Spinefarm Records / Universal
Founded in 1995, Ensiferum has gone through thick and thin. Drawing their inspiration of domestic heroes Amorphis and Swedish metal stars Dark Tranquillity, they released three demo tapes to applauding reception. Their career took off in 2000, when after the release of their eponymous Spinefarm debut, they in quick order became a household name in their native Finland.
Their sophomore album “Iron” took Ensiferum to Copenhagen. Produced by Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica etc.) the album saw Ensiferum’s popularity skyrocket. In 2004 three members (including Wintersun mastermind Jari Mäenpää) left the band, paving way for stellar new members Sami Hinkka (bass), Janne Parviainen (drums) and Petri Lindroos (guitar/vocals).
After much touring in 2005, Ensiferum returned to studio for the recordings of a mini-CD, "Dragonheads" and released a career-spanning live DVD, "10th Anniversary Live". In 2006 Ensiferum quite literally had their name engraved among the immortal stars when a Russian-based Fan Club presented the band with an unique present: they had baptised a star in the Ursa Minor constellation (Magnitude: 15.3, Ascension: [RA] 16 00 19.14, Declination: [Dec] +66 52 06.1) with their name. On Earth, more touring went on.
Their 3rd album "Victory Songs" broadened Ensiferum’s sound with traditional instruments like the Finnish kantele, a bagpipe, nyckelharpa and bodhrans. "Victory Songs" was a powerful amalgam of folk music, metal and catchy war anthems. Released domestically (by Drakkar Entertainment) in the folk metal hotbed of Germany, "Victory Songs" shot the band bang on in the middle of the genre’s power players and took the Helsinki heavies onto another tour. Eventually the band spent the whole of 2008 on the road, racking up a staggering 154 shows between the album’s release and the start of 2009, including 3 European tours, 3 North American tours and more festivals than anyone cares to count.
In April 2009 Ensiferum entered studio Petrax (Nightwish, Children of Bodom etc.) with producers Tero Kinnunen and Janne Joutsenniemi to record their most ambitious work to date. Bigger, better and more epic than anything up to then, “From Afar” resulted in a cinematic tour of spinal chills not many other bands could rival.
And on goes the evolution. The band comments their new work “Unsung Heroes”: “We’ve tried to take the extremes even more apart this time around. The sonic scope widens. The folk is more folksy than ever and the metallic parts will absolutely rip your face off.”
Among the highlights of the new album are folksy, dramatic schlager “Burning Leaves” and in-your-face battle call “Retribution Shall Be Mine”. The album is capped off by the band's longest, most epic song to date, “Passion Proof Power”, showcasing all the elements that make Ensiferum so exceptional.
02. In My Sword I Trust
03. Unsung Heroes
04. Burning Leaves
05. Celestial Bond
06. Retribution Shall Be Mine
07. Star Queen (Celestial Bond part II)
09. Last Breath
10. Passion Proof Power
Petri Lindroos - lead vocals, guitar
Markus Toivonen - guitars, banjo, backing vocals
Sami Hinkka - bass, backing vocals
Emmi Silvennoinen - keys, hammond, backing vocals
Janne Parviainen - drums, shaman drum
Dragonheads MCD (2006)
10th Anniversary Live DVD (2006)
Victory Songs (2007)
From Afar (2009)
Unsung Heroes (2012)