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Ensiferum

Ensiferum performing live at Metalcamp festival in Tolmin, Slovenia, 2007
Background information
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Folk metal
Viking metal
Melodic death metal[1]
Years active 1995–present
Labels Spinefarm
Associated acts Wintersun
Arthemesia
Cadacross
Norther
Waltari
Sinergy
Rapture
Website www.ensiferum.com
Members
Petri Lindroos
Markus Toivonen
Sami Hinkka
Janne Parviainen
Emmi Silvennoinen
Former members
Kimmo Miettinen
Jukka-Pekka Miettinen
Sauli Savolainen
Jari Mäenpää
Oliver Fokin
Meiju Enho
Henri "Trollhorn" Sorvali

Ensiferum (Latin ensĭfĕrum (neuter adjective) meaning "sword bearer") are a Finnish heavy metal band from Helsinki. The members of the band label themselves as "heroic folk metal."[2] Since their formation, Ensiferum has released four full-length albums, one EP, one compilation, three singles, and three demo albums.

Contents

Musical characteristics

  • Harsh vocals often mixed with clean vocals for choruses and bridges.
  • Metal and folk melodies played on lead guitar or keyboard overlaying heavier traditional heavy metal backing rhythms such as the classic gallop rhythm. Frequent use of acoustic guitars, usually at the beginning of songs.
  • Lyrical themes relating to fantastical, archaic, or historic stories usually with heroic sentiment. Lyrics are inspired by literature, films, and poetry, such as the great Finnish epic "Kalevala" and the Norse sagas.

Band history

Formation, demos and Ensiferum (1995−2002)

Ensiferum was founded in 1995 by Markus Toivonen (guitar), Sauli Savolainen (bass) and Kimmo Miettinen (drums). For the band's name, they took the Latin neuter gender adjective ensiferum, which means "sword-bearer". In the next year, Jari Mäenpää was taken into the band as singer and second guitar-player. In 1997, the first demo was released, containing three songs.

The highly stylized logo of Ensiferum has appeared on all of their releases.

In 1998, Sauli and Kimmo left the band and were replaced by Jukka-Pekka Miettinen (Kimmo's little brother, then 14 years old) and Oliver Fokin. In January 1999, a second demo was recorded, which although it did not produce a recording deal, boosted the band's confidence. In November 1999 a third demo, "Hero in a Dream", was recorded, which was successful in obtaining a record deal with Spinefarm Records. The logo that appears on all the bands releases was designed for the third demo by Tuomas Tahvanainen, who also designed the logos for the earlier demos.[3] In 2000, the band went into the studio to work on their first album, Ensiferum, which was released in August 2001. In the same year, Meiju Enho joined them as a keyboard-player.

Iron, Line-up changes, Dragonheads and 10th Anniversary Live (2003−2006)

In 2003, after the work was completed on the second album, Iron, Jari left the band to concentrate more on his project Wintersun. For the tour with Finntroll, Petri Lindroos from Norther replaced Jari on guitar and as singer, and became a member of the band after the tour. In December 2004, Jukka-Pekka left the band and was replaced by Sami Hinkka (Rapture). Oliver also left in 2005 to be replaced by Janne Parviainen.

The new Ensiferum line-up entered the studio later that year to record an EP to be called Dragonheads, which was released in February 2006. As well as the title track, it also contained two reworked demo songs; an Amorphis cover and a short rendition of the Kalevala melody, as well as a medley of three traditional Finnish songs.

In June 2006, Ensiferum released their live DVD, 10th Anniversary Live, which was recorded in Nosturi, Helsinki, on December 31, 2005.

Victory Songs and Meiju's departure (2006−2009)

The recording of the third studio album, called Victory Songs, took place between November 2006 and early 2007, and was released on April 20, 2007. A single titled "One More Magic Potion" (after the track of the same name) was released on February 7. Following the album release, the band released through the producer's MySpace page, a music video for the song "Ahti," which included all band members featured as extras. The video was released after the album release due to video filming problems.

On September 10, 2007, it was announced that keyboardist Meiju Enho would leave the band. This was posted in a bulletin on their MySpace page and later confirmed on their website [1]. The band used Emmi Silvennoinen of Exsecratus as a touring fill-in. She later became a permanent member of the band during the recording of the From Afar album[4][5].

Ensiferum headlined the Paganfest tour in Europe and North America in 2008.[4] Others playing the tour included Týr and Eluveitie, with Moonsorrow and Korpiklaani also joining them on the European part of the tour, and Turisas in North America.[4] They also supported Megadeth on the opening night of their United Abominations – Tour of Duty European tour.[4] Ensiferum also supported Amon Amarth on their North American Twilight of the Thunder God tour.[4]

In the first half of 2009, Ensiferum performed at a string of festivals including Frostrock in Belgium, Finnish Metal Expo and Tuska Open Air in Finland, Winterfire, Rocktower, Legacy and Rock am Härtsfeldsee in Germany, Summer Nights in Austria, and Z7 Metal Dayz in Switzerland.[4] In June and July they toured North America as part of the Summer Slaughter Tour with Necrophagist, Darkest Hour, Suffocation, Blackguard, Dying Fetus, Beneath the Massacre, Origin, and Winds of Plague.[4][5] In August they will perform at the Global East festival in Ukraine, Ankkarock and Jurassic Rock in Finland, and Let's Open Air in Turkey.[5]

From Afar (2009 onwards)

Ensiferum released their fourth studio album, From Afar, on September 9, 2009 on Spinefarm Records. The album was produced by Nightwish producer Tero Kinnunen and Victory Songs producer Janne Joutsenniemi, and it was mixed by producer Hiili Hiilesmaa.[6] The limited edition of the album includes a cover of Swedish folk rock group Nordman.[7] Following the release, the group will embark on a European tour with Estonian folk metal band Metsatöll and Finnish melodic death metal band Tracedawn.[5][6][7] In October they will also perform at Hellflame Festival – The South Side of Hell and Devil's Revenge festival in Germany, and Tatto the Mind in France.[5] Ensiferum will perform on the second day of the Screamfest Festival in Sydney, Australia, on New Years Day 2010. In November/December 2009 they will go on tour in North America with Ex Deo (on selected dates), and Blackguard.

Band members

Current line-up

Former members

  • Kimmo Miettinen – drums (ex-Arthemesia, Cadacross) (1995–1998)
  • Jukka-Pekka Miettinen – bass (Arthemesia, ex-Cadacross) (1998–2004), guitar (Russia tour 2008)
  • Sauli Savolainen – bass (1995–1998)
  • Jari Mäenpää – vocals, guitars (ex-Arthemesia, Wintersun) (1996–2004)
  • Oliver Fokin – drums (ex-Arthemesia) (1998–2005)
  • Meiju Enho – keyboards (2001–2007)

Session members

Discography

Albums

EPs

Live DVD

Videos

Singles

Demos

  • Demo (1997)
    1. "Frost"
    2. "Old Man (Väinämöinen)"
    3. "Knighthood"
  • Demo II (1999)
    1. "Dreamer's Prelude"
    2. "Little Dreamer (Väinämöinen part II)"
    3. "Warrior's Quest"
    4. "White Storm"
  • Hero in a Dream (1999)
    1. "Intro"
    2. "Hero in a Dream"
    3. "Eternal Wait"
    4. "Battle Song"
    5. "Guardians of Fate"

Cover songs

References

External links


Simple English

Template:Onesource

Ensiferum
File:Ensiferum Metalcamp2007
Ensiferum performing live at Metalcamp festival in Tolmin, Slovenia, 2007
Background information
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Folk metal
Viking metal
Melodic death metal[1]
"Heroic folk metal"
Years active 1995–present
Labels Spinefarm
Associated acts Wintersun
Arthemesia
Cadacross
Norther
Waltari
Sinergy
Rapture
Website www.ensiferum.com
Members
Petri Lindroos
Markus Toivonen
Sami Hinkka
Janne Parviainen
Emmi Silvennoinen
Former members
Kimmo Miettinen
Jukka-Pekka Miettinen
Sauli Savolainen
Jari Mäenpää
Oliver Fokin
Meiju Enho
Henri "Trollhorn" Sorvali

Ensiferum (Latin ensĭfĕrum (neuter adjective) which means "sword bearer") is a Finnish Folk Metal band from Helsinki. The members of the band call their music "heroic folk metal."[2] Ensiferum has made four full-length albums, one EP, one compilation, three singles, and three demo albums.

Musical style

  • Harsh vocals normally mixed with clean vocals for choruses and bridges.
  • Metal and folk tunes played on lead guitar or keyboard with heavier traditional heavy metal backing sounds like the classic gallop rhythm. Common use of acoustic guitars, usually at the start of songs.
  • Lyrics which relate to fantastical, archaic, or historic stories usually with heroic themes.

References








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