Hailing from Finland, the legendary Ensiferum are one of the most highly respected bands in the international folk-metal scene. The group managed to steadily grow their fan base through the years, refining their melodic sensibilities, without making any compromise in terms of aggression and sheer raw power.
In the studio, the band is all about refining their tracks down to the smallest details. Articulate guitar tones, subtle drum arrangements, powerful and epic choral sections, and more. Thankfully, none of the aforementioned elements get lost in the band’s live shows. The group has a special way to recreate their epic soundscapes live, giving the audience a fantastic show. The band’s theatricality also helps. The stage outfits are absolutely incredible, combining traditional Scandinavian imagery with Celtic vibes and ancestral aesthetics.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the band is definitely the fact that they can seemingly pull off pretty complex vocal harmonies while performing their instruments relentlessly. This is a testament to the technical mastery of these musicians, who never seem to miss a beat. The group’s live show is filled with breakdowns, epic gang vocals, pounding drums, and devastating guitar tones. The low end is also particularly impressive.
In this genre, the bass guitar is often a “drone”, just adding a layer of low end and often adding some octaves to the guitars. On the other hand, Ensiferum’s bass arrangements are more nuanced, not only bringing grit and weight to the mix but also adding melodic subtleties and cool phrasing. I was very surprised by how the bass came through in a live setting, adding even more definition to the mix. It is really the glue that brings everything together, giving the band a very cohesive sound.
Each musician sits within his own space, making for a well-balanced and expertly tailored performance. This is folk-metal at its peak, and what really strikes me about the band is their ability to connect with the audience, with memorable sing-alongs and well-crafted live sets!
The band’s recent live shows have been well-received, and the current line-up has been described as a true peak for the band. If this live gig is any indication, Ensiferum is definitely on the right track, kicking off the new year in great shape.