Moonsorrow
V: Havitetty


4.5
superb

Review

by Crimson USER (60 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2007 | 305 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A serious, brilliant contender for album of the year.

When you look for music, you keep an ear out for something that sounds like a classic, something that suits your tasted, something that straight away screams 'buy me', and upon reading a review of this album and seeing it in a shop I thought; hmm, what's this then? A nearly one hour album with only two tracks mixing black , folk, death and epic metal into one? Bring it on!

Ville Sorvali - Vocals, Bass
Mitja Harvilahti - Guitars
Henri Sorvali - Guitars, Keyboards
Marko Tarvonen - Drums
Markus Eurén - Keyboards

(Each member played more than these instruments on this album though)

You might have figured straight away that this album isn't easy to listen to. You'd be more than correct, in fact, if you don't sit down and listen to this properly, you're probably going to miss how amazing it is. I did that the first time I listened to it, and dismissed the album as over ambitious and boring. I was so very wrong. Giving this another, more personal listen, I was blown away by the passion that has gone into the album. The anguished vocals, the emotional riffs, the powerful drumming, the groovy bass, at it's best, this album is simply and truthfully breath-taking. The lyrics are sung in Finnish but there is an English version in the cd booklet which speaks of an icy landscape with death and gore throughout. Despite the seemingly indulgent song-lengths of the 2 tracks on the album, neither one resorts to simple repetition or rehashing of ideas. Moonsorrow generally do use what would be considered by some to be excessive repetition, but the key is that it never gets monotonous because the melodies upon which the songs are built are so moving and well-crafted. This is obviously melody-centered metal as opposed to riff-centered metal, yet it still feels heavy and epic without being overly bombastic.

The first half of the album starts slowly, with the sound of a fire quietly building up with ominous keyboard work behind it. The atmosphere is fantastic already, and while the intro is about two and a half minutes long, you find yourself already being drawn into the music. At three and a half minutes some simple, chanting is brought in with the acoustic guitars and the easily distinguishable bass, which is a high point throughout the album. Moonsorrow don't start bringing in the power until the sixth minute, when the music suddenly gets more menacing and we get treated to a tortured scream from the singer. This is about the time you realize how good the production is, every instrument is loud enough to be heard yet none overpower any part of the album, even the singer doesn't lead the music like most bands, his vocals are actually quite quiet and sometimes get drowned out by the guitars and drums.

The bands best asset is to make the listener feel emotion in there music, it invokes the same sort of feel Crimson by Edge of Sanity does in that the music clearly changes at different parts of the story, going loud and fast at times but going on a slower pace at other points. Apart from the emotions of the album, technically, it is a masterpiece, the riffs are original and splendid, the vocals are a quite unique scream/snarl, and the drumming is consistently great, and unlike most other albums in metal worldwide, the bass is obvious and splendid throughout. Setting the pace and weaving in the drums and guitars like silk, it is simply a joy to listen to, there are also other instruments well played, the keyboards standing out the most, keeping the atmosphere going when the album slows down. The transitions between certain sections move in an elegant manner and if the listener isn’t paying attention, they might not even notice the almost subtle movements or turns they’ll take during these moments.

What makes this album so much better than most released this year, is the ambition of the band. They have quite clearly played their hearts out on this album, the songs are beautifully written and played perfectly, there are too many stand out moments in both songs to mention and after listening you end up feeling like you've just read a great novel. What really actually astounds me about the writing on this disc is the feeling of continuity and various thematic elements that ring true in several parts of one song, and then the other. Not to say that the songs sound exactly the same, but there’s a tinge of meaning and connection between the songs that make sense and are able to relate to one another. Trying to explain why this album is such a majestic triumph is like trying to explain why getting to the top of everest is such an overwhelming feeling, eventually, all you can say is; you have to experience it for yourself.

"This is how it ends, I can see it now
This page will be the last
This is how it ends, to emptiness, to oblivion
And none will ever return"




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user ratings (288)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Vak (5)
Quite simply, one of the best combinations of black/folk metal you'll ever hear....


Comments:Add a Comment 
blackmilk
September 23rd 2007


584 Comments


Ya this album rules even though the songs take awhile to get started

Crimson
September 23rd 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yep, I agree the songs do take a little while to get going, but I love it.
I originally gave it a 4.5 but after listening to it again...

Zoo
September 23rd 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy Lord, where have I been? I completely forgot about this.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2007


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, I've wanted to check this band out for a while.

BallsToTheWall
September 23rd 2007


44785 Comments


2 tracks oi. Sounds promising although im not a fan of insanely long tunes. Solid review.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

ZapatoDiablo
September 23rd 2007


167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They should release another version of this cd remixed for 5.1 DVDA or SACD...I think listening to this in surround would be really intense. Nice review--

fathergoat
September 23rd 2007


55 Comments


i will go check this out

freudianslipknot
September 24th 2007


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great. Thanks for reviewing this. Moonsorrow don't get that much attention on Sputnik. I picked this up two weeks ago - and it is amazing. I have it virtually on constant rotation. I love the production and the way the songs gradually evolve. The last ten minutes or so of Jaasta Syntynyt / Varjojen Virta is totally mindblowing.

jrowa001
September 24th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review, ill be checking this out

south_of_heaven 11
September 24th 2007


5438 Comments


Hrm, seems interesting, especially with it only being two tracks. Probably wouldn't view it as highly as you do, but might as well give this a shot...

jrowa001, email me. I've got something to ask you.

jrowa001
September 24th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ok, emailed you

Neoteric
September 24th 2007


3243 Comments


This review is actually pretty great.

Crimson
September 24th 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Wow. Thank you.

Neoteric
September 24th 2007


3243 Comments


I think it would look better with one or two of the passages taken out.

idk, up to you.

blackmilk
September 24th 2007


584 Comments


idkjngf

Crimson
September 24th 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I was thinking about doing that anyway actually, at least I know someone else thinks that too.
Ah, screw it, looks better with only one at the end.This Message Edited On 09.24.07

Neoteric
September 24th 2007


3243 Comments


:thumb:

Wizard
September 24th 2007


19607 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review. I was not really liking the guys vocals but the instruments made up for it.

Digging: Earth - Primitive and Deadly

Dethtrasher
September 25th 2007


2211 Comments


Wow, so much writing for two songs. Great job, I need this. I really enjoy albums that are sung in other languages, finnish is still a wacky language imo.

Crimson
September 25th 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks, it's not that hard to write about, the atmosphere this album gives off is just great.



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