Moonsorrow - Jumalten aikaMoonsorrow is an enigmatic band whose fame and status in metal defy expectations. A band whose songs tend toward the 15-minute mark, who sings in Finnish, and who obeys no label’s release schedule is not a band that I would expect to be releasing one of the most anticipated albums of 2016. The first album in 5 years—follow-up to Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maasa (henceforth Vkkm because lol), which was my Record o’ the Year in 2011Jumalten aika is a 5 track, 67 minute journey down the path cut by Moonsorrow in the years since their first releases. And it’s a simultaneously difficult and comfortable release from one of Finland’s premiere acts.

Jumalten aika is very much cut from the same cloth as the band’s later material. The scope is sweeping, the development is slow. Long, slow introductory riffs, songs audibly padded out by atmospheric soundscapes—crackling fires or, like on Vkkm, footfalls through snow—and a wall of sound that sounds like no one but MoonsorrowJumalten aika continues the tradition, too, of being an engaging album in spite of the length of the songs. Unlike any other band I can think of, Moonsorrow is capable of holding the listener’s attention while producing sounds and songs that push on the boundaries of songwriting. Jumalten aika demonstrates time and again the depth of the band’s ability to be engaging despite pushing the 15 minute mark on nearly all of their tracks; seeming to know precisely when enough is enough and changing gears.

The only song on here under the 12 minute mark is “Suden tunti,” which hearkens back to the Scandinavian folk metal of the ’90s more than anything from Vkkm or Hävitetty before it. This song’s bouncy atmosphere and driving bass calls to mind Thyrfing or Månegarm‘s early material. While this might be my favorite song—I particularly love the straight-forward feel, the prominent and throbbing jaw harp, and the epic bridge toward the end of the song—my other favorite is closer “Ihmisen aika (Kumarrus pimeyteen),” which clocks in at 16:01. These tracks share lightness of feel, a description hardly apt for the band’s more blackened progression. As Moonsorrow has darkened its sound, the levity of earlier material has gone missing, yet precisely this has been recaptured on Jumalten aika.

In fact, what differentiates Jumalten aika from its predecessors is its more folky feel. And with the return of more driven folk metal comes comparisons to other Finnish bands I love. “Ruttolehto” rocks a Super Manly Finnish Man Choir, quite similar to later Turisas, while dropping into a Finntrollesque swagger through the first 7ish minutes. Similarly, “Mimisbrunn” features an acoustic intro that really called to mind Ulver-as-interpreted-by-October Falls, and some of the most memorable Bathory choirs this side of 1992.

Moonsorrow 2016

Jumalten aika‘s epic scope and sound is helped by a beautiful and airy production. A roomy master gives ample space for the music to resonate and undulate even though the album is otherwise a sonic sibling to the band’s later material. Drums and percussion are probably the most obvious example of the excellent sound. Not only is drummer Tarvonen’s kick full and deep—an earthquake rumbling from your speakers when he nails the double kick like in “Jumalten aika”—but the use of timpani which booms and echoes offers beautiful depth and fullness to the sound. Ville Sorvali’s bass is produced to sound fat and natural, with a thunderous and pulsing tones that define both “Mimisbrunn” and “Ihmisen aika.” The guitars are mixed back in comparison to the rhythm section and the keys, but this works for Moonsorrow‘s ponderous wall of sound; balancing Ville’s vocals, which rest even further back in the mix than on earlier albums.

Jumalten aika‘s biggest downfall is that it feels like a step sideways rather than a step forward. Vkkm was the culmination of the blackened path set forward by Verisäkeet and masterfully continued on V: Hävitetty. Jumalten aika walks this now familiar path, while glancing back 15 years to Suden uni and Voimasta ja kunniasta. The songs are great, the sound is beautiful, and it’s an intriguing and enjoyable album, but it feels like a folkier continuation of its predecessor rather than a development on the band’s sound.

But while I’m left to wonder where Jumalten aika will fit in the narrative of Moonsorrow‘s discography in ten years, we shouldn’t let that distract from the here and now. Jumalten aika is a great album from a band eminently talented. This album is 67 minutes of engaging, beautiful, and epic music; a masterclass in how atmospheric—and folky—black metal should be done.1


Rating: Great!
DR: 9 | Media Reviewed: 192 kb/s mp3
Label: Century Media Records
Websites: moonsorrow.com | facebook.com/Moonsorrow-23474099648
Out Worldwide: April 1st, 2016

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  1. And another win for the good guys in the Loudness War!
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  • Grumpyrocker

    I can’t wait for the CD to drop through my door. I loved the last album. There aren’t many bands that can use guitars to make you feel what it’s like to die alone in a snowy forest.

    • And the CD is a DR9! A DR9! It sounds really great.

      • Grumpyrocker

        Hurrah!

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I still have that intro (and outro) riff from Vkkm seared in my brain. What an epic album that is. A step sideways is definitely a good thing in these guys’ case.

  • Diego Molero

    I love some good folk metal so I know I’m going to love this, can’t wait!
    Excellent review as always AMG.
    That artwork is going to look very nice as the site background.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Seriously? I think it’s kinda shit…

      • Diego Molero

        I like, simple yet effective.

        • André Snyde Lopes

          It’s just a tree.

          A tree.

          • Diego Molero

            I like trees, they can be very metal in some occasions.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Only Satan can make a very evil tree.

          • Trees are svper kvlt. And they’re at least partially Underground.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            You win.

          • A very metal tree.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Metal is not an adjective :V

          • Diego Molero

            Tell that to Dethklok.

          • Actually it is, and therefore it’s a bad description of most any tree not actually made of metal.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Thanks for making my point.

  • bob

    Seriously guy, I love this site and all but there’s WAY too much name dropping in the reviews. A couple of time might be ok, but now, it’s in bold and 4 times per paragraph, this feels lazy and amateurish. I think I just read an informercial instead of a review.

    • It wasn’t lazy, it was intentional. The turn toward folk put Moonsorrow from being something that feels entirely unique to being something that allows for name-dropping. Interpret that as you will; but it was an active choice, not a sloppy one.

      • bob

        Seemed to me it was likewise in a couple of recent reviews I read here. Don’t remember whose tho, but whatever. Some people might like it, if they don’t know these bands.

        • I’m probably guilty of doing it quite a lot but I find it really helpful when reviews reference other bands: if I know them it gives me an immediate reference point, and if I don’t then I have more bands to check out if I like record under review.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            I agree. Especially independent debut albums. If there isn’t any name dropping, then how the hell am I suppose to know what they sound like or if I even care.

          • It sounds like that band with that guy who plays that guitar.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            2016, Unsigned, American Metal, Thrash, Melodic Death, Tech Death, Black Metal, Folk Metal, Power Metal, Grindcore, Non-metal, Hard Rock, Progressive Metal, sounds like other bands

          • I LOVE that band.

          • Name’s Dalton

            And, you know, has that one singer who never wears a shirt.

          • Nick Maestas

            No it definitely sounds more like that one December of 2015 death, black, hardcore, viking, thrash, lightly/black, neo-satanic, neo-technical, hungry, progressive, slightly pagan but not full pagan, ska metal band. They were pretty good too.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Oh man, my favorite: quasi-pagan ska metal.

          • Nick Maestas

            Or pseudo satanic- neo classical folk with a side of doom and a number one with extra pickles? Shit that’s good stuff, makes me cry when I hear it honestly.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            That does sound like an album of the year right there.

        • I think it happens sometimes as a result of not wanting to write pretentious and unhelpful descriptions of sounds. Comps help to place a sound. Here, though, it was a rhetorical tool to push on a thing I’m not sure I like.

      • Only a Bob would criticize name-dropping in a review. I find it super helpful.

      • madhare

        Great point well made, I’d say. Previously the only name one needed to drop in a Moonsorrow review was Moonsorrow.

    • Is this crazy ol’ Bob from MS lore???

  • brutal_sushi

    Possibly my most anticipated album of the year.

  • IronBerserk

    Been meaning to catch up on Moonsorrow due to its near universal praise by most metalheads on the net. I listened to Vkkm (which was freaking great might I add) and now this album has me excited. I won’t be able to compare it to Moonsorrow’s previous discography albums (really should get to hearing those) but it should be an interesting experience none the less. The idea that it’s more folk than black does not bother me at all. Folk genre has been kicking ass these past few years…looking at you Wilderun. lol

    • It’s funny, because I think of folk metal as being super dead right now. There was a while when there were tons of new folk metal bands lighting up my inbox all the time. Now, not so much at all. And the best folk metal release I’ve heard in ages was from an unsigned band. It’s a bit like melodeath in that it went underground but is starting to get new life.

      • Diego Molero

        Man I really wish you are right with that one and folk metal is starting to get alive, when folk metal is done the right way (Wilderun, Turisas, Moonsorrow), is seriously awesome.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          Dang I forgot Turisas! There are definitely some great acts at the moment

          • Metsatoll is another pretty great folk-metal group.

          • Metsatöll gets sadly ignored, but they’re pretty solid.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Thanks for the tip I’ll check them out

          • JMoherPerc

            Metsatoll has an incredible live show, too.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        I always thought ‘world metal’ was a better descriptor than ‘folk metal’…
        It’s funny I had thought the complete opposite in that the last couple of years has been a real boom for folk metal.,
        Just last year there was Obsequiae, Panopticon, Nechochwen, A Forrest of Stars, Myrkur, Wilderun and even Elvenking (in their own special way). I didn’t like it but I can’t deny it, that one of the years biggest releases Gentle Storm was also folkish.
        You throw in current artists like Moonsorrow, Enslaved, Waldgeflüster (whom I’ve only just discovered) and Dreamgrave. Id say there’s never been a better time to be a pan flute player in a progressive black trad world metal band!!!

        • That’s very enlightened of you.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            Im so enlightened I gotta wear shades

          • Hulksteraus

            Go the Pan Flute!! I think your “World Metal” descriptor is great. Folk tends to bring to mind only English, Teutonic or Nordic soundscapes, whereas “World Metal” brings to mind a vast cornucopia of musical styles… And one of the reasons why I love metal so much is the amount of bands from different countries and cultures that come together to pound our ears and brains to mush :)

      • JMoherPerc

        Did you hear the Skuggsja record?

  • fuck reading this I just can’t wait to listenting to this album.. I’ve been waiting for this one for so long :) I know it’s good m/

  • Iliast

    Is a side-step necessarily a downfall if it’s not a faux-pas? Whether a band should or should not ‘adapt’, I am not sure I believe that they should continuously aspire to _evolving_ their sound, whether in a linear or punctuated fashion. Great review!

    • It’s no faux-pas. But I think it’s dangerous for the band to start repeating itself too much. I think I’ll probably lose interest if the records going forward don’t feel as unique as their older stuff has.

  • JWEG

    I just hope I get to hear some of its tunes live sooner than later.

    Regardless, it’s a Day One purchase. Guaranteed, even if it hadn’t got the AMG seal of approval and DR test, which just make the wait more onerous.

    • Stefano Kevin Prince Vitali

      You’ll end up voiceless and happy if you see them live. Basically, the crowd plays the viking choir, sings the clean bits & harmonizes the guitar/keys melodies by chanting and humming along. Nobody knows the lyrics, but it’s glorious anyway.

      • Sir Tapir The Based

        Why don’t you know the lyrics, scrub?

        • Stefano Kevin Prince Vitali

          I have waged war against languages without an adeguate number of vowels

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Vitun kyrpänaama.

          • Stefano Kevin Prince Vitali

            Are you really trying to start a native tongue dissing contest with an italian guy? Your feeble attempt is beneath my notice. E suona come se stessi cagando dalla bocca, microcefalo scrotoclasta

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Mee tekee pitsaa, vitun karvakäsi. Olet kuin visvasyylä kyrvän kärjessä.

          • Stefano Kevin Prince Vitali

            amen

  • Awesome record. All around.

  • De2013

    One of my most anticipated records of the year! Loved Vkkm. Very curious how it holds up against it, but AMG’s excellent review gave away more than a few clues.

    What a month! Didn’t have time to listen to Amon Amarth’s new record, still in the mail.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    There really isn’t any good justification for loud albums.

    Thank you, Moonsorrow. Thank you.

  • Ernesto Aimar

    Actually I think the album has a HUGE resemblance with “Verisäkeet”, both in structure as in aproach. Those atmospheric soundscapes started to appear in that record, not in “Vkkm”. Specially the song “Kaiku”, that made you feel that your were actually around a campfire in the snow singing with these guys. Also the album feels more liberated so to say than “Vkkm”, in the sense that the latter has a major impact on the listener when listened in it’s entirety. As in “Verisäkeet”, in “Jumalten Aika” the songs feel more independent from each other, and thus the listening experience it’s a little bit less demanding.

    “Mimmisbrunn” IMO is like a great sequel to “Jotunheim”, bearing the same structure, climax and melancholy, whereas “Ruttolehto” reminds me more of “Haaska”. All of the album has a vibe resounding of “Verisäkeet”, but in any case I would never call it a downfall, nor a sideways. It might not be a NEW step in the band’s discography, but it sure is a robust step that augment a great trail.

    How many folk metal bands can brag of having more than 2 almost perfect albums in their discography? To me the answer is quite simple, just Moonsorrow. And they have done it with 15 minute long epics beyond accurate descriptions.

    • I agree, but the reason I comment on it is that this is the first album that feels a bit predictable. People complained about that with the new Amon Amarth, but I felt more that way listening to this. I wanted a development that wasn’t forthcoming. Even if it’s a great record there were times when the resemblance to Verisäkeet (which isn’t my favorite, btw, I like Hävitetty and Vkkm better) lessened my enjoyment. I think, too, it pulls them away from their idiosyncratic approach to black metal, which made them really unique. The paragraph where I’m comparing them functions to point out both a sound, but also that comparisons were very much forthcoming on this album. I remember reviewing Vkkm and thinking about how comps felt almost impossible. Moonsorrow sounds like Moonsorrow.

      So it’s great, but they walk a fine line. Too much repetition and a 67 minute album becomes a slog, not a cinematic story.

      • Meat Tornado

        Interesting you say that about Verisakeet, I also felt the same way until recently. I discovered there is a great deal more atmosphere, feeling and gloom than is immediately evident, or even apparent on many listens. I only recently truly discovered how brilliant that album is. Especially the last 3 tracks. If Jumalten reminds you of Verisakeet, maybe give it some time, and spin Verisakeet more too. Try listening with great headphones in the dark, that’s how I found it.

      • Ernesto Aimar

        It is in it’s own way somehow predictable, I certainly agree to that. The thing is, I found myself feeling that the repetition of such a great atmospheric album as “Verisäkeet” (which btw is my favourite along “VKKM”) cannot be considered as a downfall nor a sideways, but that’s really a personal appreciation. Besides their blackened folk metal never sounded so primal and pura as in that record, which is a great thing to have back. “Vkkm” had that post apocalyptic approach that was unique and awesome, but I really enjoy having that primordial, naturistic feeling that nourish the songs with unbelieavable epic. But anyway, what I was trying to say that the best example to compare this album with is “Verisäkeet”, and in it’s turn that album should have been compared with early black folk metal such as Ulver or even early Fintroll elements (the folky riff to “Karhukynski” i.e.). I still find “Jotunheim” as Moonsorrow’s finest moment, whereas “Hävitetty” kind of pull too much from the long-song structure they have always crafted so well. Songs like “Mimisbrunn” and “Ihmisen aika…” sound to me as new “Jotunheims” and not repetitions. And I couldn’t be more thankful.

        It’s great though to have the chance to speak thoughtfully of this great band. Nice review and thanks for the feedback!

        • It’s not a step back, it’s a step sideways. It’s movement, but it doesn’t develop the sound as much as I’d like. I feel weird, though, like I’ve said something HORRIBLE about the band. This review is about as laudatory as they get and people are really hung up on one hardly tough critique!

          • Ernesto Aimar

            No, not at all, at least in my case. From the review it’s pretty clear that you have really enjoyed the album, but maybe the word “downfall” was a little bit misleading, because I fail to see any downside on this album, even when it sounds a lot similar to “Verisäkeet”.
            I mean, nobody wants a band who is acknowledged for it’s cutting edge approach to a certain style to be stagnated on any scenario, but in Moonsorrow’s case this sort of comeback does’t feel awkward or even risky.

    • mtlman1990

      This excites me as Verisäkeet is my favorite Moonsorrow album.

  • Meat Tornado

    To AMG: Moonsorrow is my #1 favorite band. However, it often seems like their past discography is a tale of two bands. Suden Uni, Voimasta and Kivenkantaja are the folk metal Moonsorrow, whereas Verisakeet, Havitetty, Tulimyrsky and Varjoina are the Pagan Black Metal Moonsorrow. I love both Moonsorrows equally, but in different ways.

    From what it sounds like in your review, Jumalten maybe attempts to combine both of these Moonsorrows? My question is: Is that necessarily a sidestep, or meaning they finally synthesized their true sound? It seems to me like this is the Moonsorrow+Moonsorrow I have wanted to see for so long, for them to embrace both halves fully.

    Either way it will probably be my AotY.

    • If you find Ernesto’s comment below, I address this. I see it as a matter of repetition and given the form of the music they write, I don’t think that’s to their benefit. Unlike an Amon Amarth, the whole experience of a Moonsorrow album is important. They don’t just “write great songs,” they write entrancing records. That means that the standard is higher. If they get repetitive it can kill the whole flow, imo. That’s why things like the intro to Vkkm blows me away. It’s so long, but never kills anything.

      Here, the feeling that I’d heard this before—especially sounding a bit like Verisäkeet—meant that it was more difficult for me to really lose myself in it.

      • Meat Tornado

        You are right, there has always been a sense of continued progression in every album, each one different enough to be its own work. Do you really feel like this one is that much like the others?

        • Mark

          I agree. Undeniably Moonsorrow, for sure. I’m not sure if I’m alone in saying this, but Kivenkantaja is my favorite Moonsorrow album, and one of my favorite albums ever. I’ll take them in any form, though. Excellent band and another excellent album here.

          • Meat Tornado

            Kivenkantaja is tied for my favorite too. But this new one has some feel of that, and earlier stuff

      • Meat Tornado

        I do love how with every album, their tone and sound changes just enough to notice, while remaining undeniably Moonsorrow.

  • Nick Maestas

    I only have 1 Moonsorrow CD and it’s V: Havitetty. I need to step up my game and commit to their discography already.

    • Hey, man. Honestly Hävitetty is as good as anything they’ve released.

      • Nick Maestas

        I’ll take your word for it! Shit this site has opened my ears to all sorts of metal, there’s tons of bands I probably would have never heard of.

    • JMoherPerc

      I’m a proud owner of their vinyl box set and it was worth every penny. If you have the money to spare and can find a decent copy on discogs, I thoroughly recommend the Blood Music vinyl cuts.

      • Nick Maestas

        I will definitely have to check it out!

  • RuySan

    This band lost me after Kivenkataja. I loved the first 2 albums, strangely enough since I’m not much of a folk guy, but after the 3rd album they were good as background music, but always failing to engage me

    • Honestly, it’s tough for me to understand how as a dude who’s so frustrated by overly long records I can so get into Moonsorrow. They’re just one of those unique bands that owns their sound hard.

  • Wilhelm

    I’m listening now and I must say that this band deserves some award for the nice rich production job, nice mix, and a very respected dynamic range. Usually modern Century Media releases are neat digital sounding, compressed nightmares that sound like utter garbage, but this has a great organic, real sound, thus I can actually FEEL the music. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but just wanted to make this point of importance. btw The music is ruling, I wasn’t too into the last couple of Moonsorrow releases and this pleasantly surprising.

  • Diego Molero

    What about the bonus tracks? I know there are a Grave and a Rotting Christ cover, any good?

    • I don’t receive those with a promo.

      • Diego Molero

        Huh, bummer.

        • So it goes. I’m reviewing the album, not the release, if you get what I mean.

          • Diego Molero

            Yeah, totally, I get it. Just want it to know if you get the chance to hear them and what you think. I’ll just have to wait then.

    • Stefano Kevin Prince Vitali

      Their take on Rotting Christ’s Non Serviam is nothing short of amazing, the amazingness level being on par with Death’s Painkiller. So, yes, good.

      • Diego Molero

        Shit, it most be awesome then, Death’s Painkiller is like the best cover ever.

        • Wilhelm

          ? Death’s cover of Painkiller is terrible

          • Diego Molero

            Whuuut? Is awesome, you like Judas Priest and Death? Cause if not I get that you don’t like it, but if you do like both bands and that song, then please tell me why you don’t like it

          • Wilhelm

            Yeah I like both bands – It’s mainly the Chuck-tries-Halford vocal approach. First of all I think Chuck’s vocals were at their weakest on SoP (although tolerable), but on that track when his vocals kick in I’m like “ahh stop already” Musically, it’s fine but there’s also no real discernible difference (unlike say, their cover of “God Of Thunder”) and overall, I just have to state that nobody can improve on Painkiller (original), so perhaps I’m a tad bias.

          • Diego Molero

            I relistened to Death’s Painkiller and that Kiss cover (wich I didn’t know until now) and I do agree that perhaps Chuck wasn’t at his best at Painkiller but I still like it a lot, the Kiss cover is algo very nice. And well, I also agree that nobody can top Judas Priest’s version of Painkiller, that I say without a doubt and without being the biggest Priest fan.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      We only seem to get bonus tracks with albums that suck without them.

      • Diego Molero

        If an album sucks without bonus tracks, I don’t think that one or two tracks are going to make a difference though

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          That is very true… The only promo I have ever received that I enjoyed having bonus tracks on is 2014’s Gormathon release. That album is rounded out with those bonus tracks.

          • Diego Molero

            I haven’t hear that, I will check it. I enjoy the bonus tracks of “The Dead Eye” by The Haunted

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Oh yeah! That’s a good example.

  • madhare

    *tries to come up with something to say* *foams in the mouth*

    It’s Moonsorrow doing more Moonsorrow! What’s there to say!?!

    What great couple of months for Finnish metal. Omnium Gatherum, then a really great album from the Finnish prog/trash band Stam1na, and now this.

    • JMoherPerc

      I hadn’t realized Stam1na released a new album. Oops . After I finish indulging in the new Moonsorrow (which could, admittedly, take a while) I’ll HAVE to go check that one out!

  • Hammersmith

    I always get Moonspell and Moonsorrow confused. The way that I remember is that one is good and one is not. Sorry Moonspell.

    • Pimpolho

      They are both good!

      • Hammersmith

        Granted, I’ve only seen Moonspell live, but it was really bad.

        • Pimpolho

          I saw them in Rock In Rio, and they were pretty dope. They are completely different bands, but i really like both of them.

    • RuySan

      Both are among the best on their respective genres. Don’t be mean

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Moonspells last album was good, Moonsorrow’s is however great!

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I do enjoy me some older Moonspell, but I agree that Moonsorrow is not only more consistent, but more enjoyable.

  • Yeah it’s excellent!

  • Muinaiset

    I’ve only heard the first three songs so far, but I think “Ruttolehto” might be one of the best and most epic songs I’ve heard from them. If Mimisbrunn and the closing track are even better then I really can’t wait to listen to the whole thing tonight.

  • Dobbie03

    One of the things out as missing from this album are the epic screams.

    • Kalsten

      I think I remember to listen to a song of Moonsorrow in the past that had very epic screams. Do you care to recommend any songs that may fit that description?

      • Ugo POIFOL

        Pimea might be the song you’re looking for. It has the most desperate screams in any Moonsorrow song ever.

        • brutal_sushi

          Muinaiset off of Vkkm has a most epic scream leading into the main theme of the song.

        • kaeru92

          Exactly. I remember listening to that album once with much more attention than before, that’s when it struck me. The screams at a particular moment in that song are just so powerful.. !

          No whenever i listen to that song i wait for this moment with great anticipation, and it’s probably become my favorite moonsorrow song.

        • kaeru92

          To be clear, im especially referring to the screams around 1.10 and 2.15, i just checked.

      • Dobbie03

        Start with Kivenkantaja, all their albums have exceptional screams.

      • Dobbie03

        Jumalten Kaupunki/Tuhatvuotinen Perintö from the album I mentioned is particularly epic.

  • Blueberry Balls

    This release is great. Not as grand as the last, but the thunder is still there. I cant get this out of my ears. Certainly the anticipated release of the year for myself!

  • Oh fuck, one week checking the site constantly for this review, and when it is published, I forget to check for two days.

    I can see we think very similarly, with the difference that “Suden tunti” is the first Moonsorrow song I don’t like since “Pakanajuhla” and “Kj. jäällä” (and that’s 15 years). Not that I hate it or anything, but in my opinion it is much below the Moonsorrow standard. It has the riffs but not the melodies that, for me, define the band. Otherwise the album is brilliant. The opener is surprisingly straightforward, Ruttolehto has amazing choirs and atmosphere and the last two make a “little Hävitetty” together.

    By the way, have you heard about the Moonsorrow documentary that’s in pre-production right now? There will be a crowdfunding campaign in May. http://www.facebook.com/homeofthewind

    • Dobbie03

      I’ll be contributing to that fund.

  • AngryMetalBird

    this album is excellent!

  • Rasmus Steinke

    Luckily they got rid of the overcompressed sound. Varjoina was not fun to listen to at all. This new record is sounding really good.

  • fuckinghostile

    The album is amazing. I could live without some of the “heroic sounding” riffs which were not present after Kivenkantaja and some of the choirs which are overused on this album imo, but other than that.. it was worth the wait. (next one hopefully sooner though)

  • Mr Ryss

    Wow, such a good album, 5/5.

  • Jukka Alanen

    According to Ville Sorvali and Mitja Harvilahti, in a recent interview at Inferno magazine, folk metal as a genre is complete shit and misunderstood and Moonsorrow isn’t folk metal but pagan metal. Also they only think of Korpiklaani as being folk metal (not Turisas/Ensiferum/Finntroll).

    Just thought I’d throw it out there because people here are talking a lot about folk metal. Whatever the genre, this album is masterful.

  • madhare

    Now that I have listened to this for some times, I’ve come to agree with your review a lot. Not maybe on the details, like I don’t pick up the possible influences of other bands. But the overall thing which is basically: “It’s still Moonsorrow and still very good but…” It’s hard to put to words as the problem is that “but + ellipsis”.

    Something here isn’t quite as amazing as the previous Moonsorrow. There’s nothing really wrong. But because the old stuff set the bar so ridiculously high, there’s a feeling that something is missing here.

    Like you said, so far all of their albums have always found new amazing things. Progressing from folky blackened metal to amazing atmospheric stuff. And now… it is indeed a lateral move and returning a little bit to their folky roots while maintaining the atmosphere, just like you said.

    I can understand how some people (in the comments) praise this amalgam of their styles. But at the same time… I’m not totally overwhelmed with it, as happened with the previous albums.

    I have noticed a pattern listening to this. The album runs through, and it does have some really great moments. But then I usually end up playing V:Hävitetty or Varjoina Kuljemme right after. Because this album merely whets the appetite, while those previous masterpieces quench my thirst.

    But, all in all, it’s a really good record. So point actually moaning about it. Besides, this happens to all good bands. They have their season of Powerslave to Seventh Son and the following material just doesn’t compare. But we still love them. And Moonsorrow has had such an amazing run. No duds at all really! (At least that I know of.)

  • Jan

    Good lord, I completely overslept on this one. Hurray, there’s a new Moonsorrow. Great, spot on review. This record is incredible. I’ve cooled off on this increasingly phony genre for what feels like an eternity but I’m spellbound by Jumalten Aika. Especially the final two tracks. This is it. Peak pagan metal. Bathory was never as good as this.

  • Fuzzybunny

    Something about this album reminds me of Equilibrium’s Sagas
    Can’t put my finger on it.
    Maybe the pacing, or the way it all feels like a whole…
    Anyway, excellent!

  • Caio

    What is this DR?

  • Veki Kovačević

    Possibly, this album offers the best production Moonsorrow ever accomplished. The band has never sounded this good.

  • Lee

    Moonsorrow are in a class of their own. I don’t judge their releases against past ones. I’m so lost in the soundscapes and visions they create that I simply shut off and enjoy. My biggest fear is the day they no longer produce their next record. Even so, I’m sure I’ll get a lifetime of enjoyment from what they’ve achieved so far. Thank you Moonsorrow!