Battle Metal

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Battle Metal
Battle Metal Cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 26, 2004
RecordedNovember 2003 - March 2004 at Sound Suite Studio (Marseilles, France) and Steeltrack Studio (Parola, Finland)
GenreFolk metal, power metal, symphonic metal, Viking metal
LabelCentury Media
ProducerTerje Refsnes
Mathias Nygård
Turisas chronology
The Heart of Turisas
Battle Metal
The Varangian Way

Battle Metal is the debut full-length album by the Finnish folk metal band Turisas. It was released on July 26, 2004 by Century Media.[1][2]

Background and production[edit]

Turisas was formed in 1997, but didn't have a recording contract until November 2003, having been signed by Century Media.[3] Thus, Battle Metal is a collection of songs written over a period of six years.[4] The band began pre-production and recorded a demo in early 2003, after Mathias Nygård, the band's singer and songwriter had completed his one-year military service.[5] Turisas had originally planned to enter a studio later that year, but decided to postpone upon learning that only three and a half weeks of recording time would be available to them.[6] By autumn, Nygård was offered up to five weeks of recording time at the Sound Suite Studio in Marseille, France, with Terje Refsnes, a notable producer. Actual recording began in November at the Steeltrack Studio in Parola, Finland, with the violin parts by Olli Vänskä, followed by accordion by Riku Ylitalo.[7] After Tude Lehtonen had completed the drum parts, the band left for France to continue recording through December.[8]

The band had remained at the Sound Suite Studio for thirty days, but was unable to finish the recording, still missing the vocals, choirs, as well as some acoustic instruments and percussions and returned to Finland.[9] Most of these was recorded at the Steeltrack Studio in January - February 2004, while Nygård went back to Marseille to complete the vocals; Battle Metal was finally finished on March 31.[10]


"Victoriae & triumphi dominus" ("Lord of Victiory and Triumph") is an instrumental intro, leading to the opening track, "As Torches Rise", meant to capture a battlefield's atmosphere of darkness and despair.[11] "Battle Metal" is a remake of "The Heart of Turisas" from the eponymous 2001 demo with subdued growling. "The Land of Hope and Glory" delves into the themes of nostalgia and homecoming, combining folky sounds with a bombastic chorus. "The Messenger", one of the band's oldest songs, explores the topics of fate and religion. "One More" is based around a violin theme, which was first featured in the song "Terra Tavestorum", appearing on the 1999 demo of the same name. Set in a tavern, the song's mood is reminiscent of the absent friends. Its folky tunes are reminiscent of the Romani music and are complemented by a big, orchestrated chorus. "Midnight Sunrise", an older song as well, contrasts the myths of various evil creatures living in dark places, unable to handle sunlight, and coming out at night to prey with the phenomenon of the midnight sun. "Among Ancestors" is a choir-driven song, describing a battlefield on which the warring soldiers are missed by their loved ones. "Sahti-waari", which can be roughly translated as "Old Man Ale", is a homage to the traditional homebrewed beer from the Häme region of Finland.[11] Vaari, the Finnish word for grandfather, is not about any particular character. Rather, it is a celebration of the old traditions and their recent reemergence in the form of neopaganism. The lyrics in "Prologue for R.R.R." are taken from the opening for the historical novel The Surgeon's Stories: Times of Gustaf Adolf by Zacharias Topelius, a Fennoswede author. "Rex regi rebellis" ("The King is Rebellious Towards the King" in Latin) is dedicated to the Thirty Years' War and the Finnish cavalry Hakkapeliitta, the topics that have fascinated Mathias Nygård since childhood. The title again comes from The Surgeon's Stories; the lyrics in Swedish are by Topelius as well, taken from "Finska rytteriets marsch i trettioåriga kriget".[11] "Katuman kaiku" ("The Echoe of Lake Katuma") is an instrumental outro. Katumajärvi is a lake in the Häme region, which was targeted by the Second Swedish Crusade to subjugate and Christianise the local Pagan tribes. According to a legend, when the invaders left, the locals jumped into the lake to wash away their baptism and continued to practice the old beliefs and traditions for many years to come, with some surviving into the 19th century.[11]

Track listing[edit]

1."Victoriae & Triumphi Dominus" (Lord of Victory and Triumph)Mathias Nygård1:27
2."As Torches Rise"Nygård4:51
3."Battle Metal"Nygård4:23
4."The Land of Hope and Glory"Nygård6:22
5."The Messenger"Nygård, Antti Ventola4:42
6."One More"Nygård6:50
7."Midnight Sunrise"Nygård8:15
8."Among Ancestors"Nygård, Ventola5:16
9."Sahti-Waari" ("Old Man Ale ")Nygård, Ventola2:28
10."Prologue for R.R.R."Nygård, Zacharias Topelius3:09
11."Rex Regi Rebellis" (The King Is Rebellious Towards the King)Nygård, Topelius, Jussi Wickström7:10
12."Katuman Kaiku" ("The Echoe of Lake Katuma")Nygård2:22
13."Till the Last Man Falls" (Japanese edition bonus track)Nygård5:29
14."Terra Tavestorum" (Japanese edition bonus track)Nygård5:34
15."Midnight Sunrise (Live)" (Japanese edition bonus track)Nygård7:01

The 2009 reissue features the "Battle Metal 2008" music video, as well as two live tracks, "As Torches Rise" and "One More" recorded at Ruisrock and Wanaja festivals respectively in 2008.[12]


Additional Musicians

  • Riku Ylitalo – accordion
  • Olli Vänskä –violin
  • Emmanuelle Zoldan – female vocals


Chart performance for Battle Metal
Chart (2022) Peak
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[13] 20


  1. ^ "TURISAS: New Song Posted Online". June 18, 2004.
  2. ^ a b "Turisas – Battle Metal". Discogs. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  3. ^ "Finland's TURISAS Ink Deal With CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS". December 11, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  4. ^ Lindsø, Jan F. (February 23, 2004). "Turisas - Interview with Jussi Wickström". Beat the Blizzard. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  5. ^ Nygård, Mathias (January 3, 2003). "Battle Metal Studio Diary - 03.01.2003". Archived from the original on December 21, 2004. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  6. ^ Smit, Jackie (September 30, 2004). "Thus Spake the War God". Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  7. ^ Nygård, Mathias (November 2003). "Battle Metal Studio Diary - November 2003". Archived from the original on December 21, 2004. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  8. ^ Lehtonen, Tude (December 1, 2003). "Battle Metal Studio Diary - Monday, December 1st". Archived from the original on September 28, 2004. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  9. ^ "Latest News - 12.01.2004". January 12, 2004. Archived from the original on February 4, 2005. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  10. ^ "Battle Metal Studio Diary - Wednesday, March 31st". March 31, 2004. Archived from the original on March 28, 2005. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d "Turisas - Battle Metal (Song by Song)". Metal Storm. October 27, 2004. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  12. ^ "Turisas – Battle Metal". Discogs. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  13. ^ "Turisas: Battle Metal" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 27 March 2022.

External links[edit]