Ensiferum Iron: The Return of Jari Maenpaa
Ensiferum: The Front Album Cover
A Little About the Album Iron
After their very solid self-titled debut album in 2001, Ensiferum returned to record their second full-length album called Iron. This album was released in 2004 and it would be the last album to feature vocalist and guitarist Jari Maenpaa. The other musicians on this album are Markus Toivonen, Jukka-Pekka Miettinen on bass, Oliver Fokin on drums and Meiju Enho playing the keyboards.
Track Listing for the album Iron
- Ferrum Aeternum (instrumental song)
- Sword Chant
- Mourning Heart-Interlude (instrumental #2)
- Tale of Revenge
- Lost in Despair
- Slayer of Light
- Into Battle
- LAI LAI HEI
- Battery (Metallica cover)
The Album Iron (Songs 1-5)
The album begins with an instrumental song called Ferrum Aeternum. The band has a habit of doing this and I guess it’s because they want to show their creativity and skill. The song has tambourine playing in it as well and you can definitely hear that. The fast song Iron is about a warrior that has arrived into town having faced his share of adversity. He has been shot at and wounded so many times yet he is willing to keep on riding his horse, going into battle and riding forever because as the song says “cause’ the Iron is stronger than death.” Near the end of the song there is a sound of a gunshot as the song ends with dramatic speed as well. The song Sword Chant has an interesting choir part in it. It is interesting for this writer because he was involved in choir during his middle school years. Ensiferum uses speed, rough vocals and a variety of instruments that show the folk metal influence. After another short instrumental song called Mourning Heart-Interlude, the song Tale of Revenge is about a warrior who goes out into the woods with only one thing on his mind: the desire for revenge. His life story is a rather dark and tragic one that he refuses to speak of. He will stop using his sword only when his desire for revenge is accomplished.
Iron: Songs 6-11
Lost in Despair is a song about someone that was lost and on his own. He could not even bear to think about his life. He wants someone to take him away and bury him in the sand because after all these years he is still the same person. He is still a bitter and sad man. When you get into this kind of a mood, life can be a drag and a kind of hell to live through. The next song Slayer of Light is so fast and technical, other guitarists especially Jeff Waters would be very impressed! Anyone that has ever heard the very fast song Reaction will know what I’m talking about. Even if the band has not been influenced by Annihilator, the very fact that they decide to use speed like this shows their desire to experiment and improve themselves. It works very well here! Into Battle continues Ensiferum’s tradition of having very melodic songs! LAI LAI HEI has some Finnish lyrics in it. Ensiferum is not the only band to use Finnish lyrics in their music. Other bands that have done this include Mokoma, Catamenia, Finntroll, and Stam1na. The album finishes off with an excellent performance of the song Battery.
The Song Iron
How Is the Album Iron?
Overall, Iron shows a strong return for Ensiferum. The band would only get better with the Dragonheads EP and Victory Songs in 2007 which with Petri Lindroos they catapulted themselves into another elite category of metal bands!