twist gets the whole place in the mood for more.
Something’s happened to ENSIFERUM  in recent years. It’s like they saw the upward trajectory of Turisas and went, “Yeah, we want a piece of that.” Their latest record, One Man Army, packs as much heroic weight as the battle metal vanguards; chuck in a few Maiden-ish ‘Woah-woahs’ and it’s the stuff that launches their sword-bearing offerings into anthems well-equipped for a headlining show. Opener Axe Of Judgement sounds as massive as a beefy Epica tune and Heathen Horde makes you wish you were born a Viking.
The imposing figures of five leather-clad warriors with faces daubed in black paint lashing out visceral odes about blood, war and Nordic folklore is a strong look and old bangers like Ahti and Into Battle sound great next to new stuff (Two Of Spades is another highlight). Boozy brawl song Twilight Tavern, with stand-in accordionist Netta Skog at the helm, sums up an evening of good, clean Viking fun.