Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Turisas: Stand Up and Fight (2011)

Folk Metal Week: Part 3


Turisas is a symphonic/folk metal band from Finland, who are apparently big enough stars to appear on the cover of Terrorizer. I'm still trying to figure out what, exactly, is the appeal.

Stand Up & FightStand Up and Fight is the band's third full-length album. Throughout most of it, it's difficult to tell that there's actually any folk influence, though there are accordians on "Hunting Pirates", and a handful of folk melodies here and there. Mostly, it's symphonic metal, with very big orchestral pieces played over some very simple metal. "Venetoi! - Prasinoi!" for example, sounds like an Edvard Grieg piece with some guitars thrown in as an afterthought. The vocals are generally clean, with occasional growls. It has the feel and attitude of a symphonic power metal album, but without the virtuoso guitars or the powerful vocals. In other words, it has all the disadvantages (embarrassingly ridiculous) but none of the advantages of that style.

Now, even that might work if the songs were well-written, and had memorable melodies with great hooks. There are just a couple memorable melodies ("Fear the Fear" has one), and only a few worthwhile hooks (like the title track). But most of the songs are at best pointless, and at worst cringe-inducing awful. The worst of the bunch is "Hunting Pirates", which not only has embarrassing swashbuckling sound, but ridiculous lyrics that sound like they were written before the song and then forced into it regardless of how poorly they fit the timing. And that's not the only time they try to fit square lyrics into a round hole on the album.

The Verdict: If you like the negative aspects of power metal and symphonic metal, but don't care about their positive aspects, you might like this album. As for me, I prefer some meat with my cheese. I give it 1 out of 5 stars.


  1. I don't really get Turisas either.

  2. This album is a grower. Their new style is kinda like an acquired taste. If you think this album is crap, you just don't get it or haven't listened to it enough. And even if you have listened to it many times (I'd say at least 10 times is sufficient if you are going to review it) but your attitude towards it has always been bad and not very open-minded, then you have never truly listened to it.

  3. I listened with an open mind, but I could only make it through 3 times. I found very little enjoyment in it. I have a general rule that I don't listen to it more than 3 times if it feels like a chore.

    You're right. I don't get it, and I said as much. Thanks for the comment!

  4. I agree with anonymous, I almost discarded this as a crap, but after careful listen I started to appreciate it.

    Some parts are dull yes, but some songs like "The End Of An Empire" are simply breathtaking... the moment when the ruler of an empire realizes that after hundreds and thousand years of domination everything will be gone is brilliantly portrayed here. Very few metal bands can do this for me...

    Not trying to change your opinion, just my 2cents for the people reading your review and your comments.

    Keep up the great work, btw.

  5. Thanks! All I can do is provide my own opinion. It sounds like you're paying attention to what the lyrics are saying, but I myself get nothing from lyrics, as a rule.

  6. I have to admit, while I know Turisas are big in the folk metal scene I've personally never really cared too much for them either.

    I guess they're just not my cup of tea.