Genre definitions tend to become quite tedious in the long run and at the end of the day the label you put on a band doesn't exactly state their worth. Sometimes it can justify the means though as you try to define a sound to target a specific audience. A more appropriate description than the one Turisas grace themselves with is hard to come by. Battle Metal, as unspecific as it may be, truly represents what this album has to offer; mainly in the lyrical department but musically as well. Tales of historic battles and bravery in the northern hemisphere are backed up by heavily orchestrated arrangements and a heavy attitude.
Another band known for using the Battle Metal tag are the Britons of Bal-Sagoth and the similarities between the two are quite obvious. Turisas also lends plenty of inspiration from Celtic folk music and present their own version with a somewhat bizarre twist. Turisas, being of Scandinavian heritage, takes pride in their regional folk music as well though and therefore manages to distinguish a personal sound, much to their advantage.
Excluding the spoken intro to the epic "Rex Regi Rebellis" there's not a single weak track on this album. The just mentioned epic saga, in parts a musical interpretation of author Zacharias Topelius' "Finska rytteriets march i Trettiåriga kriget (The March of the Finnish Cavalry in the Thirty Years War)", being one of the absolute highlights. Other stand-out tunes include the title track (such immortal melodies!); the powerful "One More" and "Sahti-Waari" which contains one of the most powerful choir performances I've ever heard. The songwriting; the arrangements; the choirs; the production; the cover art, everything on this album is absolutely top-notch making it hard to believe this is actually the band's debut album.
Fans of bands like Moonsorrow, Thyrfing and the aforementioned Bal-Sagoth (or other bands in that soundscape) are hereby adviced to hunt down this album. It just doesn't get better than this!