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A More Mature Turisas - 87%

oMetalMachineo, September 7th, 2011

When I was introduced to Turisas a few years ago, my first thoughts were "holy crap, this is epic, but it has the potential to be so much more". It was good, don't get me wrong, but it just felt unpolished, like the band wasn't working as, well, a band.

I'm proud to say that "Stand Up and Fight" takes nearly every gripe I had with their early works (particularly certain sections on "Battle Metal" that I still can't quite stomach to this day) and not only gets rid of it, but adds a more polished, mature sound in its place. From the first note of "March of The Varangian Guard" to the final echo of "The Bosphorus Freezes Over", SUaF is everything that Turisas has been trying to be over the years: epic, over the top, and most of all, just plain enjoyable.

The most notable difference is the overall feel of the music. The epic feel is the same as the first album (although again, more polished) and there are no big changes instrumentally (although the orchestrations do FEEL more grand), but everything seems to be completely different and that's because these Finns have something they didn't have back in 2004 or even in 2007: experience.

Yes, it's obvious that Nygård and the gang have gotten a lot of good out of the extensive touring that the last two albums brought on, and rather than ignoring them for their flaws like certain other bands have done in the past (*cough* Pantera *cough*), Turisas has embraced them and taken what they can to create a cohesive sound that works on levels I wouldn't have imagined possible for the band just a short year ago

Overall, this is an outstanding album and a serious contender for best folk metal album of the year.