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Moonsorrow - Viides Luku - Hävitetty CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.20 | 78 ratings

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4 stars Ravaged I glance upon this bruised land

I was walking through the burned out terrain; no one in sight, only scavenging birds picking at the remains of bodies from the last battle that went on here. The fire is seen from afar; the heat from it reaching despite the distance; its sound carried on the mild wind. All starts slowly and calmly. Then start the beating of the drums, the guitar gently playing. As if to lure me into their midst, promising nothing will harm me now after the storm. The chanting vocals of the choir speak of coldness and despair (with a possibility of hope that would later turn out futile); now we realize the storm shall start yet again with a big bang. The electro-acoustic guitar prepares us, giving the intro, joined by the bass. Then it starts. slowly bursting powerfully from its shell the riffs sear through the landscape. All of a sudden it accelerates and the main theme starts. This theme will lead the first part and will reappear in the later parts of this thirty minute track. We are now soaring through the darkened battle-field, overhead. The music, as mentioned, is curled around the main theme, developed and deconstructed through it, brought around and about it, always returning, and constantly bumping away from it. One would think that half an hour of one track is too much for this sort of music; but it's not. The musical ideas are well exploited, well developed and well played. It is intense, powerful and even mesmerizing. Dark and foreboding, the music is mysterious and the art-work fits it perfectly. There is a sense of doom in the air, as if we are about to lose our souls. The music portrays this very well. At about the half point of the track, comes the complementing second theme, which is a swirling riff with a climatic alternate end point. Moonsorrow manages to pull me through this journey, hypnotizing me, making me follow them on those sound-wings, looking beneath me at the scorched ground. It is extreme metal befitting extreme situation. The music seems to fit glacial scenery, a stormy winter night; however, I am filled with great warmth as I listen to their music.

Though the band has shifted in their direction, there are all the recognizable elements of their black metal and Viking metal roots. Though it is less melodic and accessible than prior efforts, it is much more experimental, explorative and progressive. They develop less musical ideas but to a greater extent. Here they show how far they have gone from the days of Suden Uni. This album represents a superb progression of the band from albums which are good example of having progressive tendencies themselves. They have toned down some of their viking metal characteristics (though not completely but relatively) and have emphasized the aggressive and extreme metal side. It would seem that the band is now interested in focusing on creating metallic sceneries, focusing more on development and exploration of distinct and few musical schemes; they seem to like creating a flowing and coherent wall of riffs and blasts. I can only imagine how their next album will sound if I judge by what has been done here.

I won't go into the second track, as there is a similar pattern there as well with regards to developing and exploring a musical theme. All that was said about the first track applies here as well. I'll only say that it is even more extreme and aggressive, while also having somewhat more melodic touches to it. This album has a big scope; not only in the sense that that tracks are so long, but also in that the sound of the album sounds big; it conjures up in my mind images of a huge landscape; the music itself has a big volume if that makes sense. All of these make this album become a life-size experience, a voyage to a place far away from my everyday life. This is exactly what I want from the music I listen to; to carry me away.

Being a longtime fan of the band, I wasn't sure at first what they were aiming at; it took several listens to realize all that I wrote above. Now after many listens, I'm so happy with this album, that I like it as much as my other favourite album by them, Voimasta Ja Kunniasta. If you liked Moonsorrow's previous efforts, then you should get this as well! For fans of extreme metal, black metal, Viking metal etc. this is highly recommended.

avestin | 4/5 |


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