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Music / Turisas

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From left to right: Olli Vänskä, Jaakko Jakku, Mathias Nygård, Robert Engstrand, Jussi Wickström, Jesper Anastasiadis
''The heart of Turisas was forged by four winds
In a smithy high up in the skies
On an anvil honour, with a hammer of blood
The Four Winds pounded''
-"Battle Metal"

Turisas is a battle/folk/viking metal band from Hämeenlinna, Finland, formed in 1997. Their name comes from Iku-Turso, an ancient god of war in the Finnish mythology. Their debut album Battle Metal pretty much named and kick-started an entire subgenre of Heavy Metal.


  • Mathias "Warlord" Nygård : vocals, percussion
  • Jussi Wickström : guitar
  • Jesper Anastasiadis : bass guitar
  • Jaakko Jakku : drums
  • Olli Vänskä : violin
  • Robert Engstrand : keyboards

Former members:

  • Antti "Pormestari" Laurila: Accordion
  • Riku Ylitalo: Keyboard, Accordion
  • Mikko Törmikoski: Bass
  • Janne "Lisko" Mäkinen: Accordion
  • Tino Ahola: Bass
  • Antti Ventola: Keyboard
  • Wincef Boncamper: Accordion
  • Ari Kärkkäinen: Guitar
  • Georg Laakso: Guitar (1999 - 2005)
  • Sami Aarnio: Bass
  • Netta Skog: Back Vocals, Accordéon (2008 - 2011)
  • Hannes "Hannu" Horma: Bass, Back Vocals (2004 - 2011)
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  • Tuomas "Tude" Lehtonen: Drums, Percussions (1997 - 2012)
  • Jukka-Pekka Miettinen: Bass (2011 - 2012)


  • The Heart of Turisas EP (2001)
  • Battle Metal (2004)
  • The Varangian Way (2007)
  • Stand Up and Fight (2011)
  • Turisas2013 (2013)

This band provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Drummer Jaakko Jakku and former bassist Hannes Horma.
  • Asshole Victim: The pirates in "Hunting Pirates" make a living off of killing and stealing from innocents, so no one really feels bad when they're killed by the protagonists.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: "Hunting Pirates" is about a crew of mercenaries that make their living by plundering pirate ships.
  • Badass Baritone: Mathias has quite a deep voice when singing clean.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Several of their songs contain Finnish, Swedish and Russian.
  • Blood Knight : Being a Viking/folk/battle Metal band, lots of their songs (and their costumes) give off this vibe. When your lead singer is nicknamed 'Warlord,' it kinda comes with the territory.
  • Bread and Circuses : Venetoi - Prasinoi is all over this trope., being about a medieval Roman chariot race.
    • "Ladies and gentlemen! The main event of tonight:/On chariots of fire!"
  • The Casanova: Rasputin, according to "Rasputin."
  • Childhood Friends: Wickström and Nygård. They were probably young teenagers when they first met; Nygård's older brother was dating Wickström's older sister at the time. The band formed in 1997, when they would have been fourteen or fifteen, so it's reasonable to assume they met somewhere between 1995 and 1997.
  • Concept Album: The Varangian Way tells the story of a group of Scandinavians traveling the river routes of medieval Russia down to the Byzantine Empire. The story continues on "The March of the Varangian Guard", the opening track of Stand Up and Fight.
  • Drunken Song: "One More".
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Yes, that is Warlord. Yes, he has a crew-cut (presumably from army service) and yes, his entire upper body is covered in black paint and yes he is wearing bell-bottom jeans. These were probably around 2001 or 2002, considering the length of Warlord's hair (it was roughly shoulder-length by the time 'Battle Metal' rolled around in 2004).
  • Epic Rocking : The song "End of an Empire" is a more literal example of this, being a seven minute long song (longer than their standard fare) about, well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Face Your Fears: "Fear The Fear" tells us to do this instead of hiding our heads in the sand.
    And you think you are bold, and you think you are brave
    When push comes to shove, you know it's a feign
    You're better off if you choose to abstain
    Your fear is your true grave
  • Horny Vikings : They feature a few in their lyrics. For example, "The March of the Varangian Guard" is a song dedicated to the Varangian Guard, a group of Norse warriors that swore fealty to the Byzantine Emperor.
  • Horrible History Metal: Albeit done with a rather rousing and inspirational vibe.
  • Large Ham: Red and black warpaint? Costumes that frequently feature leather, fur and armour? A lead singer who can switch from clean baritone vocals to gravelly roars at the drop of a hat? Yeah, they are known for being pretty theatrical.
    "Go now, and don't look back! Give my greeting to the Greek king!"
  • New Sound Album: Turisas2013, which toned down tremendously the pompous orchestrations and choirs that were so prominent part of their sound in previous albums, aiming for a more organic rock sound with a touch of punk. The band even described it as the antithesis of Stand Up and Fight.
    • Not to say they got rid of it altogether. There was still choirs, horns, timpanis and string sections aplenty, but it wasn't nearly as prominent as the previous album, which was practically straight-up symphonic metal.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The protagonists of "Hunting Pirates", who are a mercenary band that make their living hunting pirates. They take a rather sadistic pleasure in killing their targets and plundering their ships, but as they point out, their victims aren't really ones to judge.
    Hoist the sails! Wipe them out now.
    Clear the sea! Show no ruth.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Nygård (headstrong, outgoing, opinionated) is red, Wickström (quiet, rather antisocial, introspective) is blue.
  • Revolving Door Band: Just look at the list of former members. None of their albums have been made with the same line-up.
    • So far, the only musicians who have remained through the entire bands career are Mathias Nygård (Lead vocals), Jussi Wickström (Guitar) and Olli Vänskä (Violin).
  • Shown Their Work: Lyrics in The Varangian Way and Stand Up and Fight show aplenty of knowledge of the medieval Eastern Europe, viking trade routes and Byzantine Empire.
  • War Is Glorious : Almost all of their songs are about battle and fighting. Including, surprisingly enough, 'Battle Metal.'
  • The Quiet One: Jussi Wickström. Both of the band's drummers - Tude Lehtonen and Jaakko Jakku - also apply, to a certain degree.
  • Title Track: "Battle Metal" and "Stand Up and Fight".
  • Unscrupulous Hero: The protagonists of "Hunting Pirates" are a ruthless, greedy, and sadistic band of mercenaries who seemingly take great joy in hunting down and killing pirates. Nonetheless, they seem to genuinely care about exacting justice and making the seas safer. Just as many of the lyrics are devoted to condemning the pirates for their crimes as they are to showing how much fun they're having killing them.
    We have no choice, it's you who are the bad guys.
    Underneath the paint your flag is still black.