|Review: Turisas - The Varangian Way|
|The Varangian Way|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2007
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: April 11, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:The Varangian Way
Rated 3.08/5 (61.67%) (12 Votes)
Turisas are not a terrible band, and this isn't a terrible album, but it is pretty frustrating and often inept and annoying. They're one of those ever-popular, toned down extreme metal bands with symphonic overtones and lyrics about Vikings and war and battle and such, with both harsh and clean vocals - none of which are really good - and a generally mid-paced tempo. This only really sucks when the band is attempting to be heroic and epic, and otherwise it's generally decent.
The opening "To Holmgard and Beyond" sucks goat testes; a self-indulgent pile of piss with dragging, over-wrought symphonics (that repeat themselves throughout the song without variation) and boring rhythm chugging on the guitars in the background, along with a typical choir-filled chorus. "Five Hundred and One" is equally shitty, another dull, look-how-awesome-we-are wankfest with a lame "battle" soundclip somewhere in the middle. The rest of the album isn't too bad, though. Turisas's problem is that they tend to slow down and noodle around with folk parts and orchestrations too much, and so The Varangian Way lacks focus and direction, and a lot of it isn't even too memorable. This is pretty good when the band gets down to the more straightforward, meaty parts, as on a few select passages from songs like "Fields of Gold" and "Cursed Be Iron," but overall this music is far too fluffy and pompous to be of any real worth.
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