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Moonsorrow - Kivenkantaja CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.00 | 87 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Extreme Metal with European Folk flavors.

This is my first taste of this Finnish band. Considered to be Pagan Metal, I'm utterly unsurprised I have no clue about any of the 'related bands' I'm seeing.

"Rauniolilla" initially sounds like a traditional Nordic tune ramped up. Pretty grandiose. Clean group vocals atop big, folksy instrumentation are juxtaposed with pretty classic metal riffage and unclean (sort of Blackened) vocals. I was definitely beginning to warm up to things around the midpoint--again, I didn't even know what I was getting myself into this morning. It's around 11 minutes, through to the end, that we get more of a glimpse into their progressive leanings with soft synth lead melody.

With the striking of a bell, we are led into "Unohduksen lapsi", more overtly Black Metal vocally. The main riff is crisp and is met with what sounds like a backing string ensemble. Once more showing off any progressive tinges via a quieted section near the middle featuring synth lead. It's good, but not, really, overly progressive or intriguing to those (like me, I presume) looking in from without.

"Jumalten kaupunki including Tuhatvuotinen Perintö" certainly has an interesting intro... What wins this song, if anything, is the layering of all the pieces. The thing is, these sonic choices don't necessarily grab me as listener.

Compositionally speaking, the first track to pull me in a little deeper is "Kivenkantaja", but once more, sonically speaking, I'm not really drawn all that much to Moonsorrow. They're clearly very talented, but it's just not feeling like it's for me.

Another that draws is "Tuulen tytär including Soturin tie", a very Euro-folksy tune that feels like it could also fit within the scope of the Highlands; I suppose this makes sense. A shared sense of atmosphere with the Nords haha. It continues to build on this singular theme though, and doesn't rise much higher. Good song. Not great. [If it's not been clear, that's been my judgement for most of these tracks.]

Finally, we have "Matkan lopussa" [I'm sorry. Are these capital "I's" or lowercase "L's"??? haha.] This is a quieted closer, with what sounds like accordion, female vocal lead and group vocals that are most ethereal. Quite atmospheric.

There ya have it. I'm officially the lowest rating reviewer here. I'll continue on, but... I'm not won over.

DangHeck | 3/5 |


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