First of all I would like to say that I thought 2007's The Varangian Way was a hugely enjoyable effort. Over the top as you could have hoped from Turisas. It had pure fist pumping anthems such as Holmguard and Beyond, Cursed Be Iron and Fields Of Gold as well as moments of pure silliness such as In The Court Of Jarisleif and of course that cover Rasputin. So news of a new album out this year exciting me was a bit of an understatement, unfortunately Stand Up And Fight is very dissappointing.
From Turisas we want silliness, this a band that is far from serious and I'd imagine would happily admit to it. We also want shout along, uplifting anthems, which TVA had in abundance throughout. On the silliness front SUAF is pretty lacking. This seems to be a more mature album (well as mature as people who dress up as and sing about Vikings can be), which is a shame in some ways as it could have benefited from some oddity such as VA's In The Court...
So somewhat lacking on the insanity department, does this album provide the fist-pumping powerful anthems that this band is more than capable of? It does, but unfortunately not enough. The title track is one of the strongest anthems that Turisas has ever written, the first verse is quite a calm affair before letting rip into a mighty roar along chorus which this band excels at. Album opener The March Of The Varangian Guard is also a very strong song which is trailed by the equally stellar Take The Day! which is the strongest use of Orchestral parts on the entire album.
Coming to the use of Orchestral parts, Turisas is a band that has always tried to achieve a grandiose and epic sound using Orchestral elements, creating an atmosphere fit for the battlefield of which they often sing about. Here however this does not come of as strongly as on VA and to a lesser extent 2004's Battle Metal. Other than the songs I have mentioned there is very little here that sets the fire alight. Much of this comes across as more Disney than going into bloody, glorious battle.
On the whole Stand Up And Fight is disappointing, lacking in the silliness of previous efforts and with precious few immediately powerful anthems to get you ready for the battlefield. We know that Turisas could have made a much better album than this, and hopefully next time they will. In order to make up for the lack of silliness on display here, here is a picture I found on Google.
Listen to: The March Of The Varangian Guard, Take The Day!, Stand Up And Fight