After founding the band in 1995, Ensiferum's mastermind Markus Toivonen has lead his troops through thick and thin. The band's career took off in 2000, when after the release of their eponymous debut album, their active touring and riotous stage act made them a fast household name in their native Finland.
Their sophomore album took Ensiferum to Copenhagen, where “Iron” was recorded with producer Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica etc.). "Iron" saw the band's popularity skyrocket and sent the band touring abroad, but - as they say, gain some, lose some - 2004 saw three members leaving the band. Being the warrior Markus is, he soon recruited stellar new members to fill the ranks with bassist Sami Hinkka, drummer Janne Parviainen (Waltari/Barathrum) and screamer/axemaster Petri Lindroos.
Having the new troops tested on the road through 2005, the band returned to studio to record a mini-CD, "Dragonheads", and to cap the festivities of their 10 year career Ensiferum also recorded a live DVD, "10th Anniversary Live", which includes the band's hits right from the early days up to new "Dragonheads" songs.
In 2006, their 3rd album introduced a widened Ensiferum soundscape, with traditional instruments like the Finnish kantele, a bagpipe, nyckelharpa and bodhrans. "Victory Songs" was a powerful amalgam of folk music, metal and catchy war anthems, topped with Lindroos' screamed and grunted vocals and the crisp and clean harmony singing of messieurs Toivonen & Hinkka. "Victory Songs" were unleashed to the world in the spring of 2007 and took Ensiferum onto another European tour, more festivals and a tour in Finland. Now enlisting new keyboarder Emmi Silvennoinen, the band spent the whole of 2008 on the road, totalling 154 shows between the release of "Victory Songs" and the start of 2009, with 3 European tours, 3 North American tours and several festivals.
Having rehearsed new material in early 2009, Ensiferum entered studio Petrax (in Hollola, Finland) in April with producers Tero Kinnunen and Janne Joutsenniemi, and now they’ve recorded their most impressive and ambitious body of work to date. "From Afar" is a monster, a magnum opus that yet more broadens the sonic horizon of Ensiferum. Epic songs, cinematic arrangements and a fresh symphonic approach sees Ensiferum reclaim the throne of battle metal with nine more unforgettable anthems for you to howl along and hoist your tankards to. Like Tuonela’s Dark Stream, its icy waters flow through your spine, “From Afar” is a tour of chills like you’ve never known before.
Iron. Blood. Epic folk metal. Ensiferum are back. Now a Legend.