Turisas- Stand Up And Fight

By Max Hofacker

Published on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Before I throw in my two cents on this album, let me offer one quick disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing against medieval themes, theatrics, and epic orchestral soundtrack music.

That being said, I think all of those really fun things have their place…like in a movie, or maybe at a Medieval Times dinner theater or something. If ‘Stand Up and Fight’ were transposed into some sort of film, I would probably shell out the $8 to see it. Standing alone as music, though…well, it just doesn’t excite me. Sure the horns and strings in the background sound like something from Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” movies, and Wikipedia says that they’re “real” this time (as opposed to synthesized on the last record, I presume), but to me it all seems somewhat gimmicky. The clean vocals come off as questionable, too…especially with the echoing chorus singing the back-up lines. Perhaps Turisas is trying to re-invent the rock opera? If the first minute of track 8 (“End of an Empire”) doesn’t conjure up an image of a proscenium stage mid-show, I don’t know what does. Maybe that’s why this album just doesn’t isn’t doing it for me – I’ve never been a huge fan of musical theatre.

Turisas’ biggest claim to fame is the spawn of the term ‘battle metal’ (named for their first full-length release) to describe the genre of music they produce, and if you listen to the tracks on their first album, you’ll see why. The new ballads from ‘Stand Up and Fight’ stay true to the bands original style: the songs are about triumph and sound like a mix between ‘heavy metal’ and ‘folk’, so “battle metal” seems to fit nicely. But if you really stop to think about, what would you rather listen to before picking up a sword and charging at your enemy: Turisas, or Amon Amarth? Or StormWarrior? Or Ensiferum? Point being, Turisas lacks punch. They have a unique style and they stick to it, but it’s a slow march compared to similarly-themed musical acts.

Of course, favoring more aggressive music might just be a reflection of my own personal preferences…as always, don’t let me talk you out of sampling this album for yourself.

http://www.centurymedia.com

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Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Century Media Records

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