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I Prefer Some Meat with My Cheese - 20%

FullMetalAttorney, April 21st, 2011

Turisas is a symphonic/folk metal band from Finland, who are apparently big enough stars to appear on the cover of Terrorizer. I'm still trying to figure out what, exactly, is the appeal.

Stand Up and Fight is the band's third full-length album. Throughout most of it, it's difficult to tell that there's actually any folk influence, though there are accordians on "Hunting Pirates", and a handful of folk melodies here and there. Mostly, it's symphonic metal, with very big orchestral pieces played over some very simple metal. "Venetoi! - Prasinoi!" for example, sounds like an Edvard Grieg piece with some guitars thrown in as an afterthought. The vocals are generally clean, with occasional growls. It has the feel and attitude of a symphonic power metal album, but without the virtuoso guitars or the powerful vocals. In other words, it has all the disadvantages (embarrassingly ridiculous) but none of the advantages of that style.

Now, even that might work if the songs were well-written, and had memorable melodies with great hooks. There are just a couple memorable melodies ("Fear the Fear" has one), and only a few worthwhile hooks (like the title track). But most of the songs are at best pointless, and at worst cringe-inducing awful. The worst of the bunch is "Hunting Pirates", which not only has embarrassing swashbuckling sound, but ridiculous lyrics that sound like they were written before the song and then forced into it regardless of how poorly they fit the timing. And that's not the only time they try to fit square lyrics into a round hole on the album.

The Verdict: If you like the negative aspects of power metal and symphonic metal, but don't care about their positive aspects, you might like this album. As for me, I prefer some meat with my cheese.

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