Turisas is a Finnish metal band from Hämeenlinna. They were founded in 1997 by Mathias Nygård and Jussi Wickström, and named after an ancient Finnish god of war.
Turisas are a folk metal band, incorporating elements of power metal and symphonic metal along with frequent harsh vocals. Turisas is known to play most of their solos on electric violin, as opposed to traditional guitar solos.
Since 2003, Turisas have been signed to Century Media records, which released their debut album Battle Metal in 2004. Then the band went on a European tour with various guest musicians on instruments such as violins and accordions.
On 28 October 2005, guitarist Georg Laakso was badly injured in a car accident and due to the extent of his spinal cord injuries, on 12 July 2006 issued a statement of his permanent resignation from the band on the official website. Nevertheless, the band continued to work on their second album, titled The Varangian Way, which was released in early 2007. Jussi Wickström recorded all guitars on the album.
Mathias Nygård revealed in the January 2007 edition of Terrorizer magazine that the touring musicians Hannes Horma, Olli Vänskä, Janne Mäkinen and Antti Laurila had been added to the band as full-time members, taking them up to an 8-piece act. It later turned out that of the two accordion players, only Mäkinen had become an official member. Laurila is no longer a touring musician for the band. On 19 February 2007, keyboardist Antti Ventola posted a message on the Turisas discussion forumannouncing that he and the band had parted ways. This was later confirmed by the rest of the band. Mathias Nygård performed the keyboards on The Varangian Way and Turisas are presently using backing tracks to replicate them on stage.
In January 2008, accordion player Janne “Lisko” Mäkinen disappeared mysteriously in Amsterdam. For the upcoming tour dates in spring 2008 Turisas announced Netta Skog as a step-in accordionist. She had already helped the band on the European tour in October–November 2007. Netta was soon after added to the band on a full-time basis.
After a string of festivals in the Summer of 2008, in September the band started a long tour through the United States and Europe in support of DragonForce. This tour ended in March 2009, and the band then took part in a new European tour with Cradle of Filth and Moonspell, dubbed the “Filthfest Tour 2009”, in April and May 2009. The band played at Wacken Open Air in early August 2009 and also played at Bloodstock Open Air in Mid August 2009. The band took time off at the end of 2009 to make a new album and then planned to return as fully-fledged band no longer supporting others. In 2010 the band concentrated on finishing the recordings of the upcoming third album. Still, the band did a short tour in Asia and Australia in May 2010, including headline concerts in Sydney and Melbourne, two gigs in China, a gig in Shanghai World Expo 2010 and a gig in Japan.
As of March 2010, Turisas announced they were in the studio working on a new album; at that time, the band documented the recording process in a series of studio diary videos on YouTube. The title for the latest album, Stand Up and Fight, was revealed on 11 November 2010: the album was released through Century Media on 28 February in Europe and 8 March in North America. A new song off that album: “The March of the Varangian Guard” was performed at the band’s Finnish gigs in October 2010, On 17 December 2010, the title track “Stand Up And Fight” was released as a free download on the band’s website.
The band took part in tours in Mexico and North America with Cradle of Filth, the other supporting bands being Nachtmystium and Daniel Lioneye beginning in January 2011 and in Europe with Die Apokalyptischen Reiter from March through April 2011. Their England tour came with Crimfall as the supporting band, as well as other local supporting bands. 2012 saw them headline the North American “Paganfest: America Part III” tour with Alestorm, Arkona and Huntress in tow.
In November 2012, the band announced they had started work on their fourth album titled Turisas2013. The album was published on 21 August 2013 in Finland, and 26 August in Europe, while the UK followed on 2 September and North America on 3 September.
Turisas2013 / 2013
Turisas2013 is the fourth album by folk metal band Turisas. It was published on August 21 in Finland, and August 26 in Europe, while the UK followed on September 2 and North America on September 3.
The album was produced by vocalist Mathias Nygård and the majority of the album recorded by Nygård and guitarist Jussi Wickström in a remote house outside of Helsinki that served as the Turisas2013 command centre and headquarters. Additional recordings were conducted in two other studios: the drums at Atomic Spa Studio and orchestral recordings at 5 by 5 Studio, both in Helsinki. Many of the vocals and numerous additional elements were tracked at Sound Supreme Studio in Hämeenlinna where Turisas also recorded The Varangian Way and Stand Up and Fight.
Stand Up And Fight / 2011
Stand Up and Fight is the third album by the Finnish folk metal band Turisas, released worldwide on February 23, 2011 through Century Media as a single disc jewelcase and two disc digibook.
According to Nygård, the lyrics, (dealing in part with the 11th century Byzantine Empire) have a universal appeal and are applicable to the modern world. Musically, the band incorporated more progressive elements, as well as influences from such genres as the 1980s stadium rock. For the first time, real string and horn sections were used to record the album, adding to the dynamic sound.
A&R – Melanie Schmidt (2)
Accordion – Netta Skog
Backing Vocals – Janne Saksa
Bass, Backing Vocals – Hannes Horma
Cello – Christian Fagerström (2), Jaakko Pulakka
Choir [Classical] – Karoliina Laurila, Mia Heikkinen, Petteri Lehikoinen, Reetta Haavisto, Tapani Plathan, Vladimir Lumi
Choir [The Varangian Choral Ensemble] – Ami Koivistoinen, Antti Paranko, Hannes Horma, Jaakko Kunnas, Joonas Horma, Jussi Wickström, Lauri Malin, Make Kivistö, Mathias Nygård, Olli Vänskä, Olli Wickström, Saku Teräväinen, Tude Lehtonen
Copyist – Risto Kupiainen
Design – Titanik Helsinki
Drums – Tude Lehtonen
French Horn – Kalle Kataja, Ville Hiilivirta
Guitar [Guitars] – Jussi Wickström
Illustration [Cover] – Pasi Juhola
Lead Guitar [Additional Lead Guitars] – Matias Kupiainen
Management – Halbe Miete Management
Mastered By – Svante Forsbäck
Mixed By – Jens Bogren
Mixed By [Mixing Assistant] – Johan Örnborg
Music By, Lyrics By – Mathias Nygård
Orchestrated By [Additional] – Tomi Malm
Orchestrated By [Orchestration Assistance] – Firat Aktav, Kalle Kataja, Hyssälän Pasi*
Orchestrated By, Arranged By [Classical Choir Arrangements] – Perttu Vänskä
Other [Costumes] – Emmi Vainio, Sanni Pakarinen
Photography By [Band Photo] – Jarmo Katila
Producer – Mathias Nygård
Producer [Assistant] – Janne Saksa, Perttu Vänskä
Programmed By – Mathias Nygård, Mikko P. Mustonen
Programmed By [Additional] – Hannes Horma, Perttu Vänskä, Risto Kupiainen
Recorded By – Janne Saksa
Recorded By [Additional Recordings] – Matias Kupiainen
Recorded By [Orchestral Recordings] – Heikki Savolainen, Jyri Riikonen
Supervised By [Orchestral Arrangements And Classical Choir Arrangements Under The Iron Fist Of] –Nygård
Trumpet – Miikka Saarinen, Tomas Gricius
Viola – Juha Ahvenainen, Katariina Ruokonen, Tina Brännkärr
Violin – Anna Vähälä, Anniina Ahlström, Klaara Pyrhönen, Ville “D.D.” Koponen
Violin, Backing Vocals – Olli Vänskä
Vocals – Mathias Nygård
‘The Bosphorus Freezes Over’ poem written appr. 1043
Recorded at Studio Sound Supreme, Hämeenlinna, Finland between /March-October 2010
Mixed at Fascination Street Studio, Örebro, Sweden /October 2010
Mastered at Chartmakers, Helsinki, Finland
Grand piano on 1-8 recorded at Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna /June 2010
Orchestral recordings at E-Studio, Helsinki /August 2010
Additional recordings at 5 by 5 -studio, Helsinki /July 2010
The Varangian Way / 2007
The Varangian Way is the second full-length album by the Finnish folk metal band Turisas, released on May 27, 2007 through Century Media. It is a concept album that tells the story of a group of Scandinavians traveling the river routes of medieval Kievan Rus’ (territory of modern Belarus, Ukraine and Russia), through Ladoga, Novgorod and Kiev, down to the Eastern Roman Empire.
A Special “Directors Cut” edition was released with the Rasputin single.
A Limited Edition “Pagan Fest Tour Edition” version comes with the bonus tracks, Rasputin and To Holmgard and Beyond (single edit), and a DVD containing the video for Rasputin and several live performances.
Accordion, Choir [Varangian] – Lisko
Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar [Additional], Choir [Mixed Classical] – Janne Saksa
Bass, Backing Vocals, Choir [Varangian] – Hannes Horma
Choir [Mixed Classical] – Anna-Maija Kujanpää, Anu Hostikka, Ari Tuunanen, Eeva-Maija Setälä, Elina Laitinen, Elina Tanner, Heikki Sainio, Irene Kuusirati-Mäkipää, Jari Mattila, Jenna Saksa, Johanna Laukkanen, Juha Hostikka, Juha-Pekka Niemelä, Miia Ehrukainen, Mikko Kankainen, Outi Kaleva, Salla Liusvaara, Tytti Vänskä, Veera Heino
Choir [Varangian] – Ami Koivistoinen, Antti Ventola, Jaakko Kunnas, Perttu Vänskä
Double Bass – Aleski Aromaa
Drums, Percussion, Choir [Varangian] – Tude Lehtonen
Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Choir [Varangian] – Jussi Wickström
Narrator – Jonathan Hutchings
Violin [Acoustic], Violin [Electric], Choir [Varangian] – Olli Vänskä
Vocals [Guest Vocals], Choir [Varangian] – Antti Paranko
Vocals, Programmed By, Keyboards, Choir [Varangian], Choir [Mixed Classical] – Warlord Nygård
Battle Metal / 2004
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.
Turisas was formed in 1997, but didn’t have a recording contract until November 2003, having been signed by Century Media. Thus, Battle Metal is a collection of songs written over a period of six years. 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. 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. 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. After Tude Lehtonen had completed the drum parts, the band left for France to continue recording through December.
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. 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.
“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. “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. 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”. “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.
Recorded At – Sound Suite Studio
Recorded At – Steeltrack Studios
Mastered At – DMS, Marl
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Magic Arts Publishing
Copyright (c) – Century Media Records Ltd.
Pressed By – Sonopress Arvato – 51133604
Accordion – Riku Ylitalo
Acoustic Guitar, Guitar [Electric], Choir – Georg Laakso
Choir – Saku Teräväinen, Sami Aarnio, Teemu Lehtonen, Winsef Boncamper
Cover – Niklas Sundin
Drums, Djembe, Udu, Percussion [Electric], Congas, Bongos, Choir – Tude Lehtonen
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Double Bass, Choir – Jussi Wickström
Lyrics By – Mathias Nygård
Mastered By – Ulf Horbelt
Music By – Antti Ventola (tracks: 5, 8, 9), Jussi Wickström (tracks: 11), Mathias Nygård
Orchestrated By – Antti Ventola
Photography By – Ossi Laakso
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Terje Refsnes
Synthesizer, Piano, Vibraphone, Organ [Hammond], Choir, Orchestra – Antti Ventola
Violin – Olli Vänskä
Vocals [Female] – Emmanuelle Zoldan
Vocals, Recorded By [Alto Vocals, Soprano Vocals, Sopranino], Programmed By, Percussion [Additional, Shaman Drum, Shakers], Tambourine, Choir, Orchestra, Producer, Arranged By [All Arrangements], Orchestrated By – Mathias Nygård
REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Finnish Battle Metal pioneers Turisas played at Apollo Nightclub in Turku on Saturday, 13.4. Although they haven’t released new material in about six years, the old songs never get old,April 15, 2019 by Serena