In a change to this evenings schedule I ended up in Manchester watching Helsinki folk metal band Ensiferum ably supported by Estonian’s Metsatöll.
The M6 to our original destination had become its usual Friday evening car park and catching the train south to Nuneaton would have been nearly £30 each. A quick look on Facebook and alternative plans were hastily arranged. The train to Manchester cost a bargain £7.50 each and it was a 10pm curfew. Two added bonuses
I’m not an ardent fan of the folk metal genre (a slice of the metal genre – whether it be death metal, power metal, black metal – mixed with ethnic music from the bands homeland), but through festivals I’ve seen my fare share of one of Europe’s biggest musical exports. Folk metal, Viking metal or Battle metal as some magazines have dubbed it, appears to have a huge fan base and churns out numerous bands from Europes Northern reaches, especially Scandinavia, but variants can be found even from the Middle East.
Ensiferum have played the UK a couple of dozen times and twice at Bloodstock, but tonight was the first time I’ve witnessed them. To me this music sounds better when it is played in a venue with a roof and four walls. All the little intricacies come across better of the native instruments that get used. Tonight Ensiferum employed the use of an accordion and Metsatöll featured a type of bagpipe.
Taken from 2009’s From Afar album, it’s time to grab your drinking horn and head into the Twilight Tavern.