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Ensiferum - Two Decades Of Greatest Sword Hits

Matti Frost   (179 reviews)

Posted: 09/09/2016 | Comments: 5 | Rate:

Even though I love this band and every album they've ever released, I might be the wrong person to review this, and here's why. Ensiferum is one of those bands I get super geeky about, so I'm listening to this and thinking, man, this is it? This is the 20 year greatest hits release? There's so much more that could have been included! Songs that were included that weren't the best songs on the records they appeared on. I feel like that annoying superfan or comic book guy who knows better than the band or label and I'm trying not to be, but 14 tracks with nothing that's unique to this album just feels lazy. If one already owns every album Ensiferum has put out, there's literally no reason to buy this.

It's not remastered. There's no live tracks. There's no B-sides. There's no alternate takes. There's no tracks recorded specifically for this release, no exclusive content whatsoever. Again, what would make the Ensiferum fan buy this?

Perhaps it's not meant for us. Me. Whomever. Maybe it's for those who don't know where to start diving into a band whose path spans two decades. That's a fair point, but as a fan I'd argue that the collection of music on this compilation is not definitive enough. The songs do not sufficiently display the diversity and breadth of their musical offerings. Not one of their spaghetti western anthems (Ferrum Aeternum or Stone Cold Metal) made it onto this compilation. That's huge because that's a big part of what sets Ensiferum apart from the crowd of folk metal bands. They have that whole cowboy thing happening and it's not represented here at all. The disco song made it, though. Praise the gods.

Where are some of their more powerful songs from their 20 years of musical pillaging? Slayer of Light? Guardians of Fate? Deathbringer From the Sky? Ahti? Axe of Judgment? Not even Hero in a Dream?This really should have been a double album, and it seems like a contract fulfillment release.

So... that being said, all the songs on here are great in their own right, and it's a good introduction to Ensiferum, but it really is a gloss-over of what is an amazing catalog and career. It's something every fan of this band has already. I guess I'd vaguely recommend it to those who have never heard Ensiferum, but I'd be more likely to recommend their first album in its entirety.

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