Ensiferum - Unsung Heroes (2012)


Finally, the masters of folk metal have returned with an exciting new album. The title is "Unsung Heroes." This is the follow up to their 2009 album, entitled "From Afar." This new album has ten brand new tracks that completely blow their previous album out of the water. You get everything from exciting orchestration and violin solos to fast tempo'd melodic guitar riffs and insane drum rolls that will have you up and dancing throughout its entirety.

The album opens with a soothing two minute instrumental with glorious strings and violins layered together into one beautiful atmospheric swirl. It sounds like it could be part of a score to a sci-fi movie. "In My Sword I Trust" follows with a hard thumping bass line along with a tremendous drum roll that leads right into catchy guitar riffs that carry a very upbeat tune. The verse starts with hell raising growls that flow perfectly along with epic string in the background. Meanwhile a relentless double bass pedal rumbles beneath you. The refrain builds up and hits you with catchy clean chanting vocals that will get stuck in your head for days. "Unsung Heroes" continues with more head bobbing drums and melodic riffs that grab you right from the start. The vocals run right through you with vicious growls. Monstrous chugging guitars take over the background as angelic orchestration plays along side. The refrain has similar chanting vocals that will have you singing and dancing along in no time.

"Burning Leaves" keeps the energy going with more melodic guitar riffs and a groovy bass line. Cymbals constantly clash in the background while double bass pedals jump in and out of the mix. This six minute track really stands out because of its catchy chorus and clean vocals that mix in between the growls and screams. They also add some interesting acoustic instruments that add a very medieval feel to the track.

The album slows down with a gorgeous ballad by the name "Celestial Bond." You're quickly hit with mesmerizing clean female vocals that will hypnotize you and carry you off into a whole other world. The acoustic guitars alone will send chills down your spine. You're also surrounded by soft strings that completely consume you deep into the track. Towards the end you'll come across an angelic violin solo that is joined with humming vocals that sound like they came straight from heaven. A couple tracks later the album picks up where this song leaves off with "Star Queen(Celestial Bond Part II)" which continues with light acoustic riffs. This time they mix things up with blaring distorted guitars as well. Also the first verse opens with clean male singing which is joined by the female vocals later into the song. The chorus has a beautiful ring to it that will have you hitting the replay button as soon as it's over.

Ensiferum has proved once again why they are the kings of folk metal. They reach all types of sounds with their unique instruments and creative song structure. "Unsung Heroes" is the kind of album that you can get lost in and listen from front to back again and again. Their epic orchestration will move you as you are swept off your feet by complex melodies and layered instruments. This is definitely a must hear for 2012.

9/10

Official Site - http://www.ensiferum.com/