Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Taking Pleasure From Sorrow

I'm going to go back and explore Moonsorrow's 2nd release which also features just 6 songs, but the album never disappoints. It's been established early on that Moonsorrow are masters at epic songwriting. "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" is not as uplifting and lingering as "Kivenkantaja" but it is no less majestic. In fact "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" sounds darker and more vikingish. Don't get me wrong, this album is great and is like the transition album as Moonsorrow try on their epic shoes and sees what happens. What happens is good.

The album begins with the short folky intro "Tyven" that seemlessly transitions into the epic "Sankarihauta" with a black metal wail and bombastic guitars, keys and drums and all. The song is folky with heavy keyboard melodies adding a air of majesty before twisting into a pummeling bit of black/viking metal and crescendos out at just under 8 min. Ya, over before you know it.

We are then crushed with the heavy riffing of "Kylan Paassa". The heaviest track and most viking. The swords clashing over the opening riff is reminiscent of Manowars "The Power Of Thy Sword" and very cool. I note a heavy Finntroll feel in the traditional folk sounds. Probably because keyboard/guitarist/vocalist Henri Sorvali is non other than Trollhorn of Finntroll. This track has some killer guitar riffs and a hint of pub sing traditionalness. A great blend of styles while remaining heavy and majestic.

The darkest track comes next with "Hiidenpelto/Hapean Hiljaiset Vedet". The acoustic bit at the beginning foreshadows the sorrowness that is to come. The vocals are sickeningly bleak, yet hooky and damn near sing along if I could speak the language. Around the midpoint of this 9+ minute epic is some fine thrash style riffwork that does not in least feel out of place and then the song fades out in a pummelling array of viking/black metalness. The vocals are a mix of black/death metal which is very dark and aggressive.

"Aurinko Ja Kuu" begins traditionally folkish. Before the meat of the song begins Moonsorrow strips the music away to simple guitar riff that is so much more effective given their penchants for full majestic music. Strong Viking feel, very choral and uplifting.

The last track "Sankaritarina" is the longest song at over 13 minutes that takes a step back to allow the listener a minute or so to enjoy the peaceful sounds of waves and campfires. Gradually airy keys fade in with a very powerful melody and as the guitars kick in I found myself fully absorb into the song. Before I knew it, I was 5 minutes into the song. Moonsorrow uses some great male choral work and narrative lyrics the kind used more on "Kivenkantaja". This closer plays out more like a story than a song. The music and voices create such an imagery and gives us a feel of the type of epic viking metal that is to come. The best song on the album and a fine way to close.

Moonsorrow are not a band for radio and top ten hits, but if you want to `experience' music as opposed to just listening to a song, you won't find any band better (though I've heard some almost as good or equal to and they'll be reviewed shortly) then Moonsorrow.

Up next is Moonsorrow's 4th album the 5 song ep .... ah who am I kidding with 4 songs clocking in at over 14 minutes a piece and 8+ minute closer, this album is a musical odyssey.


Blogger etain_lavena said...

my word, never heard of them either and proper LOOONGGG songs...hihih...there was once this bf I had that had the coolest collection of music, his one album I adored it was the entire Macbeth play....my word...I cant remeber the band anymore but if I see the cover, I would know...I think it might also be something you would enjoy:)

2:48 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

i read your comment and again how much it meant to me i could never tell. you and Martini should cheer me up with your caring. how grateful i'm for you not forgetting me. i stil can't blog. it is soo very painful to sit (or walk)..pls know how much i want to be here and visit you all and read your post. i miss you all so much. i rather be here than in real life feeling yucky! lol..

tell your brother hi pls and tell him i miss him too. take care and don't forget me. i will be back as soon as i can. i will try to update something soon but i get upset worrying you all so much and posting right now real life is much of pain and docs and appts...

many hugs and much love and inmense gratitute for your friendship and for caring. i was truly touched and i'm forever grateful. God Bless.

7:32 PM  

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