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Turisas The Varangian Way album cover
3.75 | 31 ratings | 2 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. To Holmgard And Beyond (5:17)
2. A Portage To The Unknown (4:50)
3. Cursed Be Iron (5:03)
4. Fields Of Gold (4:34)
5. In The Court Of Jarisleif (3:17)
6. Five Hundred And One (6:18)
7. The Dnieper Rapids (5:20)
8. Miklagard Overture (8:18)

Total Time 42:57

Bonus tracks for Japan:
9. To Holmgard and Beyond (Single Edit) (3:29)
10. Rex Regi Rebellis (Finnish Version) (7:11)
11. Battle Metal (Enhanced video - live at San Festival 2006)

Special limited edition (release date 03-10-2007) released with 3 Audio Bonus
09. Silence (0:59)
10. Rasputin (Boney M Cover) (3:51)
11. To Holmgard and Beyond (Single Edit) (3:27)
and a Bonus-DVD:
- Video-Clip of "Rasputin"
- To Holmgård and Beyond (karaoke)
- 37 Minutes of live footage (summer festivals 2007)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mathias D.G. 'Warlord' Nygård / Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
- Jussi Wickström / Guitars
- Hannu Horma / Bass & Backing Vocals
- Tude Lehtonen / Drums & Percussion
- Olli Vänskä / Violin
- Janne "Lisko" Mäkinen / Accordion

Additional musicians:
- Antti Paranko / guest vocals
- Aleksi Aromaa / double bass, additional bass
- Janne Saska / additional acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Jonathan Hutchings / narration
- Antti Laurila / additional accordion

Releases information

Full-length released by Century Media Records on the 18th of June 2007.
UK release: May 28th
Finnish release: June 6th
European release: June 18th
North American release: July 17th

Co-produced by Warlord and Janne Saksa at Sound Supreme Studio.
Mixed and mastered at Finnvox Studio.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
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TURISAS The Varangian Way ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TURISAS The Varangian Way reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Review originally posted at

Finland is a country whose music has reached a huge amount of followers from all over the world, no matter the musical genre, they almost always have success. Now, if we talk about metal, then they may be considered gods, and I am sure they love that word. This band Turisas is a clear example of what some may call "Viking metal", a combination of heavy metal music with orchestral arrangements, folk tendencies and of course, Nordic mythology lyrics. In 2007 they released an album called "The Varangian Way", featuring eight tracks and a total time of 43 minutes.

It opens with "To Holmgard and Beyond", a song which was chosen as the first single and as far as I know, received good critics. And I agree, because it perfectly works as an opener track, the music introduces us to Turisas music. Heavy guitar riffs, great string arrangements, loud vocals (lead and back) and cool lyrics.

"A Portage to the Unknown" starts softly with an accordion, but seconds later it explodes and vocals appear along with the other instruments. Then it slows down and vocals enter again, with a calmer sound, anyway this is only a short passage because later the music explodes once again and the vocals turn heavier and powerful, though in a certain way, they sound catchy, easy to sing. There is an instrumental interlude when the accordion reappears and then the song begins to progress again.

"Cursed Be Iron" starts heavier with loud growling vocals, but wait, they stop all of a sudden and a calm but at the same time tense atmosphere is created, it lasts for a minute, until the power and the growling returns. This formula is repeated once more, until it actually turns heavier than ever, mainly due to the voice, which sounds full of anger. "Fields of Gold" has a totally Viking metal beginning, if you don't know what I am talking about, I am sure that after a couple of listens you will get it, because that sound is very peculiar and particular from these kind of Nordic metal bands. Actually, you could relate this song with some images of battles that you've seen on films or something like that. When the instrumental passages sounds, that remembrance is more evident.

"In the Court of Jarisleif" is a cool song which starts with some celebration-like dance and people cheering as background, it continues like that for some seconds until guitars and drums enter and make a powerful and virtuoso sound. A minute later vocals appear, the structure is still the same and that folkish sound prevails all over the song. Here I liked how they combined that folk sound with the powerful metal one. There is a moment when the song goes faster and faster, and suddenly stops. Great!

"Five Hundred and One" seems to be a nicer track, because it starts with a smooth and delicate piano sound, but then vocals appear like a monster opening the gates to the powerful instruments. The keyboard work is excellent in the whole album, it produces that orchestral sound that adds drama to the story narrated, normally working as background, but being truly essential. Later the keyboards change and give a more symphonic sound to the song.

"The Dnieper Rapids" is another cool track that starts fast and threatens to calm a bit but that does not really happens. The epic sound will take you to past centuries and will make you imagine a story, the characters, their clothes, castles and all that your mind can relate. The growl vocals are not really my cup of tea, but I am aware that they are necessary (not always, for sure). The musicians are very talented, fast and making complex songs.

And finally "Miklagard Overture". Once again those orchestral arrangements will take you to another age, and will give you a sense of power and triumph. After a short introduction, vocals and acoustic guitar appear for a minute before changing direction and turning heavier and powerful, of course. This track is the longest of the album, so as you can imagine, it brings several changes in mood and time, though the structure does not really change.

This is a very good album, I am sure those who really love metal (and specially Nordic metal) will fall in love with "The Varangian Way". I liked it, and you know I am not the keenest man regarding metal, but I would recommend it. My final grade is three stars.

Enjoy it!

Latest members reviews

5 stars TURISAS The Varangian Way I strongly believe that "The Varangian Way" is one of the best Epic-progressive-metal album I have ever listened. Here you can find powerful guitar riffs and heavy rythms but also majestic melodies, unrepeatable symphonic compositions and, above all, epic themes play ... (read more)

Report this review (#281101) | Posted by Clafalc | Sunday, May 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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