Turisas (1997-present): a Folk Metal band from Hameenlinna , Finland.
urisas were formed by Warlord Nygård and Jussi Wickström in 1997 originally under the name Köyliö in 1997, in Hämeenlinna, a small city right in the heart of the pagan forests of South/Mid-Finland. The band's name is after an ancient Finnish sea monster that was considered a war god. Their first recording Taiston Tie (The Battle Path) 1998 is still kept locked away and unreleased due to its poor sound quality. In 2000 Turisas recorded their demo-CD The Heart of Turisas and, with the assistance of a few energetic live shows, started to catch peoples attention from both fans and labels.
In 2003 'Century Media Records' signed the band to a worldwide deal and Battle Metal resulted in spring of 2004.
On 28 October 2005, guitarist Georg Laakso was badly injured in a car accident and due to the extent of his spinal cord injuries he resignad from the band. This was not a good year for him because back on July 2004 he was stabbed six times in the back after getting in a fight with a stranger, but suffered no serious injuries. Nevertheless, the band continued to work on their second album, titled The Varangian Way (2007). Jussi Wickström recorded guitars for the album.
In January 2008, accordion player Janne "Lisko" Mäkinen disappeared mysteriously in Amsterdam. For the upcoming tour dates in spring 2008 Turisas announced Netta Skog would step-in; this arrangement became permanent shortly later.
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There may be many folk-influenced bands hailing from Finland nowadays, but Turisas may out to be the most diverse wild bunch, daring to even incorporate unusual influences as well as historic elements. The songs recorded are all very pagan 'Battle Metal'. Rex Regi Rebellis turns out to be the most epic song on the album. The tune, which simply must be heard in its entire diversity, is based on the Finnish poet Zacharias Topelius' historical novel Surgeon's Stories (or In Times of Gustavus Adolphus) which deals with The Thirty Years War fought in Europe 1618-1648. The battle is just about to begin, so grab your sword and join the ranks of Turisas marching for war under the banner of Mathias "Warlord" Nygård (lead vocals/keyboard/percussion), Jussi Wickström (guitar/backing vocals/bass), Olli Vänskä (violin/backing vocals), Jesper Anastasiadis (bass) and Jaakko Jakku (drums).
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