Top critical review
Good start, poor finish
on 22 August 2008
i really love Ensiferums self titled debut, classic folk metal album, and i was waiting to get Iron with much anticipation and excitment. The first few tracks really impressed me, but sadly the CD kinda dies halfway through and never really gets back on form
After the obligatory introduction 'Iron' opens the album in magnificent style and is easily one of the bands best ever songs. Showing a bit more of a grandiose power metal side then usual the song has it all; killer verse, anthemic chorus, great solo and atmospheric keys. Jari's vocals have also improved much since the debut, especially his semi clean singing which has increased in range greatly. What a track! 'Swordchant' follows up nicely, showing their folk side more this time, and a great bouncy verse which switches from gravely singing to growling in a wonderful sing along way. Then, after another instrumental we get 'Tale of Revenge', my favourite. Starting slowly and sorrowfully with a wonderful lead riff yet using almost entirly growled vocals, it has a really unique feel to it, eventually building up into a bit of a thrash fest. So, at this point i'm really happy. But then things start to turn pale
Slayer of light is really generic, uninspired and quite boring and really sounds like any 80s thrsh tune with Jari;s vocals posted over it. And it really kills all the momentum the album had been building up. And i don't know why everyone likes 'Into Battle' so much; it me its needlessly long and pretty bland, even the chorus fails to stir me. Then we finish with two tracks of entirly clean vocals and the albums slowly drifts to an unimpressive close when they should have been going out with a bang (Battle Songs anyone)
So, what started out as an incrediable album ends as a rather standard one. it feels like they got bored half way through and gave up. which is a real shame as 'Iron' and 'Tale of Revenge' are more then enough proof that the band is capable of spectacular folk metal.
I still listen to Iron, but i usually turn it off after 4 or 5 tracks.