Moonsorrow – Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa

Moonsorrow are a band from Finland with strong ties to fellow folk/black metal band Fintroll. Unlike many peers Moonsorrow specialises in long and epic tracks rooted in black metal, folk metal and some viking metal in between. Over the years they released a string of albums, such as Voimasta Ja Kunniasta (2001), Kivenkantaja (2003), Verisäkeet (2005) and V: Hävitetty (2007). The band are about to unleash their latest offering, entitled Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa.

Compared to the previous album Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa is somewhat more accessible, due to the shorter length of most songs. In the Moonsorrow world “short” is anything under the 20 minute mark. This translates in four epic compositions, separated by four short interludes. Moonsorrow’s rather adventurous and unorthodox approach to music reminds me somewhat of later day Enslaved and the progressive tendencies of Opeth. However Moonsorrow are firmly rooted in black and folk metal and they don’t share the progressive ideas of both aforementioned bands.

Another great thing about Moonsorrow is that they manage to stay far away from the corniness which plagues Turisas and Korpiklaani. They mean business and that shows on Tähdetön, Muinaiset, Huuto and Kuolleiden Maa. All these tracks are well crafted musical journeys through the realms of black, folk and viking metal like only Moonsorrow can deliver. The band’s seamless ability to create such captivating music is almost eerie.

Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa benefits from a warm, clear and organic production, yet it maintains a certain black metal grimness. This enhances the overall atmosphere of loss and desolation, which is the reigning theme of this album.

I could go on for ages about the greatness of this album, but I’ll suffice by saying that Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa is a serious contender for best album of this year.

Written by Raymond Westland

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