Stand Up and Fight
Style: Folk/Symphonic Metal
Release date: 28 February, 2011
Playing time: 46:14

This third full-length album from Turisas continues the tales of 'The Varangian Way' - telling the adventures of the Kievan Rus’ travellers who were forced to work as mercenaries for the Byzantine Emperors. I can assure you, there is a great deal of changes in this one. It's quite clear and expressed in ways that would overwhelm anyone's ideal scale of 'Folk Metal'.

So, as opposed to the folky opuses they're so notorious for, 'Stand Up and Fight'  as you may have guessed, channels less on that (must be their 'new way of creativity' as Nygård stated in our recent interview). The distinct bombast feel of the songs, the repetitiveness and hooky choruses, the epic over the top orchestrations (rather theatrical, really), just the whole bunch with cheese on top.

The embodiment of an 80's power rock-esque song for instance, lie in 'Take the Day', complimenting the not so contrary elements of a power metal song in 'Venetoi! - Prasinoi!' - where it appears as the band acknowledges the fact that it might be a tad too much to take in. Therefore, they've compensated by adding some extreme vocals to a smooth arrangement. It transmutes into an amazing musical - a grand and glorious execution of the orchestrations (and big budget!).

Another song that's been a mingle of various influences is ’The Great Escape'. It's not an average piece and may take several efforts to really get into, complex even in comparison to perhaps their most surprising track,  'Fear the Fear ' - one that could easily be identified as their pop song. You just have to give them some  credit for putting out such a risky song. But, do hold your breath and citations until you've reached one of their bonus songs and likely the most tedious one, 'Broadsword' - skip it, you're not missing a thing, I dare you. And of course, there is'Stand Up and Fight' - and it evidently takes the cake, you'll have to see this for yourself.

Let's focus our attention to the vocals. One can observe the hushed down and cozier setting. It's not as extreme as their previous albums, with the harsher overtones and at the most, clean. It does have its forte in the songs. It is especially well done and shines in 'End of an Empire' - a very Rhapsody like track with the extensive use of a choir. Even the narrated parts become rather intimate in this one, with the utmost impressive results and very much, tolerable.

Nevertheless, I should mention that there are bits discerning their over-familiar and distinguishable anthems which can be found in the songs, 'The March of the Varangian Guard' and 'Hunting Pirates' (the accordion has especially reshaped the song here).

It is worth the listen and very refreshing in terms of all the Folk Metal hype out there. It's been gruelling to pin point (to some) that this album is simply, a Power / Symphonic Metal album.


1.  The March of the Varangian Guard (03:51)
2.  Take the Day! (05:26)   
3.  Hunting Pirates (03:43 )  
4.  Venetoi! - Prasinoi! (03:49)   
5.  Stand Up and Fight (05:27)   
6.  The Great Escape (04:51)  
7.  Fear the Fear (06:14)    
8.  End of an Empire (07:16)  
9.  The Bosphorus Freezes Over (05:37)   

Label: Century Media Records
Distribution: EMI (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 67/100
Reviewed by: Haydee G.
Date: 27 April, 2011
Website: www.thevarangianway.com