Six hairy men sporting showy fur outfits and playing unashamedly militant metal: an easy target not only for eggs thrown by animal activists, but also for the cynicism of those who cannot tolerate the words "humour" and "music" in the same sentence. No wonder, then, that also the members of Turisas, the namesake of a Finnish war god (but that's just a funny coincidence, apparently), have had to work hard in order to prove that they've got plenty of soul, heart and passion hidden under their fur coats.

But what Turisas really has in common with other prophets is not just a hirsute look, but the fact that they too had to travel out of their own land in order to get proper recognition. After Turisas signed a record deal with large German metal company Century Media in the early 2000s, the two albums that followed (Battle Metal, 2004, and The Varangian Way, 2007) were the band's pathway to major success in Central Europe. Though at the time of being selected as Newcomers of the Year by UK's Metal Hammer magazine in 2006 they had already played more than ten years together, their other achievements have been more fitting: covers of numerous momentous metal magazines and UK and European tours with such names as Iced Earth, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter and Lordi.

For some reason, Turisas is still waiting for their big breakthrough on their home ground. It shouldn't be because of lack of grandiloquence or melodic profusion of the music or because of the modesty of their stage show. When the band gets onstage with their violinist, accordionist, red and black facial paint and all, the abundance of audiovisual stimuli is almost overwhelming. Lengthy European and US tours in the spring 2008 make sure that Turisas will enter the humble city of Joensuu fighting fit, ready to leave a lasting impression on the retinas and eardrums of every spectator in the audience.


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