This is the third album from a Finnish band who describe their sound as ‘samurai metal’.
Formed in 2004 by vocalist/guitarist Jouni Valjakka, their style is an unusual mix of melodic death and power metal overlain with Eastern folk influences.
Encouraging comparisons with Children Of Bodom and Ensiferum, the riffs are punchy, crisp and catchy, guitarist Mikko Mattila’s solos plentiful and sharp as the sword after which the band was named, while Jouni growls his tits off over the top. The four-piece don’t have a full-time keyboardist and the identity of the performers of the traditional oriental instruments on Chi No Odori and Tsukiakari remains unknown, which suggests it will be impossible for them to play live. When everything comes together, as it does during Exile Of The Floating World and Our Voice Shall Be Heard, the result is a juggernaut of glorious, bloodthirsty noise.