Ensiferum impress with their excellent set
You've got to wonder just what it is about Finland that means they can keep on churning out so many high-quality metal acts. It's hard to argue against the fact that Finland has a disproportionate amount of top notch bands, particularly in light of the fact that three of the final four main stage bands for BOA 06 hail from Finland. Regardless of whatever it is in the water up there, Ensiferum managed to put on a high quality, high energy show of Folk-inspired metal anthems which left all watching with a grin on their face and wanting more!
All of their best songs were played, in a completely fan and crowd-pleasing set list including 'Iron', 'Dragonheads' 'Windrider' and a powerful rendition of their best track 'Tokens of Time'. Ensiferum manage to reproduce the strong and chunky sound from their records live almost flawlessly; the guitars provided by front man Petri Lindroos and Markus Toivonen create a powerful and crunchy backdrop over which the folk melodies of keyboardist Meiju Enho seep through to create a cohesive and to be honest, damn good, whole. Both the growled and clean vocal sections were performed admirably well, particularly the backing clean vocals of 'Dragonheads' which worked together with the keyboard melodies to provide an excellent contrast to the crunching heavy guitars in the backdrop.
The band all have a clear and evident enthusiasm for their performance; the stage is run across, impressive manes of hair fly in the wind and their entire set has an unshakeable energy and confidence to it which just comes off really well. The mixture of a charismatic performance alongside one that is great in technical terms is always good to see and Ensiferum manage to combine both these aspects with a strong catalogue of songs to choose from. The large crowd were clearly having a ball of a time, hands were raised, as were the inevitable tacky plastic weapons, and every song the band performed received a wall of applause.
Overall Ensiferum provided exactly what they set out to give us; a damn good set of well-delivered Folk Metal and there is really little that can be qualified. With the Folk and 'Battle' metal genres gaining increasing importance and popularity in the UK metal scene, Ensiferum are one of the bands who with their strong and charismatic live performance stand to gain a lot and hopefully we'll be seeing them on these shores again soon.