Review Summary: An essential to any folk/viking metal fans collection. Moonsorrows best and the album that really deffined them as a band.
Moonsorrow, what comes to mind when this band name is mentioned. To people who haven't heard the band before they would probably picture a tr00 kvlt black metal band with album names like Ravens from Forests Dark
, or something to that effect. This would of course be a gross misconception of a very high quality band. The band really started out as a straight up viking/folk metal band with the release of their debut album Suden Uni. It is hard to say if Moonsorrow were really a very original band at that point in time. Around the realease of their self titled album they really hadn't begun to craft their own style and sound. However with the release of their second album, Voimasta Ja Kunnista, fans began to see the beginnings of a new sound and hints or a changing band, in terms or originality and influences. Songs became longer and more epic, moving away from the very Bathory - Hammerheart style viking metal which was seen on Suden Uni. With the release of there fourth album, Verisakeet, in 2003 they really cemented themselves as band with a very distinctive sound.
There is no better way to describe the album Verisakeet
other than epic. Featuring only 5 songs and coming in at over an hour and ten minutes this album isn't suited for people who get bored with long songs. geaturing three songs at 14 minutes, one at 19 and a fifth at 8 minutes the songs seem unbarebly long when you are only looking at the album information. However this is another misconception people who haven't listened to Moonsorrow would proabably make. The music on this album is anything but boring. It deffinately features alot of atmosphere and emotion which when coupled with the sheer epicness of this album produce what is Moonsorrow's best album to date.
The epicness of this album is something that is pretty hard to describe. Anyone who has heard Moonsorrow before know that the have a very "battlish" feeling to them. Similar to that of bands like Turisas. This album really sounds like the soundtrack to an epic journey filled with many a viking battle. I know that sounds cliche and lame for a folk/viking metal band but trying to describe it like that really doesn't do the music justice.
The best way I can try to describe the epicness of the songs is with a balloon. Yes that also sounds lame but it makes sense. Everyone has blown up a balloon so big that it exploded in their faces. Well that is what the songs on this album are. They are all big balloons which from the very beginning build, get bigger and bigger and bigger, and eventually they get to a point where they are so full you know they will pop right in your face. But this never stops you from continuing to inflate them. You know then will explode any minute but you have no way of telling when. This is exactly what the songs do, they keep you guessing, thinking "when is the song gonna crack? when is it gonna breakout into one giant epic explosion".
This was one of the things that I liked best about the album. It kept you interested the whole way throught. It never got to a point where it was just so good that it stopped and just kept on repeating. It would always change, it was always moving. It would slow down, speed up, change vocals styles and sometimes just stop altogether, but never once did it get boring. All these constant changes could become a very big problem for other bands, who have terrible flow between slow to fast, acoustic to aggressive, who just couldn't nail those transitions. Not Moonsorrow. They manage to craft such smooth and natural changes that it sometimes leaves you wondering how they were able to write a whole album worth of quality stuff like this.
All together this is a very good album, and one of my favourites in the folk/viking genre. It doesn't have a bad song on it(due to the fact that there are only five) and it always keeps the listener on their toes. The one downfall I see with this album is that it is pretty inclusive to the folk/viking genre. Moonsorrow aren't the kind of band that break down the walls between genres. They know what they're good at and they don't step outside that, so to anyone besides folk/viking fans I can see this album as being nothing more than mediocre.