Some time ago we received a promo for a CD called “Battle
Hymns” by this Finnish band called Turisas, which is the name of an old war god. Didn’t think it would be anything
special, but boy was I impressed when I put it on. Now I think this is one of the best folk-inspired metal bands out there.
But when talking to band-member Jussi on the phone, I found
out that this CD has been a long time coming, as the band has been working on some of the songs on there for six years. The
band first started in 1997 when Warlord Nygård and Jussi Wickstrom came together in a small city near the heart of the pagan
forests in the mid/south of Finland. Already in 1998 the band recorded their first album, but due to bad sound quality it’s
still kept locked away and unreleased. Later, in 2000, they recorded their demo “The Heart of Turisas”, which
was sent out to a few labels.
It was strange that it was Century Media, one of the biggest
metal labels in the world, that finally signed the band in 2003, because the band never sent a copy of their demo to the label.
It turned out that a guy who worked at SpineFarm, a Finnish metal-label, forwarded the demo to Century Media who fell in love
with the sound of the band and decided to sign them.
In the beginning Turisas their main inspiration was Manowar, but
later their music interests moved towards Finnish folk-music and stuff similar to what you can hear on the Braveheart soundtrack.
When asked what Jussi is spending his time on listening to at home these days, he tells me that he has been listening
to a band, Týr, which he thinks is from my country, The Faroe Islands (in which he’s quite right). And hearing that,
I am already starting to imagining what a great tour it would be with those two bands sharing the stage. But no tour is planned
for Turisas just yet, but there’s definitely going to be a few gigs in the near future.
Other than that Turisas are keen on getting into the studio
soon to start working on their new album, because, as Jussi says: “our last record took us six years to make, so if
we want to get this one out, we better start working on it soon.”
* “Battle Hyms” is out now on Century Media.
Check out samples on www.turisas.com