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Turisas biography
TURISAS is a Finnish progressive/ symphonic metal act formed in 1997 under the KÖYLIÖ monicker. Sometime between 1998 and 1999 the name was changed to TURISAS. The band is known for their extensive use of grand choirs and orchestral arrangements as well as the their lyrics about Nordic mythology, viking lore and epic battles. TURISAS music is often referred to as Battle Metal. The use of traditional instruments like Accordian and Violin is also a part of the band´s sound.

The band made a promo single in 1999, but their first official release was "The Heart of Turisas" EP from 2001. It was basically a self-released demo though. The band was picked up by Century Media Records and released their debut full-length studio album "Battle Metal" in 2004. The band suffered some great tragedies in the following years that would mean a couple of lineup changes. Guitarist Georg Laakso was stabbed six times in the back in July 2004 during a fight and while this incident didn´t leave him with serious injuries a near fatal car chrash in October 2005 left Georg Laakso bound to a wheelchair. The guitarist retired from the music business in July 2006. TURISAS opted to continue with only one guitarist in Jussi Wickström. At his point only Jussi Wickström,

Olli Vänskä, Hannu Horma and Janne Mäkinen, vocalist/ keyboard player Mathias D.G. 'Warlord' Nygård and drummer Tude Lehtonen were "real" members of the band. Violinist Olli Vänskä, bassist Hannu Horma and Accordian player Janne "Lisko" Mäkinen had only played with TURISAS as session musicians but were added to the lineup during the recording of TURISAS second full-length studio album "The Varangian Way" which saw a release through Century Media Records in June 2007. Janne "Lisko" Mäkinen left TURISAS in early 2008 after he refused to take the same plane as the other members of the band after a tour in the Netherlands. The band released the "A Finnish Summer With Turisas" in November 2008.

TURISAS inclusion in the Prog Archives database was approved by the Progressive Metal Team.

( Biography written by UMUR)

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TURISAS discography

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TURISAS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 23 ratings
Battle Metal
3.75 | 31 ratings
The Varangian Way
4.00 | 32 ratings
Stand Up and Fight
3.05 | 18 ratings

TURISAS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TURISAS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.25 | 4 ratings
A Finnish Summer With Turisas

TURISAS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TURISAS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 4 ratings
The Heart of Turisas
4.00 | 4 ratings
To Holmgard and Beyond
4.17 | 6 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Stand Up and Fight by TURISAS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 32 ratings

Stand Up and Fight
Turisas Progressive Metal

Review by Jundrix

5 stars Turisas is not a typical prog metal band and this album may be better described as a symphonic metal release with a death metal edge. But the music is written and arranged with maximal care and although most of the songs are heavily orchestrated and supported with an aggressive metal section of loud drums and guitars, there is a great diversity and attention to details in each of the songs. The first track, The March of The Varangian Guard, is the most straightforward song on the album, but it is not a typical power metal song. It has strong and concrete opening, which quickly changes into a very dramatic verse, which leads into a powerful and catchy, yet musically interesting chorus. The solo is really short and purposeful. This track is in fact a great hit song in a symphonic metal coat. Next is Take The Day!, one of the strongest tracks on the album. Great mix of anticipation and anger. This song has the potential to catch listener's ear at the first play, but at the same time it doesn't wear off because of the amazing lively orchestral arrangements. In fact, this track is a heavily orchestrated stadium rock anthem with growls in the chorus. Hunting Pirates is not as orchestrated as the other songs, but it's well arranged, too. Quite folky with some rhythmically tricky sections. Following Venetoi! - Prasinoi! is a sure highlight of the album. High energy, excellent arrangements. It is mostly instrumental, exceptions are couple of neat growls, which blend surprisingly well with the orchestration Ennio Morricone or John Williams would be proud of. Next is the title track. A very melodic, quite melancholic, but heavy song. Instrumental sections are excellent and the simple chorus is probably the weakest point of this track, which is rather typical for some prog metal bands, such as Dream Theater or Haken. The Great Escape at first seems like a weaker song whose purpose is mainly to support the story. However it develops into a very powerful ending, maybe one of the most epic moments of the album. Fear the Fear is a really nice melodic metal song with excellent arrangements and details. Also, lyrics of this song are amazing as they neatly connect the story with the world of the supposed listener. End of an Empire, the big track, feels like the conclusion of the whole album. It reminds me of some of the best works of Rhapsody. But the real icing on the cake is the final track, the melancholic The Bosphorus Freezes Over. The metal edge is only touched here and it has a chorus sung by a 'sad' choir in old Finnish - the result is an absolutely lovely song with stunning development, full of beautiful melodies and harmonies.

I recommend this album to all prog listeners who prefer real orchestrations to keyboards and programming and who can stand a power metal theme and a death metal growl. Although Stand Up And Fight is not a typical prog album, it is full of amazing musical ideas and one of the most carefully composed and arranged metal albums ever released. A true masterpiece of rock music.

 Turisas2013 by TURISAS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.05 | 18 ratings

Turisas Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars First, an admission that apart from this album I have only heard a few songs from Turisas. I have kept meaning to investigate the band as they seems to be a heck of a live outfit according to what I have read, but somehow I have never managed it. So, it was with some real interest that I put this album on, and to say that I was surprised is something of an understatement. I know that they have suffered some line-up changes since the last one, but maybe that has had a larger impact than was anticipated as while this is a solid album it is nothing more than that, and I was incredibly disappointed. "No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea" is a throwaway number that I would have expected from an act like Alestorm (I refused to see them in concert, my son-in-law was most upset), not a band with a reputation like Turisas. Even The Pogues were better at this style of music and I'm not a fan of them either!

But, this isn't a bad album throughout, just not what I expected. Opener "For Your Own Good" contains some really good piano which keeps the song grounded, and Mathias Nygård has strong vocals which keep everything on track as the song builds into something far more symphonic and powerful than the introduction suggested. But I expected more folk elements and less power metal, and some of the reviews I have been reading seem to suggest the same. Overall there are a few good numbers but not enough to make it anything special.

 The Varangian Way by TURISAS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.75 | 31 ratings

The Varangian Way
Turisas Progressive Metal

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!

 The Varangian Way by TURISAS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.75 | 31 ratings

The Varangian Way
Turisas Progressive Metal

Review by Clafalc

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 played by violins, strings combinations, or other typical instruments. Another unique aspect of this album is the link between epic music and a lot of progressive features like frequent tempo changes and magnificent, and often long, instrumental sections. I must underline that each musician who composes the band "Turisas" is a master of his instrument and they all own a great musical technique.

Everyone who loves progressive or epic music must listen "The Varangian way" without any doubt.

Claudio Falconcini, Italy

Thanks to UMUR for the artist addition.

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