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Review of the Album "One Man Army" by Finnish Folk Metal Band Ensiferum

Updated on March 25, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

A Photo of the Album Cover for One Man Army

The image of the Viking warrior is in the background as the warrior that has survived is on a mission to bring peace to his homeland. There is also an arrow stuck in the tree. There is another warrior in the photo and he is wondering what happened.
The image of the Viking warrior is in the background as the warrior that has survived is on a mission to bring peace to his homeland. There is also an arrow stuck in the tree. There is another warrior in the photo and he is wondering what happened.

Not Every Ensiferum Album is the Same

Finnish folk metal band Ensiferum has spent more than two decades bringing listeners fast, thundering, and melodic folk metal. By now, some fans may think that every Ensiferum album is the same as the one before it. While their lyrical themes may be similar from album to album, their personnel has changed over the years and they have even released an extended play album back in 2006 called Dragonheads which had re-recorded versions of the songs Warrior’s Quest and White Storm.

The Album Cover For One Man Army is Also Different Than Previous Albums

We must also discuss the album cover for this album because it is sort of different than the previous album covers. The album cover has a warrior with bear skin charging through the land with arrows and a shield as the land has been torched because of a fire. But no fire is going to deter this brave warrior from finally bringing peace to his homeland. In the sky is an image of a Viking warrior that has been present on the cover of the band’s earlier albums especially the self-titled debut and Iron. This brave warrior is seen with an axe in one hand and a dagger in the other hand.

The Album One Man Army is Better Than the Previous Two Albums

One Man Army is not just one person’s effort. It is a group effort that has produced another solid album. Is there a song on this album that is as good as Guardians of Fate or Treacherous Gods? No, but as you are about to see, the album is better than 2009’s From Afar and 2012’s Unsung Heroes.

One Man Army: a Review and Analysis

One Man Army is also the last album to feature female vocalist and keyboardist Emmi Silvenoinen. The song called Descendants, Defiance, Domination is actually different from the songs that the band has done in the sense that it starts with a melody or a riff that is slower than usual. It is like the band is trying to set up something musically amazing. The riff sounds like Danzig around 1994 except the riff is better. I would say that in the last 17 years, Finland has been one of the countries that has dominated the heavy metal scene. It is fair to say this as we review and assess this album from one of the best folk metal bands along with Finntroll. The synth like part that starts is influenced by Amorphis. In this album another major difference is that there are more cleanly vocal parts than the earlier albums. This is part of the band’s strategy to make their music more diverse and appealing. There is a part in this long song that sounds like a choir is singing and they do have that chanting sound. The song is trying to convey the message that the best way for men to rule is without corruption, bravery, and a true love for their homeland. After the short instrumental song called March of War, the song Axe of Judgement starts with drumming similar to Italy’s Rhapsody of Fire. And there is shouting by others in the song. Patience is definitely a virtue for this band that has done pretty much everything right. Even Petri’s vocals fit this band like it helped out his previous band Norther. There is a symphonic part that to me sounds a little like Dreams of Sanity. There is choir type chanting except it is done by men. The song One Man Army is about a warrior that embarks on a quest to vanquish his foes. But he thinks that whether he wins or not, it will be a loss for him because he feels “dead” on the inside. The short song called Burden of the Fallen feature clean vocals all throughout which is something that this band has never really done. The song is about the fact that for some warriors, their nightmares return to haunt them. For these warriors their heart is empty so they have lost their will to fight. Two of Spades lyrically is a song that is drastically different than what we have seen from this band. The song is about someone that lives a very risky lifestyle, going after the women, drugs, and booze no matter what the cost is to his life. He is gambling every single day. Some people like the thrill of a risky lifestyle. The song is pretty exciting as well.

The Song Called "One Man Army"

What Are the Best Songs in the Album One Man Army?

Overall, One Man Army is a very good album with a short ballad in addition to the folk metal songs. The strongest songs in this album are Axe of Judgement, One Man Army, Burden of the Fallen, Two of Spades, and the long song that I mentioned before.

The Song "Burden of the Fallen" (vocals by Petri Lindroos and they are clean)

One Man Army Compared to From Afar and Unsung Heroes

Is the album One Man Army better than From Afar and Unsung Heroes?

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The Song "Descendants, Defiance, Domination"

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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