Live at The House of Blues, Hollywood, CA 05/08/2008 as part of Pagan Fest USA

Review by Travis Baumann

For the Pagan Fest tour, Ensiferum were the headlining act. I was not familiar with the band but so far all the bands that played were awesome, especially Turisas who was on the stage immediately before them.

Ensiferum have a huge following apparently as most of the audience were wearing their shirts and went crazy when they finally took the stage.

They all came on shirtless except for the woman playing keyboards and they guy on drums. They all sported Celtic style Viking skirts and war paint on their faces.

They play an extremely heavy form of Viking Metal with fairly aggressive growling vocals except when all of the other members joined in to sing in unison which lent it a nice powerful choir effect. I had listened to maybe two songs online and knew what to expect but they are quite a bit more energetic and involving live obviously.

They had cool Viking style banners behind the guys on the sides and the keyboard stand and drums had sword and shield motiffs to emphasize the war-bringer mentality of battle metal.

The entire evening had been great up unto this point and they just carried the fun mentality through to the end.

I enjoyed myself quite a bit, having joined Turisas in downing a few pints during their commaradie inducing drinking songs and while they stole the show, I was glad there was at least one more great band to enjoy before going home for the night. I think that the Pagan Fest was a great idea and went over really well here in Los Angeles.

I love European and Scandanavian music influences and this year the value of the dollar has been such that getting over there to see bands was not going to happen so it was awesome to get some of these bands to come to us, specially wrapped up in a theme event where all the acts shared a mentality and a general style.

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