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JUMALTEN AIKA

Moonsorrow

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Moonsorrow Jumalten Aika album cover
3.89 | 49 ratings | 2 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Jumalten aika (The Age of Gods) (12:43)
2. Ruttolehto incl. Päivättömän päivän kansa (Plague Grove incl. People of the Dayless Day) (15:21)
3. Suden tunti (Wolf's Hour) (7:06)
4. Mimisbrunn (Mímir's Well) (15:56)
5. Ihmisen aika (Kumarrus pimeyteen) (The Age of Man (A Bow into Darkness)) (16:01)

Total Time 67:06

Bonus disc from 2016 SE:
1. Soulless (Grave cover) (3:19)
2. Non serviam (Rotting Christ cover) (5:10)

Total Time 8:28

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Henri Urponpoika Sorvali / acoustic, lead & rhythm guitars, keyboards, accordion, mouth harp, recorder, tin whistle, chorus vocals
- Mitja Harvilahti / lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals
- Ville Seponpoika Sorvali / fretted & fretless basses, lead & backing vocals
- Marko "Baron" Tarvonen / drums, percussion, 12-string acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- "Lord" Markus Eurén / backing vocals, keyboards

With:
- Jaakko Lemmetty "Hittavainen" / violin, flute
- Janne Perttilä / vocals & chorus
- Helena Haaparanta / vocals
- Jonne Järvelä / vocals
- Mynni Luukkainen / vocals
- Jakke Viitala / chorus vocals

Releases information

The title translates to "The Age of Gods"

Artwork: Ritual Nucleart

CD Century Media ‎- 88985301102 (2016, Europe)
2xCD Century Media ‎- 88985301092 (2016, Europe) Bonus disc with 2 cover songs; Different cover art

Thanks to CassandraLeo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Jumalten AikaJumalten Aika
Limited Edition
Century Media 2016
Audio CD$13.09
$9.00 (used)

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MOONSORROW Jumalten Aika ratings distribution


3.89
(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
33%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (10%)
10%
Collectors/fans only (18%)
18%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

MOONSORROW Jumalten Aika reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Jumalten aika' - Moonsorrow (85/100)

Moonsorrow are one of the most consistent bands in metal history. They've built their sound around elevating folk metal conventions to a scope rivalling Western classical music, and they've done managed to do so without skipping a single mark in their career. Everyone will have their favourites (V: Hävitetty holds a particularly special place for me) but the fact remains that the band's reputation encourages high expectations. With each new album it's expected that Moonsorrow will reinvent the folk metal template somehow, and that they'll achieve that by means of an epic scope and masterful execution.

Jumalten aika is certainly masterful. It's also easily the most epic sound bite yet released in 2016. Once again, Moonsorrow get across the impression of being a full-bodied folk metal symphony. The compositions are lavish and involved, and no expense has been spared on fleshing out the arrangement with authentic and nuanced sound. I don't think I'd have needed to hear Jumalten aika to be able to describe the album as such. Was any part of Jumalten aika really a surprise?

This is just the sort of album I could expect from Moonsorrow. All of the things I've loved about their past work are here as well. Such as it is, Jumalten aika was one of those rare cases where I felt like I'd heard the music before from my first listen onward. Five years was a long time to wait for a new album, but from the sounds here, they've made it worth the while. Strangely enough, despite my initial thought being that every expectation had been met, Jumalten aika's been one of the biggest growers in their discography for me. Essentially structured as a journey spread across four epics and a shorter song, it takes a few listens for the wealth of musical detail to really sink in.

One of Moonsorrow's greatest strengths has been their ability to lend appropriate weight to longer songwriting. Structured similarly to Verisäkeet, Jumalten aika is best seen as a single journey, with four epics each comprising a movement in the bigger picture. Like Verisäkeet, the latest work offers an opportunity for Moonsorrow's black metal affectations to shine through. "Ruttolehto" and "Mimisbrunn" come close to Nokturnal Mortum in the way black metal is incorporated with the pagan folk textures. Riffs and earworms tend to take a backseat to the cinematic atmosphere and bombastic arrangements. Even so, while the album took a few spins to grow, it's never inaccessible. The album hits hard and immediately, and repeated listening has only nurtured my appreciation. For all the influence they've taken from progressive rock, Moonsorrow have escaped all of its pomp and pretensions.

Of the five tracks, "Ruttolehto" and "Mimisbrunn" are the two that really stand out. All of the pieces here are superb, but those two are the ones that could rival anything else the band has done. "Ruttolehto" pairs off pagan black metal passages with longform Finnish folk and Bathory-type anthemry. True to tradition, the different parts of a composition flow together organically. Moonsorrow escape a lot of the common pitfalls of writing epics. "Mimisbrunn" is less over-the-place than "Ruttolehto", but for the way it builds and triumphantly erupts, it could well be my favourite track ever from them.

I remember being really disappointed when I heard the single "Suden tunti" prior to the album's release. Now that I've heard the full album, the track seems to gracefully accept its role as the intentional lowpoint. It may be a sight plodding, but the more rock-oriented approach is a welcome respite from the more involved material. "Suden tunti" is a worthy plateau to an album that's been structured like a mountain. If "Ruttolehto" and "Mimisbrunn" represent the treacherous slopes, the first and last tracks represent ground. Jumalten aika doesn't achieve quite as many of the eargasmic moments of Verisäkeet or V: Hävitetty, but it's graced with a near-impeccable sense of flow.

Despite their instantly identifiable sound, I could always count on hearing evolution in Moonsorrow's work. See: The difference between the folk-proggy Kivenkantaja and the balls-out aggression on Verisäkeet, or the way they tightened themselves up on Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa following the sprawling V: Hävitetty. If I needed to ascribe a negative trait to this latest album, it'd be that I don't feel like Moonsorrow have pushed their sound forward this time around. In many ways, it actually sounds like they tried to retread the territory on Verisäkeet rather than to reinvent themselves once again. This is a bit of a double-edged sword. As much as Jumalten aika could have been more individually memorable with its "own" sound, the return to Moonsorrow's best sound cannot be a bad thing. They're approaching their art with all of the same tact and inspiration as you might expect. The only difference is that the experience is already familiar this time around.

The progression from "Jumalten aika" ("The Age of Gods") to "Ihmisen aika" ("The Age of Men") makes a simple, but powerful statement about paganism and belief in general. Moonsorrow are incredibly rooted in history and folk culture, but I can't help but interpret the theme of the album as being very relevant to the modern world. How are spiritual beliefs supposed to survive in the face of liberal scepticism and science? And perhaps more importantly, how is an authentic connection with nature possible in an increasingly digital, industrialized society? The end of an "age of gods" may carry cynical undertones, but ample proof of hope lies in the music itself. This is organic, folkish, nature-oriented art, and no 21st century travails have seen fit to rob Moonsorrow of their power.

Originally written for Heathen Harvest Periodical

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars MOONSORROW has carved out a unique niche in the extreme metal world having successfully positioned itself equidistantly smack dab in the middle between the world of black metal and the pagan Finnish folk music that is the source of their inspiration and philosophical outlook. On the black metal side from whence they sprung forth, they have kept many (if not all) of its aesthetics including the corpse paint visual effect, the intense distorted buzz saw wall of noise along with the other ubiquitous black metal elements such as blastbeats and raspy snarled vocals too buried beneath the din to discern all the while wrapped up in chaotic swirls of extreme Viking intensity. They have nurtured these attributes quite well over time never letting the incremental intrusions of the stronger folk elements or slicker production ever once distract from the overall goal of remaining firmly in the extreme shopping section of the greater metal universe. After a long five year wait for rabid fans foaming at the mouth awaiting a followup to 2011's "Varjoina Kulijemme Kuolleiden Maassa," they release their 7th full-length epic black folk metal JUMALTEN AIKA ("The Age Of Gods") and prove that their style seems to have no limits in how to expand into ever widening arenas without significantly changing the core of the band's sound.

One of the most surprising things about MOONSORROW is that it's never really a surprise as to what kind of album they will release. They dutifully check off every single element that defines their sound that began way back on "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" and adamantly adhere to the formula set forth ever since. That usual formula has consisted of sprawling ten minute plus epic tracks that commence with slow atmospheric build ups that erupt into black metal fury wrapped around Finnish folk metal song structures and then draw out and eke every possible variation from every single cadence possible. In this aspect JUMALTEN AIKA is absolutely identical to previous albums where all these elements pretty much develop in identical fashion. The most surprising thing to me with JUMALTEN AIKA is exactly how gracefully MOONSORROW expands these set standards and create an album even more lush and brutal than its predecessors in a seemingly effortless and logical way. First of all, the song structures are stronger with deep earwormy hooks that sink in deep from the get go and the magical chemistry of the atmospheric keyboards, black metal guitar, bass and drum fury accompanied by the folk aspects that include violin, flute, accordion and mouth harp just play so very very well together.

One of the things that takes JUMALTEN AIKA into slightly more elevated territory is the supreme production aspects along with a more heightened sense of folk and symphonic elements including a larger roster of chorus vocal contributions in addition to the five permanent members of the band. While the black metal has been beaten into submission as to maintain the harsh brutality of that respective world, the folk and symphonic characteristics have been given more of a free rein in creating a more polished sound than before. If that wasn't enough MOONSORROW has certainly attained a state of maturity that allows them the luxury of knowing just how long to let a passage linger before it outstays its welcome as well as knowing when to let certain aspects drop out as to let others shine. I have to admit that i seldom have hope that MOONSORROW will find the gumption to keep their set sound fresh and relevant in the contemporary metal universe but i have to fully admit that with JUMALTEN AIKA they have surprised me and am in awe of their ability to take the slower burner approach of slightly upping their elements incrementally from one album to next by staying true to their core sound but expanding from within in totally logical arrangements.

MOONSORROW once again proves that they are masters of their unique amalgamation of Finnish folk and black metal. As they transcend from one stage of their existence to another, they remain firmly planted in their philosophical roots and only adding new elements to their sound where they are appropriate for inclusion. While as always, all lyrics are in their native Finnish language but the feel and instrumental prowess successfully dictates a story in the making regardless. While the album and first title track JUMALTEN AIKA ("The Age Of Gods") begins the journey, the final track "Ihmisen Aika (The Age of Humans)" shows the culmination of a musical pilgrimage that brings forth the pagan folk philosophies that the usurpation of human introduced technologies imposing their will upon long established "godly" traditions as evidenced in the natural world will bring about a dystopian existence. As with every MOONSORROW release, i'm very much impressed by their style of seamless fusion of folk and black metal and even in awe of their philosophies of sort but never quite finding myself wanting to bestow upon them the credit of creating a masterpiece of the ages. There is always something albeit imperceivibly identifiable missing in that regard but nevertheless this dilemma prevents me from doing so. But that doesn't mean i don't love listening to their music time and time again!

Personally i have the limited edition digibook that has an extra CD with two bonus cover tracks. While i would hardly recommend these covers by Grave and Rotting Christ to be worthy of shelling out the extra dough to get the upgraded version, i do have to say that the inclusion of the beautifully embroidered patch that depicts the album cover is totally awesome! BTW that extra CD is a mere 8 minutes and 28 seconds so it does seem a little gimmicky to include it. They could have at least included some live or unreleased material. So unless you REALLY want a patch, stick to the original five track version. Personally this album is a winner and a top 5 in the year of 2016 for yours truly :) Sorrow Finntroll and other weaklings of the underworld. This band has your asses beat big time!

4.5 stars but rounded down

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