Ensiferum - what name would suit a band playing battle metal better, than a name that in Latin means "the Swordbearer"?
After finding the band in 1995, Ensiferum's mastermind, guitarist/ main songwriter/ vocalist Markus Toivonen has taken the band safely through turmoils of line-up changes and busy schedules ever since. The band's career fully took flight in 2000 after Spinefarm Records released their self titled debut album Ensiferum, and their busy touring made them a household favourite all over Finland. Their second album Iron took Ensiferum one step further, all the way to Copenhagen's Sweet Silence Studios. There in Denmark, during the Fall of 2003, their second album was recorded within the capable hands of producer Flemming Rasmussen, who in the past had recorded such masterpieces as Metallica's Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning.
Iron was a great success and grew the band's popularity to whole new heights. The album also got the band some extensive touring abroad, but these metallic recordings and gigs finally took such a toll on the band that the year 2004 saw three band members depart: drummer Oliver Fokin, bassist Jukka-Pekka Miettinen and vocalist Jari Mäenpää (later known for his work on Wintersun). This was not the end of the world for the kind of warriors that Ensiferum and its mastermind Markus are, they just took along new, excellent members to replace these sudden gaps in their lineup. Aboard stepped bassist / vocalist Sami Hinkka, drummer Janne Parviainen (also known for his work on Waltari and Barathrum), and vocalist / guitarist Petri Lindroos.
The new lineup was tried and tested on the road touring all through 2005, and from the tour the members headed straight for the studio to make a new mini-album. This mini-CD, later titled Dragonheads, saw the band test their new growler Petri's vocals and their new bassist and drummer's antics in a recorded form. Such fun was the recording that the band did not stop with the mini-album, but also made a live DVD to honour their 10-year career. The "10th Anniversary Live" showed the new line-up playing hits from all Ensiferum-albums, from some of the earliest songs to the latest offerings from Dragonheads. Selling thousands and thousands worldwide, the DVD was the definitive proof that Ensiferum was as strong as ever with its new members in its ranks.
In the end of 2006, Ensiferum took their gear to Helsinki's Sonic Pump Studios to record their third full-length album with producer Nino Laurenne. And what an album they made! With metallic guitars combined to the traditional sounds of such instruments as the Finnish kantele, a bagpipe, nyckelharpa and bodhrans, the sound of Victory Songs was a full, balanced mixture of folk, heavy and battle anthem-like power, complete with the gentle balance between Petri's growling vocals and Markus's and Sami's harmonised choruses. Victory Songs was released during spring 2007 and right after the album release the band started their European tour, played on several festivals, and did a tour in Finland. After the Summer Ensiferum again suffered a loss - the band's long-time keyboard player Meiju Enho decided to leave the band.
A replacement was found in the form of Emmi Silvennoinen who has been playing with the band since then.
More touring took place in the latter part of 2007, and the band stayed on the road for the whole year of 2008, even playing their first ever tour in US. Between the release of Victory Songs and the beginning of 2009 they had had 3 European tours, 3 tours in North America and numerous festival shows around the world, a total of 154 shows.
After being very busy writing and rehearsing new material in early 2009 Ensiferum entered studio Petrax (in Hollola, Finland) on the 13th of April to start the recordings of their fourth studio album with recorder/producer Mr Tero Kinnunen (Nightwish, Amorphis etc.) and Janne Joutsenniemi (the producer behind Victory Songs).