Battle metal from Finland is already a winning concoction. Originally named Köyliö back in 1997 but changing their moniker to Turisas around 1998 to 1999 their name apparently relates to a Sea Monster in Finnish Mythology. The band have had a significant amount of line-up changes including Georg Laakso (Guitar)who, in 2004 was stabbed six times in the back after getting in a fight outside a fast food place. Then in 2005 he was in a car accident which left him in a wheelchair leaving everything from the chest below paralysed. Sadly, Georg retired in July 2006.
The band released their first demo in 1999, what followed was an EP, DVD, 3 fantastic full length albums including the 2011 release ‘Stand up and Fight. Now in 2013, and apparently with a more stripped down album that the rest, the band wanted to show their fans what they can do, sounding more like they would at a live show.
Starting ‘Turisas 2013’ with an extremely cheesy intro the first track ‘For your Own Good’ gets going with eerie keyboards and simple riffs. However, once the track gets going, it’s quite pleasing to the ears. The riffs become a little bit more technical and the keyboards get a little show-offy. Sounding like it could be on something like the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack with the added oomph from some burly drunken men in the background.
‘Ten More Miles’ shows us they aren’t done with the cheese… think some smelly arsed stilton and multiply it by a hundred and you might just understand how brilliantly cheesy this stuff is. With some fist in the air styled vocals on the chorus you’d expect Flash Gordon in the middle of them cheering along. The end to this one is exceptionally good, mature cheddar riffs!
Get your battle gear on and the red face paint out! With ‘Piece by Piece; it’s Turisas in their old-school style. The screaming and chants of the chorus is pure (dare I say it) EPICNESS! Turisas doing what they do best! Again with ‘Into the Free’ another cracking knees-up number fuelled with beer and loin cloths! Catchy as hell and delivering some raw energy throughout.
All sorts of weirdness going on at the beginning of ‘Run Bhang Eater Run’ and I’m loving every minute of it!! Fast and fun, then slowing down with some porno noises off some lucky lass, then back to the fast pace Random and literally he ran, banged her and ate her then ran again, class!! My favourite track by far! However, moving in to a different direction with ‘Greek Fire’ a serious ( well as serious as Turisas can get) track with vocals sounding much like Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell… dark and brooding.
Not so keen on the intro to ‘The Days Past,’ fortunately though, it turns into a nice piece with some stunning yet not too ballsy riffs. Less is more in some cases! Having listened to this album a couple of times it’s worth a note that the vocals have vastly improved since I last listened to them a few years ago.
A fantastic beer drinking song aptly named ‘No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea’. OK, sounds a lot like Korpiklaani could have written it, but who cares, it’s a party song. The chipmunks styled vocals are another good point to this one too!
Ending on a high with ‘We Ride Together’ ….. they saved one of the best for last obviously. I felt like I was in a western film in the middle of the desert somewhere riding my horse haha! I can definitely see myself dancing to this one, drunk as always using a mop as my trusty steed.
The band have definitely come on leaps and bounds, and here’s hoping the die-hard Turisas fans like the new feel to the music?! I’d definitely recommend seeing these guys live. Red and black face paint a must have and of course the obligatory beer in hand which of course will probably get spilled all over you and your hard rocking neighbours.
(8/10 Charlene Rance)