Ensiferum are a Viking metal band from Helsinki. Their original members were Markus Toivonen, Sauli Savolainen and Kimmo Miettinen. Not long after forming, they were joined by original frontman Jari Mäenpää, who became one of the band's principal songwriters. They recorded several demos and went through several lineup changes before finally releasing their self-titled debut album in 2001. This was followed three years later by Iron. These two albums are considered by some to be the band's "golden age".
After Iron was finished, Jari Mäenpää was forced to leave the band due to a scheduling conflict between the tour for Iron and the recording sessions for his side project Wintersun's debut album. He was replaced by Petri Lindroos of Norther. They went on the record an EP, Dragonheads, which contained some new songs as well as a couple of songs originally from their early demos. Three albums, Victory Songs, From Afar and Unsung Heroes, have come after that. They've been well-received, but a substantial portion of the fans insist that the band sucks now that Jari's gone.
- Petri Lindroos vocals, guitar (2004-present)
- Markus Toivonen guitar, percussion, backing vocals (1995-present), clean vocals (2004-present)
- Sami Hinkka bass, clean vocals (2004-present)
- Janne Parviainen drums (2005-present)
- Pekka Montin - keyboards, clean vocals (2020-present)
- Sauli Savolainen - bass (1995-98)
- Kimmo Miettinin - drums (1995-98)
- Jari Mäenpää - vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming (1996-2004)
- Jukka-Pekka Miettinin - bass, backing vocals (1998-2004)
- Oliver Fokin - drums, percussion (1998-2005)
- Meiju Enho - keyboards, piano, organ, backing vocals (2001-07)
- Emmi Silvennoinen - keyboards, piano, organ, backing vocals (2009-16)
- Netta Skog - accordion, vocals (2016-17)
- Ensiferum (2001)
- Iron (2004)
- Dragonheads EP (2006)
- Victory Songs (2007)
- From Afar (2009)
- Unsung Heroes (2012)
- One Man Army (2015)
- Two Paths (2017)
- Thalassic (2020)
Tropes relating to Ensiferum
- Cover Version: of Vandraren by Nordman, Into Hiding by Amorphis, Lady in Black by Uriah Heep and Bamboleo by Gipsy King, among others.
- Epic Rocking: Victory Song and Heathen Throne duo pass the 10-minute mark, while Passion, Proof, Power clocks in 17 minutes.
- Folk Metal: The primary music genre.
- Funny Background Event: The 'Week 2' video of the studio diaries series starts with Emmi playing a piano piece. Then, about sixteen seconds in...well, just keep your eyes on the window.
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence: Halfway through 'Two of Spades'.
- Harsh Vocals: The primary style, though both male and female clean vocals also show up fairly often.
- Jari's vocals were more high pitched than what Petri offers.
- Heavy Mithril
- I Am the Band: Markus Toivonen
- Lead Bassist: Sami Hinkka is a minor type B.
- Mascot: The viking that appears on all of their album artwork.
- Melodic Death Metal: Arguable.
- Metal Scream: Jari did them sometimes. After he left they've mostly vanished from vocals (Deathbringer From the Sky being a rare exception).
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: About 8, as despite the Harsh vocals and fast tempos the music is usually melodic and bombastic rather than brutal.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Evidently in Passion, Proof, Power, which adds folk elements, orchestral backgrounds and opera vocals into Power Metal-ish guitars.
- Rated M for Manly
- Revolving Door Band: Markus remains the only original member.
- Something Completely Different: Iron and Stone Cold Metal shift from viking and pagan themes to Western lyrics.
- Soprano and Gravel
- Special Guest: Vesa-Matti Loiri, a famous Finnish actor and singer, recites poetry in Pohjola.
- Spoken Word in Music: The German Big-Lipped Alligator Moment in Passion, Proof, Power.
- The Smurfette Principle: Both of Ensiferum's keyboard players (Meiju Enho and Emmi Silvennoinen) have been women, but they are the only female members the band has had.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Good luck finding photos or clips from any of their live performances where Petri, Sami and Markus have their shirts on. Janne, for the most part, keeps his on, as does Emmi (for obvious reasons).
- Warrior Heaven: Twilight Tavern. Being a Viking based folk metal band, it come to no surprise.