Monday, March 26, 2007

Blood Verses .... Of The Moon .... In Sorrow ....

OK I'll stop with the cheesy titles soon. Not much else to tell you about Moonsorrow, so I'll skip ahead and get right into their 4th album "Verisakeet". This album is by far the most black metal influenced album so far in the Moonsorrow catalogue.

The main reasons are the vocals which take on a black metal screech at times and the keyboards take a step back and are used more for accompaniment as opposed to the majesticness of say "Kivenkantaja". That is not a bad thing and the songs don't lack in epic grandiousness. Just take a listen to "Haaska". The viking/folk melodies are very much present, but as a whole the album feels rawer, darker.

"Verisakeet's" opener "Karhunkynsi" begins with some ambient nature sounds, campfire noises and such, as gradually the metal fades in with a very hooky folk influenced rhythm. We are treated to some fine folk interludes and dark metal passages, but the song never loses sight. It also ends in a blistering black metal way not common in a lot of Moonsorrow songs and lasts 4 odd minutes before transitioning seamlessly into "Haaska" with wind and nature sounds.

"Haaska" is my favourite track on this album. It has some nice acoustic bits and dark ambiance brightened by bright accordion melodies. The vocals are passionate with black metal intensity especially around 4 minutes in. It also features big male choirs and a huge viking sound not unlike Twin Obscenity. The song drifts out in an uplifting bleak way and the last couple minutes are acousticy with traditional elements and fading into the nature sounds that's been tying the album together.

The crows start cawing and nature comes alive with an underscore of acoustic picking before the metal blasts in. We have now entered "Pimea", the third track. This song has the biggest black metal sound with bone-chilling screeches, black metal riffing and thunderous drumming. Then it eases into a melodic viking rhythm reminiscent of Falkenbach that gets very passionate and moving in a way only Moonsorrow know how. The screeches and music fade out into wildlife.

"Jotunheim" eases us into its 19+ min epicness with traditional folk style music. If you weren't careful you might think this was Dan Gibson's "Solitudes Of Nature" new age music. Though it's not long before we get beaten awake with sorrow laden viking metal. The folk elements are passionate and moving and the viking chorus' are thunderous. The music here is a huge wall of sound. The song drifts in and out of traditional folk music and bleak viking metal and at times it's both.

The nature sounds mellow us out for a couple minutes and a campfire crackles in and slowly "Kaiku" gets started. A very traditional piece, heavily folk influence with choir vocals. I can just see a circle of warriors around the fire, like echoes of the past singing out a traditional tale. The song ends and the campfire spits and spats as they all drift off to sleep, while nature slowly awakens. The song is clocked at 8+ minutes but the last 4 are nature sounds and campfire.

Moonsorrow have set the stage with "Verisakeet" for the epic 5th Chapter that would soon follow. The songs here are big (3 at 14+ minutes one at just shy of 20 minutes and the simple traditional piece) and they all tie in together to create a sound scape, a door into another time. The sound is rawer and darker than a lot of their other material, and what it lacks in majesty it gains in raw emotion and passion. This is a musical experience and not an album you throw on at parties.

I will now take us back to the debut album of Moonsorrow (I finally have) and see how their journey began before we take a look at their most recent opus.


Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Seems like I missed out on a good band. I'll keep an eye out.

9:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home