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Turisas - "Stand Up and Fight" (CD)

Turisas - "Stand Up and Fight" CD cover image

"Stand Up and Fight" track listing:

1. The March of the Varangian Guard
2. Take the Day!
3. Hunting Pirates
4. Venetoi! – Prasinoi!
5. Stand Up and Fight
6. The Great Escape
7. Fear the Fear
8. End of an Empire
9. The Bosphorus Freezes Over

Reviewed by on March 1, 2011

"'Stand Up and Fight' is an album made up of nine battle anthems complete with larger-than-life cinematic orchestrations and huge chanting sections."

Turisas is a band that has many people divided. While some are fanatical over the band’s orchestration injected “battle metal,” others take offence to the group’s over the top level of cheese and self-parody. While Turisas may have become an incredibly cheesy act over the years, since its debut “Battle Metal” the band has grown a massive cult-like following around the world. The group’s latest, “Stand Up and Fight,” continues the path forged on its predecessor “The Varangian Way,” while managing to make the release even more epic in its orchestral arrangements, creating one fun and enjoyable listen.

While the style certainly isn’t for everyone, and purists of the pagan, folk, and viking metal genres tend to write off Turisas at every turn, “Stand Up and Fight” is an album meant for those who don’t care about tradition or underlying elitist requirements and just want to feel like they are in a Lord of the Rings war scene. “Stand Up and Fight” is an album made up of nine battle anthems complete with larger-than-life cinematic orchestrations and huge chanting sections. Every track on “Stand Up and Fight” follows this formula and it isn’t long until you’ll be finding yourself singing along with each melody.

There are a few tracks that aren’t nearly as catchy, but “The March of the Varangian Guard,” “Take The Day,” and title-track “Stand Up and Fight” are instant highlights and will surely become staples in the band’s live set. On the other hand; as the album moves onward it does feel as if the energy drops off, especially by the time the last few tracks come around. “The Great Escape” is not bad in any way, but the song just isn’t as interesting as the tracks that came before it, with a slightly more generic approach to the songwriting. “Fear the Fear” is ultimately forgettable as well and lacks any memorable point to latch onto. The final cut on the disc, “The Bosphorus Freezes Over,” is an odd one that manages to be both climatic and anti-climatic depending on how you look at it. While featuring another round of impressive orchestrations and massive choirs, the song is void of any real bark and front man Mathias Nygard is seemingly absent from the track.

While having its energy putter out with the final few tracks, “Stand Up and Fight” still provides a fun listen that will have both old and new fans more than pleased. While the band may have found its sound and formula for creating its epic compositions with this album, the record still provides a few twists that keep it interesting throughout and “Stand Up and Fight” will further cement Turisas as one of the leading symphonic metal acts going today.

Highs: As always with Turisas, there is catchy songwriting that maintains the sound that fans have come to know.

Lows: The album loses its momentum as it nears the final tracks.

Bottom line: Fans of symphonic folk metal have found their new favorite album.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)