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Review of the Album "Iron" by Ensiferum: The Return of Jari Maenpaa

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

The front album cover depicts a Viking warrior as he stands with his sword in hand confidently looking down at the mass of warriors below.

The front album cover depicts a Viking warrior as he stands with his sword in hand confidently looking down at the mass of warriors below.

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.

Song List

  1. "Ferrum Aeternum" (instrumental)
  2. "Iron"
  3. "Sword Chant"
  4. "Mourning Heart-Interlude" (instrumental #2)
  5. "Tale of Revenge"
  6. "Lost in Despair"
  7. "Slayer of Light"
  8. "Into Battle"
  9. "LAI LAI HEI"
  10. "Tears"
  11. "Battery" (Metallica cover)

Song Reviews

Below are my notes and reviews for each track.

"Ferrum Aeternum"

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.

"Sword Chant"

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.

"Mourning Heart-Interlude" and "Tale of Revenge"

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.

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"Lost in Despair"

"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.

"Slayer of Light"

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"

"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."

How Is the Album Iron?

Overall, Iron shows a strong return for Ensiferum. The band would only get better with the Dragonheads mini-album and Victory Songs in 2007, which with Petri Lindroos they catapulted themselves into another elite category of metal bands!

Ensiferum's Cover of the Song "Battery"

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

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