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Moonsorrow biography
Moonsorrow was founded in 1995 in Helsinki Finland by the Sorvali cousins, Henri (guitar and keyboards; he is also a member of Finntroll) and Ville (vocals and bass). They proceeded to record four demos until 1998; two of them disappeared and the two others are "Metsä" from 1997 and "Tämä ikuinen talvi" from 1998. The music on these was more of black metal compared with what was to be made by the band on their albums. This latter demo made it possible for them to gain a recording contract with Plasmatica Records. At this point Marko Tarvonen joined the band to take hold of the drumming and percussions position. This lineup recorded in 2000 their first full length Suden uni (A Wolf's Dream). Their demo Tämä ikuinen talvi was also re-released alongside the album in 2001. This first album got a re-issue in 2003 with a bonus track, alternate cover art and a DVD. In 2000 two musicians were invited as session members and were then invited to join the band: Mitja Harvilahti (guitars) and Markus Eurén (keyboards). This lineup proceeded to perform live and also to record and release in 2001 the album Voimasta ja kunniasta (Of Strength and Honour) through a new label, Spikefarm Records.
It was the followup to that album, Kivenkantaja (Stonebearer) released in 2003, that got them the wide attention in Finland and beyond; it reached the 16th place on Finnish album charts. A short break followed this period with their first abroad show in 2004 and then in 2005 the release of Verisäkeet (Blood Verses). This album reached the 18th position in the Finnish charts. In 2006 the band did a European tour alongside Primordial from Ireland. In 2007 came Viides luku - Hävitetty (Chapter five - Ravaged) which shows another progression in their style, having on it only two songs, each one half an hour long. This was followed by touring in Finland and around the world.

Moonsorrow's origins are in Black Metal but have progressed from it, preserving its roots but expanding on it, giving it an epic feel in the majestic and grandiose sound of it, and the length of the songs and also a folk characteristic Finnish paganism. It was termed Viking Metal (along bands like Thyrfing, Einherjer, Ensiferum, Turisas, Falkenbach and others) which are black metal in basis, but add much melodiness to their sound, an epic feel and anthemic choruses and a specific lyrical content. They have progressed with each release, to form anthemic songs, usually long. With each release there were addi...
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Jumalten AikaJumalten Aika
Limited Edition
Century Media 2016
Audio CD$12.27
$12.27 (used)
Imports 2008
Audio CD$4.26
$5.12 (used)
Viides Luku: HavitettyViides Luku: Havitetty
Unruly Sounds 2007
Audio CD$74.99
$4.01 (used)
Varjoina KuljemmeVarjoina Kuljemme
Spinefarm 2011
Audio CD$5.34
$10.00 (used)
Voimasta Ja KunniastaVoimasta Ja Kunniasta
Spikefarm 2006
Audio CD$18.42
$30.13 (used)
EP · Import
Naula 2008
Audio CD$37.28
$84.26 (used)
Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden MaassaVarjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa
Sony Import 2011
Audio CD$15.36
$15.35 (used)
V. HavitettyV. Havitetty
Spikefarm 2007
Audio CD$8.74
$18.65 (used)
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MOONSORROW discography

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MOONSORROW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 41 ratings
Voimasta Ja Kunniasta
3.76 | 38 ratings
Suden Uni
4.40 | 64 ratings
4.01 | 58 ratings
4.22 | 73 ratings
Viides Luku - Hävitetty
3.84 | 54 ratings
Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa
4.04 | 28 ratings
Jumalten aika

MOONSORROW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOONSORROW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MOONSORROW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOONSORROW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
4.80 | 5 ratings
Tämä Ikuinen Talvi
3.86 | 25 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jumalten aika by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.04 | 28 ratings

Jumalten aika
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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

 Viides Luku - Hävitetty by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 73 ratings

Viides Luku - Hävitetty
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by AndyJ

5 stars Moonsorrow's 'V: Hävitetty' is an absolutely fantastic album by one of progressive metals most innovative and creative bands. I purchased this when it first came out in 2007 and to this day it has remained an album which receives regular attention from me. So what makes this so good? In one word - "atmosphere".

'Hävitetty' is absolutely drenched in atmosphere, you are transported away to a medieval battlefield, to blood and sweat and grime - into a different world entirely. Never before have I heard an album with such a fantastic feel as this one; it conjures up dark images and foreboding scenes, a pagan world filled with spirits and gloom. When you hear those first opening sounds of the fire burning and the acoustic guitar from the opening track, 'Jäästä Syntynyt / Varjojen Virta', the shivers run up your spine in anticipation of what is to come. This is an album where you lose track of time, you become utterly absorbed in the music, and you savour every single moment of it.

So what about the music then? Moonsorrow are an extreme metal band, there is no getting away from that, and this album is no exception. There are some utterly devastating slabs of metal in this album, some real head-banging moments where you will be reaching for a sword and shield ready to plunge yourself head first into battle! At times the music is primal and raw. But its also so very clever, and brilliantly executed. Moonsorrow aren't just a metal band, they have elements of folk music, traditional Scandinavian music and are extremely progressive, no more so than in this record. There are clean vocals, heavy extreme vocals, there are soft guitar passages and full on nuclear assault distortion guitar.

If you hadn't heard this band before you might be thinking, based on this description above, "So they are a bit like Opeth, right?". Not at all. Whilst both Opeth and Moonsorrow are classed as extreme prog metal, they are totally different in so many ways. I think Opeth are more refined as a band, but Moonsorrow are far, FAR more atmospheric and better at developing a consistent theme throughout a piece of music. Moonsorrow are also a band which have always written their lyrics in their mother tongue, Finnish. And I absolutely love them for doing this! They have remained true to who they are and where they come from, commercial considerations be damned!

But going back to the music on here, what makes 'Hävitetty' so good is the consistency across the two tracks. These don't feel like multiple 5 minute songs stitched together to create longer music. The two songs on this album are completely unified and feel utterly consistent throughout. Themes are revisited, the music progresses but also harks back to earlier concepts and melodies. Unfortunately for fans of Moonsorrow, like myself, they have never played the first song live, and have only played the second song from this album very sparingly. The two songs here were definitely made for the album format, and not as live material.

I consider the first track to be ever so slightly better than the second track, but both are brilliant. This is one of my favourite recordings by any band, and probably my favourite metal album ever, progressive or otherwise! Easily 5-stars.

 Kivenkantaja  by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.40 | 64 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Alucard Draco

5 stars I am currently listening to a heck of a lot of Black Metal music and to me it's one of the most diverse genres of extreme metal out there. It's a varitety of sounds from Atmospheric Black Metal, Pagan/Viking Black Metal, a combination of Death and Black Metal, Gothic Black Metal and a bunch of other sub genres. Kivenkantaja is most definitely the Viking kind but a most Melodic one indeed. It's really a combination of Folk Metal and a Celtic style mood but done most epically.

The reason I rate Moonsorrow so highly - especially this album is that it's good music - death growls and all which create such an atmosphere that imagining the lands and culture from just listening to this album is so easy to conjour up in ones head and to me I think it's one of the most accessible of Black Scandinavian Metal.

It perfectly creates the loud and epic moments and merges the quieter more traditional folky moments together without ever seeming out of place. The band have got a fine keyboardist and multi instrumentalist in the form of Henri Sorvali from Finntroll, which is one way to make epic even more epic.

I personally rate every song as necessary and so perfectly formed and arranged that Metal as a whole is so much healthier for it and I have no hesitation in given this album the maximum rating of five. Also check out the following albums as Moonsorrow are no one hit wonders and keep getting better and better whilst adapting different styles at the same time, so treat yourself to this wonder of Extreme Metal.

 Verisäkeet by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.01 | 58 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Moonsorrow's Verisakeet is folky black metal (or perhaps blackened folk metal) that has a bit more staying power with me than many examples of the folk metal subgenre; rather than having folk instruments playing in a folk style whilst metal instruments play in a metal style, as some less satisfying folk metal groups do, here the group weave folk rhythms and motifs into the very fabric of their compositions, so the folk instruments play in a folk style during the quiet sections and the metal instruments play in a folk style during the loud sections. Progressively minded without being aggressively prog, Moonsorrow work nature sounds in here and there, going so far as to open and close album finale Kaiku (a more or less entirely folk-based number) with birdsong and other sounds of nature. Intriguing stuff; on repeated listens, I find that on balance it's not really my cup of tea, but I'm more inclined to recommend it than many other examples of the folk metal genre.
 Tulimyrsky by MOONSORROW album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.86 | 25 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kluseba

4 stars Moonsorrow is one of those bands that were introduced to me as a unique, epic and progressive band that did revolutionary works for the Pagan Metal genre. When I stumbled over their overlong Tulimyrsky EP with this beautiful epic cover artwork I decided that it was about time to try this band out.

But opposed to many positive reviews, I didn't find much magic or originality on this record. The title song "Tulimyrsky" is interesting when the band employs exotic folk instruments such as didgeridoos or when they employ some epic keyboard passages, decent choirs or short narrative passages. The music itself sounds like a mixture of Bathory, Falkenbach and Tyr and doesn't introduce anything new to the genre. The title track tries to develop some atmosphere and is surely quite hypnotizing. But the track works rather as a relaxing background msuic to me and has not enough originality to keep my attention for almost thirty minutes. In only one third of this time, the band could have created a fairly addicting epic Viking Metal track but they chose the path of endless repeating patterns. There is a lot of light and shade and boring passages meet some fine breaks and interludes from time to time but overall this song can't truly convince me and I expected more here. Even more recent and commercial bands such as Wintersun did better epic tracks on their albums and this can't be called a highlight of its genre for me as it is simply overambitious and long. As a score for a Viking movie, a relaxing background music for role play gamers or a soundtrack to lose yourself into during a walk through the nature, this EP is still a very accurate choice and I can't deny that Moonsorrow have their moments even if it takes some time to find them.

The new versions of old demo tracks have somewhat the same problem. They have a fairly promising structure but the songs are overall too long and not very progressive or epic at all. The keyboard sounds have a certain charm and the blackened vocals have a lot of energy and emotion but especially the guitar riffs are rather mediocre. If the band had decided to cut maybe three minutes of each of those two tracks, the final results would sound much more intense, diversified and coherent. The intense beauty meets the beast track "Taistelu Pohjolasta" is though my favourite track on the record and grows on me each time I listen to it once in a while again.

The two cover versions have pretty much been adapted to the style of Moonsorrow and sound like if they were the band's own tracks. While this fact is interesting and very positive, one must nevertheless compare those versions to the original ones and I thought that they sounded well more unique for their time and got better to the point or the essence of spirit of these songs. I would though not consider these new versions as failed experiments as they fit surprisingly well on the record. The whole EP indeed sounds like an album and has a very coherent structure.

In the end, this record has too many lengths and is a perfect example for the fact that overlong tracks don't always mean to be epic, magic and progressive. The band sounds epic from time to time but I don't feel much magic or originality on here. I would always chose the originals from Bathory to Primordial first but also bands such as Amorphis and Månegarm or even more recent stuff like Arkona or Equilibrium. That means that Moonsorrow are one of the most inaccessible, boring and also overrated ambassadors of this genre that is usually intense, atmospheric and authentic without getting in overlong "wankery" passages like here. This record may still grow on me with the time but this hasn't been the case in the last years and I usually don't change my mind very often. I would suggest you to rather check the bands out I mentioned before and keep this for a time when you want to dig deep into a record and approach this experiment with some much needed patience, time and tranquility. Even though my rating is still rather positive from an objective and fair point of view, you can easily get much better in the large folk and pagan genres with Empyrium, Ulver or Cruachan but also worse like Heljareyga, Eluveitie or Alestorm.

Originally published on on August 25th of the year 2011.

 Viides Luku - Hävitetty by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.22 | 73 ratings

Viides Luku - Hävitetty
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 8/10

A world of pain and loss, but triumph will somehow take shape.

Moonsorrow's final, great album so far is 'V: Havitetty', the most ambitious, mature, and complex albums by the band, and that is to say a lot, being followed by a masterpiece of intricacy such as the epic 'Verisakeet': But the band push their boundaries even further, and create something that a listener would never forget.

This is an album of details. Details are the elements that build 'Havitetty'; it's like creating a castle not with immense milestones but with small pieces of rocks that together nevertheless make an incredibly solid effort. And it is a castle that is quite hard to destroy. It's a solid, almost hour long album, where ambition is the first word that comes to mind. More synthesizers, even more Folk elements incorporated; there is in the slower, quieter moments, even some Prog Rock sparks. But Black Metal is still the core of Moonsorrow's music: it's not a cerebral, polished BM like it was in 'Verisakeet', but it is a raw, abrasive one reminiscent of an earlier period for the band.

The element that attracted much more ambitious metalheads to this release (and perhaps distanced the ones who like their metal played safe) is the fact that this is a two song affair, both of them reaching nearly the half-hour length. The first one, 'Jaasta Syntynyt/ Varjojen Virta', more melancholic, sad, hopeless, but of an amazing beauty especially in the first seven minutes or so, where atmospheres a-la-Pink Floyd take place, before exploding into a bunch of different, unique, and carefully arranged Black Metal riffs (with shrieked vocals) that take turns in hopping up in front of the listener. With lyrics concerning the death of our world, due to stupidity of man ( immense frustration is felt in the poetry of lyricist), and the preparation to a war that will give nothing but further loss to us. But if the first track is resigned and helpless, 'Tuleen Ajettu Ma' is the revenge, the anger, the hope. Starting almost right off with heavy riffs, it has in the core of the song slower passages. The feeling here is more triumphant, more epic almost. The hooks thus are even more memorable, and often even hauntingly gorgeous, like in the last, final minutes of music. Both of the tracks wonderfully complement one another, and together create an album that couldn't have possibly felt more rounded and complete.

It won't be an easy listen for many people because of it's highly ambitious nature, in terms of structure but also of the music itself. Although not as seminal as previous Moonsorrow works, 'V: Havitetty' is an album that will always be regarded as one of the finest, most interesting and successful achievements of Folk Metal

 Kivenkantaja  by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.40 | 64 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 9/10

"Kivenkataja", for it's beautiful profoundness, should be considered a landmark Metal album of the new millennium.

Moonsorrow are one of the greatest Metal bands of the new millennium and have proved to be so with several albums, one of them is the masterpiece "Kivenkataja", the third album, and the first album that is part of a trilogy of excellent works (the second one would be 2005's "Verisakeet" and the final chapter 2007's "V: Havitetty".) This 2003 release proves how Moonsorrow in two years have shown a great difference in songwriting skills, structuring songs and arranging them: "Kivenkataja" indeed is a 100% Moonsorrow album that shows all of the band's essential and best characteristics.

On one side, the style isn't different: we're talking about the usual, Pagan Black Metal/ Folk Metal influence here. But it's so much more complex, profound and epic than the previous two releases, (beating even the wonderful "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta") due to it's superior instrumentation, more progressive influences, and overall perfected songwriting skills. All this together makes up something more than just great album: "Kivenkataja" rightfully should be considered a landmark Metal LP of it's era, because of it's uniqueness, richness, and especially, it's haunting and evocative nature. Sure, Folkish instruments like the Jew Harp, accordion, flutes and many others were present in previous albums, however here, they have a major, essential role, and dominate completely some of the passages here, creating a well balanced equilibrium between the lush Folk moments and Black Metal influenced ones, which still have melodies driven by traditional Scandinavian canons. The Lyrics, being this Pagan Metal, although having pretty much the same themes as the first two albums, this time around are proposed and written in a much more poetic and vivid way: instead of focusing on battles and warriors, there is more detailed descriptions of nature, like in the opening track "Rauniolla". The tone is more the one of a lonely, forgotten bard of the North, instead perhaps of a drunk one from a noble palace telling hackneyed stories of warriors and battles fought. It basically feels more of a realistic point of view.

The album starts off with the thirteen minute epic "Rauniolla", quite possibly the best thing Moonsorrow has ever created: the melodies are, instead of being triumphant and full of testosterone, melancholic, a little resigned, solemn. Structured almost as a mini-suite, it features extremely diverse moments, from heavy riffs to beautifully evocative Folkloric ones. "Jumalten Kaupunki", the second track, is heavier, with less atmospheric moments, and with a more triumphant tone, however still maintaining an impressive level of complexity and depth. The following track is yet another sort of mini, ten minute suite, using however completely different formulas from the ones used in the previous two tracks, giving the structure of the overall album a great flow so far. The title track is more of a traditional Folk Metal track, more ballzy and in-your-face, but it also shows explicit Prog Metal influences especially in the frequent rhythm changes; "Tuulen Tytar" is a mostly instrumental piece, half calm, half distorted and loud. It certainly is the odd one out of these six tracks, and gives yet again another touch of variety in the sound. The album closes with the short but gorgeously crafted "Maktan Lopussa", a sad, beautiful, and very surprising song on behalf of Moonsorrow.

"Kivenkataja" has an amazing set of songs that together make one, solid and consistent album, despite the great amount of changes that distinguish one song from the other. One of the culminating peaks of Folk Metal music, a perfect model for all of the bands that are minimally interested in the genre.

 Suden Uni  by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.76 | 38 ratings

Suden Uni
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 6/10

"Suden Uni" although feeling like a collection of drinking songs, is a fun and consistent listen.

"Suden Uni" is legendary Finnish act Moonsorrow's debut album, which will be shortly followed that same year by a much more well developed album, "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta", one of the most solid releases of the band's discography. In fact this album does not stand at the same level as the sophomore LP, however, it is proof that Moonsorrow have taken a further step ahead from the previous demos, towards the path of maturity.

Moonsorrow adapt a cleaner production for their full length, compared to the rawness of the EPs/Demos, and start to incorporate a lot more Nordic Folk influenced melodies in their music, as well as exotic instruments like the accordion and the famous jaw harp, but also several keyboards are used. But compared to future albums these folkish instruments are used in a much more subtle way, and serve the sole purpose to enrich the sound; they don't play a particularly important role within a song. This said, it's easy to imagine how much less atmospheric and more straight-forward this LP is, again compared to the complexity of future Moonsorrow albums, thus more riff driven and melodic.

"Sudden Uni" means "A Wolf's Dream" in Finnish: by only the title, you can tell what Mooonsorrow's lyrics deal with, and, if you're familiar with the band, it will be very easy to guess the main themes of the album: Viking./Nordic wars, proud warriors, Gods, but also normal people and their sense of honor. the first track is probably the one that is the oddest of all, seemingly coming from a completely different style: "Son of the God Of Thunder" (English translation) is about a young, teenage God who gets expelled by his father from the clouds, because of his futile and reckless behavior. Other than that, the lyrics deal with the above mentioned themes in a casual way, without being particularly evocative.

Because of it's straight-forwardness, "Suden Uni" in some points seems to be a collection of drinking songs, instead of profound, epic poems of music. This impression obviously does not occur in every song: for example, in the eleven minute "1065: Time", there are some good doses of epicness in the songwriting and the structure of the song is fantastic, which includes also more ambient friendly passages, mostly in the first few minutes. But the rest of the songs offer little variation, and some are not at all as memorable as they should be: "As Eternal" and "Son Of The God Of Thunder" come a little close to annoy me, however, standing in the middle of them (according to the tracklist) is "Pakanavedet II", much more accessible and interesting, thanks to the massive presence of the Jew Harp and fun, heavy rhythms. . "Home Of the Wind?" is a little too simple and banal for my taste, but it still has interesting arrangements overall.

"Suden Uni" can be a fun listen for sure, and even if some melodies come a little too close to being corny and clichéd, it's still a solidly structured release for Moonsorrow, an album that is the natural predecessor of "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta", which uses a more complex and solid formula.

 Verisäkeet by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.01 | 58 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 9/10

Folk Metal's greatest achievement so far, where the word epic acquires a new meaning.

Moonsorrow's masterpiece "Kivenkataja" ended up being the tip of the iceberg: the follow up to that album is "Verisakeet", an album that is just as haunting and well done, although the two are completely two different beasts. But it is definite now that Moonsorrow are one of the best cult Metal bands of all time, thanks mostly to these two landmark achievements, and have not, so far, released an album that was less than really good.

Like it was mentioned, "Verisakeet" is completely different than "Kivenkantaja": the songs are significantly longer, less in quantity, richer in instrumentation, and boast beautiful production and polished sound. There is a more progressive approach in structuring these long winded, complex and diverse songs, where there is an even larger use of exotic, Nordic instrumentation. All of the instruments(flutes, acoustic guitars, flutes, or synthesizers) individually have a prominent place, somewhere here, in this more than an hour long experience. But there is also a significant amount of blast beats and traditional Black Metal here, and a certain passage can go on for several minutes without there being any Folk elements. Nevertheless, this is compensated by the moments in which these Folk elements are present, and they become absolutely essential for that particular passage. There are also, in the beginning and end of each song, some nice nature recordings: this last element gives the impression that legends, with the passing of time, fade in and fade out, but nature remains the same.

Compared to other Moonsorrow albums, "Verisakeet" is the one in which there are more nature themes; it is the most earthly LP of the band, still somewhat focused on battles, but more emotions, such as fear, are heavily connected with the lyrics, in a time before or after a tragic war. If "Karhunkynsi" narrates the pre-battle and how it is not wanted by the people fighting it, "Haaska" is about the devastating aftermath, describing the bleak battlefield, and how futile the event was. "Pimea" is the most pessimistic track, depicting a dying world, another typical latter Moonsorrow theme. The final words that to me are interesting in this album are the ones sung in the intimate "Kaiku", a brief elegy of forefathers.

Musically, each one of these songs is amazingly done, starting from the huge opener, the fourteen minute epic; possibly the heaviest, more Black Metal driven song, but it has massive riffs which reoccur in a beautifully studied way throughout the track, thanks also to great production and musicianship. The second track is less accessible but almost as high of a level and just as long, with more additional instrumentation ( the acoustic guitar gives the main hook for the entire song), more complex, more triumphant, but still of supremely high quality. "Pimea" is still another very long and intricate listen as a whole, with the glossy keyboards giving a strong addition to some melodies, but it has a handful of quite beautiful Folkloric moments, as well as haunting hooks played with either guitars or exotic instruments. "Jotunheim" mixes a huge amount of sounds together, as well as another handful of successful riffs, and amazing musicianship. What differs in this track is that it has a more climactic nature, but also it boasts the most emotionally challenging riffs of the album, them being very desolate sounding. When the final moments of this track, consisting of the routined nature recordings, blend in with the starting moments of "Kaiku", the final track, it is obvious that this amazing journey is coming to an end: this last track is a melancholically campfire-set acoustic jam between an intimate chorus of vocals and acoustic guitar.

"Verisakeet" is possibly the most complete and successful Moonsorrow release; it's possibly also the greatest, most important Folk Metal of all time. With more and more years increasing the album's age, it's quite possibly going to become a Metal classic. For now, this remains stuck in a somewhat cult status, but that doesn't diminish its quality one bit.

 Voimasta Ja Kunniasta  by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.73 | 41 ratings

Voimasta Ja Kunniasta
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 8/10

"Voimasta" is a perfectly balanced interconnection between the Viking muscles and the guiding hand of Nordic Folklore.

The (possibly) greatest Finnish band of all time, Moonsorrow, in 2001 were able to release two albums: the first one was "Suden Uni", the second one, "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta". The latter is possibly the most mature one and the first album by the band that is immensely successful in terms of quality: although maybe not the most recognized and famous release of these Folk Metallers, it is definitely one that opened the path to all of the following Moonsorrow albums and all the other bands that followed them.

Folk Metal's basics are all down here in an incredibly precise way: here we have the epic feel and melodies of the rough guitars, the Black Metal shrieks, the additional, folkloristic instrumentation (flutes and accordion mostly), the atmospheric synths, and the straddling rhythms. So many Folk Metal bands have used only a portion of these characteristics, but most of the time, the best result will occur if all of these elements are properly incorporated. The songs themselves are structured in a very thought-provoking way, because of the shifting tempos and passages ( from a folkloristic one to a harsh, black Metal burst, enlightened moments later by elaborate, acoustic instrumentation).

The spirit of all Moonsorrow albums is here found in great abundance: the Northern lands, the Vikings, the battles, the Gods. In "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" there seems to be a more frequent and specific theme of battles, plunders of villages, pride and honor of warriors. "Aurinko Ja Kuu" is however the odd one: its an interesting description of a man who roams in the woods without ever encountering men, and that sleeps in the beds of bears. In 50 minutes of length, "Voimasta" manages to stay quite consistent, and at the same time, the songs have enough variation one another to have a fluent flow. Nearly each one of these six songs can be considered a highlight: "Sankarihauta" and "Kylan Paasa" are generally more muscular, raw, and harsh songs, which still do not lack of intelligence. "Sankaritarina" however, the thirteen minute closer, has a great riff that echoes throughout the entire song and still manages to have the most thought-provoking and elaborate structure here. The remaining two songs, "Auriko Ja Kuu" and "Hiidenpelto" are great as well, incorporating more folkish elements yet without losing the grit.

"Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" can be considered essential listening not only for Moonsorrow lovers but also for Folk Metal fans; an album that uses all of the canons and brings them up at a quality that not many other bands of the genre can do.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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