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Luckily, I received this CD weeks before its release, therefore I had time to make up my mind and also to feel some disappointment. The 2009 release “From Afar” was (and is) for me one of the most important works in the genre of Pagan/Viking Metal because everything seems solidly built, with grandiose melodies as well as orchestra parts that create a wonderful epic. “Unsung Heroes”, however, presents a lot of bore, decorated with bombastic but hollow arrangements! The only ray of hope is the cool “Burning Leaves”, where basically only the chorus is remarkable. And this is not much.
I have no idea why one could descend passionately into the pit of mediocrity, without noticing the triviality of one’s creations. Probably ENSIFERUM have become victims of the delusion that more, bigger and EVEN MORE replaces the variety of a good song. Well, okay, you got to be the fan of native sounds and medieval atmosphere but the Finns are taking it too far, and therefore I have to use one of my favourite expressions again: boredom. The Metal attitude takes the back seat because a questionable cliché is driving the car, which is evident listening to those few ‘Metal-Songs’. I noticed the respectable vocal development of Mr. Lindroos on the last album, yet this time he is returning to inflexible throat-vocals that characterised NORTHER records in the past. Which doesn´t make sense and doesn´t sound good at all.
Summing up, those who like CDs lacking Metal but offering a lot of Opera singing, Orchestra falderal and composition-deja vùs or movie soundtracks, should purchase “Unsung Heroes”. Those who rather enjoy rough guitars and great songs in the style of “From Afar” - hands off!
02. In My Sword I Trust
03. Unsung Heroes
04. Burning Leaves
05. Celestial Bond
06. Retribution Shall Be Mine
07. Star Queen (Celestial Bond part II)
09. Last Breath
10. Passion Proof Power
Vik, transl. K. Weber
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