Under The Influence #74: Accursed Years on “Ensiferum” by Ensiferum!
Born of fire and ice in Helsinki Finland in 1995, Ensiferum (meaning “Sword Bearing”) have been bringing their brand of Folk Death Metal to the masses since 1995. A trio of high quality demos landed them a deal with Spinefarm Records and they entered Sundi-Coop Studios in November 2000 to record their debut self titled album, a collection of twelve songs inked in blood by the writing partnership of Jari Mäenpää (guitar, vocals) and Markus Toivonen (guitar). A cover of “Breaking The Law” by Judas Priest was also recorded in the sessions. Mäenpää, a multi instrumentalist in his own right would later plow some of his ideas into solo project Wintersun.
“Ensiferum is easily one of the most popular folk metal bands out there. For a good reason. They mix catchy melodies with heavy riffs, growls and fist pumping drums. Their debut album, called simply Ensiferum, was a massive inspiration for me since my early days as a metalhead. Songs such as “Eternal Wait”, with a quiet acoustic intro, which becomes heavier as the song goes on, “Treacherous Gods” with its fast and jumpy rhythm section, they are classic folk metal numbers. The entire self titled album is a great inspiration behind a few of our songs, “Wild Hunt” included. It takes the listener on a journey through tales of battle, death and victory. We wanted to take those elements, and add even more, to create our own, unique sound. A sound that will bring images of bleak forests and mountains veiled in fog, with lyrics about old folklore myths and legends . Even though their sound has evolved and changed over time, Ensiferum continues to bring a lot of influence to our writing.”