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Ensiferum: The Warriors

Against all odds, folk metal has risen to become one of metal's most popular subgenres. And Ensiferum are up for the fight.

"It’s OK to smile on stage. You don’t have to be that grim, über-serious heavy metal player. It’s very important to have fun.” In some spheres of heavy metal, the above phrase strays beyond taboo and into blasphemy territory. It’s not just the more-grim-than-thou extreme subgenres that like to keep a straight face, with even bands like Manowar and chart-topping German power metal vampires Powerwolf maintaining an implacably smile-free image.

Yet the above quote from Ensiferum’s Petri Lindroos is probably at the core of why they, and other bands like them from the folk metal school, have become strikingly popular.

“There’s a little bit of a darker side to all the bands, but it’s pretty much music to drink beer to,” Petri elaborates. “It’s meant to be fun; it’s not like when you go see some satanic black metal band that you see people holding their hands together and dancing in circles – that doesn’t quite fit – but in our gigs, it’s fine.”

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