"One Man Army"

By Theron Moore

Of ancient sagas and sword bearing quests, of storming castles and burning villages, to plunder and live as a Viking, to live and die as a warrior, is an apt description of Ensiferum's "One Man Army."  Think Manowar and go two steps beyond that.

 Call it what you will, Viking, power or battle metal... this record is the best of its kind which isn't surprising since the band features current and former members of October Falls, Rapture, Norther, Barathrum and Sinergy.

 "One Man Army" is 14 tracks, four of which are bonus songs at the end.  As I alluded to above, the songs tell tales of revelry, fighting and embracing the warrior spirit of old.  The vocals are folk-pagan with sprawling choir like backing vox giving the music an epic, atmospheric quality.  Love it.  It's executed well, it works well and it tells me a story through music alone.

 As an avid sci-fi / fantasy guy I dug "One Man Army."  When Viking / Battle metal is done right, as it is here, it's entertaining to listen to.  My only complaint with the record is the inclusion of the song "Rawhide" (yes, you read that right) as a bonus track.  I'm sure they did it as a joke but the record would've been fine without it.  All in all a very good disc.  Buy it, then go kill and Orc or two.