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Ensiferum Interview / Unsung Heroes Review

And here is an interview with Ensiferum, along with an album review of “Unsung Heroes” from 2012!

Musicpix guru on all things rockin’ overseas, Doc Metal, checks in with his review of Ensiferum’s upcoming release Unsung HeroesDoc Metal also got the chance to give bassist Sami Hinkka a ring and chat it up about the new album, touring in the States, and proper practice attire.

This year has been really exciting with so many fantastic album releases like Mastodon’s The Hunter and Baroness’ Yellow and Green.  Thus far, 2012 most definitely has not disappointed.  My inner Viking raised its drinking horn when I heard Ensiferum’s contribution, Unsung Heroes.  Holy Odin!  This newest addition to the Ensiferum discography is a wonderful accomplishment by the Finnish band. Unsung Heroes takes you on a journey back to the days of old, when men were bearded and solved issues with an axe cleave to the face. 

Unsung Heroes delivers us 10 tracks of amazing musical composition that range from orchestral power, to punching brutal.  I’ve been a fan of Ensiferum for a long time, and am not disappointed in the least with the direction they have taken on this album.  The album flows perfectly from the orchestrated opening track “Symbols”, to the end track, “Passion Proof Power”.  The album takes listeners on a folk roller coaster ride that can only be described as taking a stroll into Mordor….as if that was even possible!

Their first video for the album is the song “In My Sword I Trust”, directed by Rafal Szermanowicz. Watch this video and tell me you don’t want to raze a village?!

Unsung Hereos is an 8 out of 10 and a must have for any folk metal fan.  Be prepared that the sound is different than their other albums, but it’s a sound of growth… a quality that many bands lack these days.  Kudos to you, Ensiferum!

I was lucky enough to catch up with the bassist for Ensiferum, Sami Hinkka, to talk aboutUnsung Heroes as well asking him some questions from my Doc Metal radio show listeners.

Doc Metal:  Sami, Unsung Heroes.  Fantastic album.  What can you tell me about it?

Sami: Well it’s out 5th album, definitely a step ahead from our previous albums. Quite a challenging album for us, to say the least.  It came out recently in Europe, and the North American release date is soon, September 18th, 2012.  So far all the feedback and reviews we have gotten on it have been overwhelmingly positive.  We look forward to starting the European tour and later returning to North America.  We plan to tour on every continent.  We have busy days ahead of us. 

Doc Metal: Can you tell me more about the lyrical content of Unsung Heroes?

Sami:  After recording the album and after reading through the lyrics again, I realized many of the songs talk about “change” in a wide perspective.  Many of the lyrics are inspired by real-life situations, like if something happened to me, or someone close to me.  It’s a fun challenge to find metaphors for these situations and put them into a medieval fantasy setting for lyrics. 

Doc Metal: One of the things I really love about your band is how you cover songs.  My personal favorites are Uriah Heep’s “Lady in Black” and Amorphis’ “Into Hiding.”  Does Ensiferum have any new covers lined up for us?

Sami:  (laughs) Well we recently covered the Gypsy King’s “Bambaleo.”  It’s like if Cannibal Corpse meets the Gypsy Kings.  As for the next cover, we have some wicked ideas.  We want to keep it as a surprise.  I think its fun to surprise the fans.

NOTE:  “Bambaleo” will be a bonus track on the upcoming release of Unsung Heroes.  Listen to it here….

Doc Metal:  Have you ever had any bad experiences with other bands when playing here in the United States?

Sami:  I can honestly say we never have had any bad experiences with any bands.  We have played with a lot of bands such as Amon Amarth, Finntroll, and Moonsorrow, if anything it brought our bands closer together.

Doc Metal:  Any memorable experiences in any specific American tour date?  Like is there any specific city that stands out for you?

Sami:  Not really.  Every show we played in the United States has been memorable.  From packed venues to playing a show in front of 60 people, the fans make it memorable.  It is a great sight to see every member of the audience in a mosh pit.  I really love touring in the United States.

Doc Metal:  Sami, this one is a personal one.  What is your favorite album of all time?  Doesn’t have to be metal.

Sami:  Oh, that’s a difficult question if I only have to name one.  The world is full of great music of all genres.

Doc Metal: Haha, fine, then name 3.

Sami:  If I think about myself and how I got into music, it has to be an album from Iron Maiden.  Seventh Son from a Seventh Son was a really important album to me.  Dark Tranquility’s The Gallery is one album that got me more into extreme metal.  To me, it’s one of the best metal albums ever made.  And then there’s Red Hot Chili Peppers’  Mother’s Milk.  That was also an important album for me growing up.  Flea was one of my childhood idols.

Doc Metal:  Is there any place in the world you haven’t performed in that you would like to?

Sami:  Well we still have not played in South America.  That’s coming up on the next tour.  There have always been scheduling conflicts, and we are looking forward to playing there.  Also, one place that would be cool to play that we have been offered, but might be difficult to include on our tour is Alaska.  We would really like to play there also.

Doc Metal:  I have a couple more lighthearted questions from my Doc Metal listeners Sami.  What is Ensiferum’s favorite fast food choice when on the road in America?

Sami:  Haha, a few years ago we actually tried to get endorsements from Burger King.  You know, just like Manowar are the Kings of Metal. We tried to coin the slogan “THE BURGER KINGS OF METAL.”  That would have been so awesome!  I‘m partial to Burger King, but some of the other members like Taco Bell and others.  We have all overdosed on pizza also.

Doc Metal:  This one is from one of my female listeners.  Do you guys practice and rehearse your shows without shirts?

Sami:  No….Well…Yeah we do.  Haha!

Doc Metal:  Last but not least.  If you were at a masquerade ball, would you prefer to wear a horse mask or an owl mask?

Sami:  (laughs) The owl mask most definitely!


Favorite Tracks:
In My Sword I Trust

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