Turisas: Turisas2013

Finnish warlords readjust their weapons

TODO alt text

This quirky Finnish troupe’s 2004 debut, Battle Metal, cocked a snook at the pomposity of much contemporary Viking folk metal, and subsequent albums saw them becoming more ambitious, audacious and accessible.

By 2011’s Stand Up And Fight their anthemic sound was overflowing with symphonic fanfares, like an even more camp Bal-Sagoth. How much further could they push the cheese before it started to curdle? Answer: Turisas2013.

Bombastic orchestral overload has been toned down and all traces of folk removed, but the pop savvy is jacked up, along with a wider musical scope. Ten More Miles is the masterpiece, infectious ear-candy worthy of Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, while the nuttiest cut is surely Run Bhang-Eater, Run!, with Arabesque Looney Tunes motifs, smooth saxophone and naughty sex noises.

Brow-furrowed Vikings will find much to sneer at, but Turisas2013 is a wild and wacky grab bag of impressive songcraft and eccentric imagination, with diligent performances and a punchy mix.