The title alone should hint that “Turisas 2013” will be an unusual blob in Turisas’ discography. “Where is the heroic fatuity in the title?” one might ask. Nowhere. And as it turns out, that’s exactly what the band intended.
The album is stripped down and not over polished with the usual bombastic and grandiose orchestrations. It possesses a more organic sound that is showcasing the main instruments. It is musically diverse and a mishmash of everything; each song has a distinct originality and a theme of their own. “Into The Free” and “No Good Story Ever Starts with Drinking Tea” are examples of the faster tracks with a lot punk influences throughout and there are measurable amounts of wild west galloping and southern elements making their way into the songs – somehow they’re sensible and fitting. Then there is “Greek Fire” which probably surprised me the most with its progressive guitar oriented opus.
Turisas trademarks are
still somewhat present in the songs and they’re not to the point of being
completely unrecognizable. For instance, the folk sounds are still there but
obviously scarce. The male choirs are ever so present but at times optimized
in different, yet oddly compelling ways as well as shouting one-liners in
the background. As a result, the others seem to be helping with the backing
vocals more. So that you don’t feel as if you’re being robbed of everything
so far with this review: “Ten More Miles”, “Piece by Piece”, “Run
Bhang-Eater Run” and “We Ride Together” should be more familiar to you.
If you were expecting to dive into their usual story-driven album with the massive, majestic pieces and over the top orchestrations in the vein of The Varangian Way, perhaps this album is not for you. I would have liked to openly admit how much I dislike this album but the fact of the matter is, it has a refreshingly different approach. Aside from the random lady moaning for what seems like a full minute, it’s not a bad album and claiming that it is would signify a severely impaired judgement. The band has mentioned that it’s sort of a challenge for their fans - well congratulations Turisas, you’ve indeed challenged your fans! And besides, who doesn’t like a sweet jazzy saxophone solo?!