1. The March Of The Varangian Guard 2. Take The Day! 3. Hunting Pirates 4. Venetoi! - Prasinoi! 5. Stand Up And Fight 6. The Great Escape 7. Fear The Fear 8. End Of An Empire 9. The Bosphorus Freezes Over2011 Century Media Records
Folk metal is an extremely divisive genre, and chances are that you either love everything it has to offer or you wouldn't really care if the ship sank on it tomorrow. Sure, it has produced a few hidden gems over the years (in fact, so well-hidden that I haven't found them yet, and not from a lack of trying), but that's arguably true of every genre. The fact that Stand Up And Fight definitely isn't one of those gems requires no such speculation, however. Turisas' third full-length effort is so unbelievably middle-of-the-road, it's confusing. Turisas has always represented both the best and the worst of the folk metal genre simultaneously; I challenge you to find something catchier than the opening of the soon-to-be-timeless sea shanty "Hunting Pirates." Likewise, finding music that's cheesier and uses atypical instruments less tastefully is nearly impossible. When compared to the band's previous efforts, Stand Up And Fight sees Turisas evaluating every aspect of their musical style and deciding that cranking everything folk to the extreme was the best way forward. The lyrics are more laughable, the vocals are cleaner, the symphonic elements are less subtle, and the metal is hardly anywhere to be found. Don't get me wrong though; there are definitely a few tracks where the overall epic feel of the music gets the better of the mindless folking around (sorry). The choruses in both the title track and "Take The Day!" are forceful, memorable, and catchy sing-along moments that are sure to get the better of even the most skeptical concert goer. Fast forward a couple tracks, and "Fear The Fear" kicks off with an intense and interesting opening that seems to signal a late push at redemption. The hope doesn't last long though, as the first line of the chorus, "Good morning world, this is your wakeup call," really just leaves you with a desire to test the durability of your head against a wall. Maybe that's just me. It's a shame too, because the recognizable melody in the preceding track, "The Great Escape," had just put me in a good mood (if you're a Monty Python And The Holy Grail fan, which you should be, you'll know what I mean). Bottom Line: Some people are of the opinion that with Stand Up And Fight, Turisas somehow reached the pinnacle of disgustingly cheesy, horrible folk metal so effectively that they rolled back over into favourable territory. But, Lambgoat readers of all people should know that even the best gimmicks start to grate on your nerves after a very short period of time. You might get some satisfaction out of this record, even if it comes from the unintentional lyrical hilarity (it's pretty obvious that these guys are damn serious here), but I'm willing to bet the album will find its way to your recycle bin within a week.
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