Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Finland

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Moonsorrow picture
Moonsorrow biography
Moonsorrow was founded in 1995 in Helsinki Finland by the Sorvali cousins, Henri (guitar and keyboards; he is also a member of Finntroll) and Ville (vocals and bass). They proceeded to record four demos until 1998; two of them disappeared and the two others are "Metsä" from 1997 and "Tämä ikuinen talvi" from 1998. The music on these was more of black metal compared with what was to be made by the band on their albums. This latter demo made it possible for them to gain a recording contract with Plasmatica Records. At this point Marko Tarvonen joined the band to take hold of the drumming and percussions position. This lineup recorded in 2000 their first full length Suden uni (A Wolf's Dream). Their demo Tämä ikuinen talvi was also re-released alongside the album in 2001. This first album got a re-issue in 2003 with a bonus track, alternate cover art and a DVD. In 2000 two musicians were invited as session members and were then invited to join the band: Mitja Harvilahti (guitars) and Markus Eurén (keyboards). This lineup proceeded to perform live and also to record and release in 2001 the album Voimasta ja kunniasta (Of Strength and Honour) through a new label, Spikefarm Records.
It was the followup to that album, Kivenkantaja (Stonebearer) released in 2003, that got them the wide attention in Finland and beyond; it reached the 16th place on Finnish album charts. A short break followed this period with their first abroad show in 2004 and then in 2005 the release of Verisäkeet (Blood Verses). This album reached the 18th position in the Finnish charts. In 2006 the band did a European tour alongside Primordial from Ireland. In 2007 came Viides luku - Hävitetty (Chapter five - Ravaged) which shows another progression in their style, having on it only two songs, each one half an hour long. This was followed by touring in Finland and around the world.

Moonsorrow's origins are in Black Metal but have progressed from it, preserving its roots but expanding on it, giving it an epic feel in the majestic and grandiose sound of it, and the length of the songs and also a folk characteristic Finnish paganism. It was termed Viking Metal (along bands like Thyrfing, Einherjer, Ensiferum, Turisas, Falkenbach and others) which are black metal in basis, but add much melodiness to their sound, an epic feel and anthemic choruses and a specific lyrical content. They have progressed with each release, to form anthemic songs, usually long. With each release there were addi...
read more

MOONSORROW forum topics / tours, shows & news

MOONSORROW forum topics Create a topic now
MOONSORROW tours, shows & news Post an entries now

MOONSORROW Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to MOONSORROW


Viides Luku: HavitettyViides Luku: Havitetty
Unruly Sounds 2007
$39.95 (used)
Jumalten AikaJumalten Aika
Limited Edition
Century Media 2016
$8.98 (used)
Suden UniSuden Uni
DRAKK 2008
$14.95 (used)
$25.86 (used)
Spinefarm Records 2008
$6.64 (used)
Varjoina KuljemmeVarjoina Kuljemme
Spinefarm 2011
$12.26 (used)
$26.88 (used)
$29.66 (used)
$25.86 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Arkona Goi Rode Goi CD (Moonsorrow, TYR, Turisas, Korpiklanni) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 21h 21m
Turisas The Varangian Way CD Brand New (Moonsorrow, TYR, Arkona, Korpiklaani) USD $11.98 Buy It Now 21h 21m
Arkona Slovo CD (Moonsorrow, TYR, Turisas, Korpiklanni) USD $11.00 Buy It Now 21h 21m
Arkona Yav Digipak CD/DVD (Manegarm, TYR, Folk Metal, Moonsorrow) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 21h 21m
Arkona Ot Serdca K Nebu CD (Moonsorrow, TYR, Turisas, Korpiklanni) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 21h 21m
Arkona Vozrozhdenie digipak CD (Moonsorrow, TYR, Turisas, Korpiklanni, Eluveitie USD $13.15 Buy It Now 21h 21m
VINDLAND --- Patch /Windir Uada Mistur Enslaved Cor Scorpii Moonsorrow Borknagar USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Moonsorrow / Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa JAPAN Ensiferum Finntroll B3 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Irminsul white Logo Patch Moonsorrow Skyforger Manegarm Pagan Viking Folk Metal USD $6.66 Buy It Now 1 day
Irminsul Logo Patch Moonsorrow Skyforger Manegarm Pagan Viking Folk Metal USD $6.66 Buy It Now 1 day
Moonsorrow 2 CDs - Verisakeet & V: Havitetty Black Metal Folk Metal USD $30.00 [0 bids]
USD $45.00 Buy It Now
2 days
Runic / Liar Flags JAPAN+2 Mithotyn Equilibrium Moonsorrow OOP!!!!!! B9 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Mistur Attende CD Black Folk Viking Metal Windir Cor Scorpii Vreid Moonsorrow USD $39.95 Buy It Now 2 days
MOONSORROW "Jumalten aika" 2016 New Digipak CD Pagan Metal thyrfing finsterforst USD $9.00 Buy It Now 2 days
ARKONA Yav (?????? ???) Russian LTD DIGIBOOK CD moonsorrow equilibrium thyrfing USD $16.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Summoning Lp Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame Drudkh Windir Taake Moonsorrow USD $20.50 [2 bids]
2 days
Folkearth / Drakkars In The Mist JAPAN+4 Moonsorrow Ensiferum OOP!!!!! T-A2 USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Kivenkantaga - Moonsorrow (CD Used Like New) USD $7.11 Buy It Now 3 days
Aquilus Griseus Black Metal Kauan Moonsorrow Caladan Brood Agalloch USD $30.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Moonsorrow - Voimasta Ja Kunniasta [New Vinyl LP] USD $26.17 Buy It Now 4 days
V: Hävitetty by Moonsorrow (CD, Apr-2007, The End) Rare! USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Moonsorrow Cd Bundle Pagan Black Metal USD $9.17 [0 bids]
4 days
Moonsorrow - Kivenkantaja (NEW 2CD) USD $10.14 Buy It Now 5 days
Equilibrium / Turis Fratyr JAPAN+2 Moonsorrow Finntroll Ensiferum OOP!!!!! C10 USD $59.99 Buy It Now 6 days
HORDAGAARD Made in Norway MCD lim.50x PROMO Moonsorrow Isengard Tyr Falkenbach USD $16.00 [0 bids]
6 days
ARKONA Yav (?????? ???) Russian CD; moonsorrow equilibrium falkenbach primordial USD $8.00 Buy It Now 6 days
MOONSORROW V: Hävitetty Havitetty 2007 OOP US004 UNRULY RECORDS FALKENBACH TYR USD $19.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Istapp / Blekinge JAPAN Ensiferum Moonsorrow T-A3 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika [CD] USD $15.69 Buy It Now 7 days
Moonsorrow ?- Verisakeet RARE CD! BRAND NEW! FREE SHIPPING! USD $20.00 Buy It Now 7 days
Moonsorrow ?- Kivenkantaja / RUSSIAN CD USD $10.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Moonsorrow-Kivenkantaja CD NEW USD $15.32 Buy It Now 8 days
Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika (CD Used Like New) USD $13.71 Buy It Now 8 days
Moonsorrow ?- Voimasta Ja Kunniasta 2 x LP CLASSIC Viking Black Metal VINYL -NEW USD $34.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Moonsorrow ?- Kivenkantaja 2 x LP CLASSIC Viking Black Metal VINYL - SEALED NEW USD $34.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Moonsorrow ?- V: Havitetty 2 x LP CLASSIC Viking Black Metal VINYL - SEALED NEW USD $34.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Kivenkantaja - Moonsorrow Compact Disc Free Shipping! USD $14.16 Buy It Now 9 days
Equilibrium Armageddon CD (Finntroll, Turisas, Arkona, Moonsorrow, TYR) USD $13.85 Buy It Now 9 days
Moonsorrow - Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa [CD New] USD $17.83 Buy It Now 10 days
Moonsorrow, Beherit - Kivenkantaga [New CD] UK - Import USD $8.34 Buy It Now 10 days
Moonsorrow, Beherit - Kivenkantaga [New CD] UK - Import USD $9.11 Buy It Now 10 days
Moonsorrow-Kivenkantaja (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $8.35 Buy It Now 10 days
MOONSORROW V: H"VITETTY [11/17] NEW VINYL USD $25.15 Buy It Now 10 days
Moonsorrow Verisakeet USD $22.85 Buy It Now 11 days
MOONSORROW "Verisakeet" ORG 1st LTD BLACK BOX press RARE OOP!!! USD $35.00 Buy It Now 11 days
Moonsorrow Voimasta Ja Kunniasta vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $47.41 Buy It Now 11 days
Moonsorrow V Havitetty vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $47.41 Buy It Now 11 days
Moonsorrow Kivenkantaja vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $47.41 Buy It Now 11 days
Moonsorrow Verisakeet vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $52.60 Buy It Now 11 days
MOONSORROW "Kivenkantaja" ORG 1st USD $15.00 Buy It Now 11 days
MOONSORROW VERIS"KEET [11/17] NEW VINYL USD $33.65 Buy It Now 11 days
Voimasta Ja Kunniasta Moonsorrow Audio CD USD $35.61 Buy It Now 11 days
Verisaekeet Moonsorrow Audio CD USD $36.45 Buy It Now 11 days
Viides Luku-Haevitetty Moonsorrow Audio CD USD $37.26 Buy It Now 11 days
Finntroll - jaktens tid moonsorrow korpiklaani ewiges reich alestorm USD $7.62 Buy It Now 11 days
Moonsorrow ?- V: Hävitetty White Vinyl 3XLP Blood Music Black Metal Mayhem Varg USD $70.00 Buy It Now 12 days
Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika (2 Disc, Limited Edition) CD NEW USD $23.02 Buy It Now 12 days
Moonsorrow - Kivenkantanga (CD 2008) USD $8.40 Buy It Now 12 days
Moonsorrow ?- Kivenkantaja - BLACK VINYL - 2 LP record bathory USD $33.99 Buy It Now 12 days
Moonsorrow CD Kivenkantaja USD $15.23 Buy It Now 13 days
MOONSORROW - V. Havitetty - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE USD $63.95 Buy It Now 13 days
MOONSORROW - Tulimyrsky Ep - CD - Ep USD $30.95 Buy It Now 13 days
MOONSORROW logo red/black SWEATBAND official merchandise - no longer made USD $5.88 Buy It Now 13 days
Equilibrium Sagas Import CD Suidakra, Moonsorrow, Finntroll, Ensiferum USD $12.00 Buy It Now 13 days
Moonsorrow-Jumalten Aika VINYL NEW USD $34.63 Buy It Now 13 days
Moonsorrow ?- V: Hävitetty - BLACK VINYL - 2 LP record bathory USD $33.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Moonsorrow ?- Verisäkeet - BLACK VINYL - 3 LP record bathory USD $39.99 Buy It Now 13 days
Moonsorrow - Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa (CD Used Like New) USD $19.57 Buy It Now 13 days
Moonsorrow - Voimasta Ja Kunniasta (NEW 2 VINYL LP) USD $36.67 Buy It Now 14 days
Moonsorrow - V: Hävitetty (NEW 2 VINYL LP) USD $36.67 Buy It Now 14 days
Moonsorrow - Verisäkeet (NEW 3 VINYL LP) USD $45.84 Buy It Now 14 days
Moonsorrow-Kivenkantaja (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $9.12 Buy It Now 14 days
VARG - ROTKÄPPCHEN Mediabook (Arkona, Moonsorrow,Manegarm) USD $24.92 Buy It Now 14 days
MOONSORROW - JUMALTEN AIKA vinyl+CD #102722 USD $31.87 Buy It Now 15 days
MOONSORROW - Tulimyrsky EP - CD ** Very Good Condition ** USD $35.00 Buy It Now 15 days
MOONSORROW : V: HAVITETTY (LP Vinyl) USD $55.14 Buy It Now 15 days
MOONSORROW-VERISÄKEET-CD-folk-pagan-viking-black-metal-falkenbach-finntroll USD $34.99 Buy It Now 15 days

More places to buy MOONSORROW music online Buy MOONSORROW & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

MOONSORROW discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

MOONSORROW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 41 ratings
Suden Uni
3.74 | 44 ratings
Voimasta Ja Kunniasta
4.31 | 75 ratings
4.02 | 61 ratings
4.21 | 76 ratings
Viides Luku - Hävitetty
3.84 | 58 ratings
Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa
3.85 | 53 ratings
Jumalten Aika

MOONSORROW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOONSORROW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MOONSORROW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOONSORROW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.18 | 3 ratings
4.80 | 5 ratings
Tämä Ikuinen Talvi
3.88 | 26 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kivenkantaja by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.31 | 75 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I tend to find the whole "folk metal" thing highly hit and miss, particularly when bands don't integrate the two halves of that formula but simply play mediocre metal and mediocre folk music together and hope that the charms of both sides of the equation smooth over the holes. Moonsorrow's Kivenkantaja, on the other hand, absolutely does not do that, integrating the sounds and motifs of Scandinavian folk music into a majestic, sweeping, almost cinematic metal framework. The compositions tend towards longer tracks with epic, progressive rock-esque structures, and the overall effect wouldn't seem out of place as the soundtrack to an adaptation of some pagan saga of ancient days.
 Suden Uni by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.77 | 41 ratings

Suden Uni
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After a string of demos proving that they had what it took to master the art of becoming mere black metal clones of their Norwegian neighbors, the Finnish Pagan folk metal band MOONSORROW that formed in 1995 in Helsinki had differentiated themselves enough from the pack and released their debut album as the old millennium was swallowed up by the Northern lights and a new change of guard had occurred. While present on the demos, the Pagan folk elements were obscured in a lo-fi cacophonous din of buzzsaw feedback and pissed cat screams. On their debut album SUDEN UNI ("Wolf's Dream") cousins Ville Sorvali and Henri Sorvali added on Marko Tarvonen for percussion as well as an army of guests who provide nothing more than handclaps!

Right from the very first track "Ukkosenjumalan poika" ("Son of the God of Thunder") it's clear that MOONSORROW had latched onto a style that is theirs alone. While the black metal is as ferocious as ever with heavily distorted guitar and bass fuzziness, the compositions are now composed as Pagan folk melodies that utilize epic hummable catchiness with the black metal augmenting the intensity into overdrive and often dominating to the point where the folk is buried. While the band would prove shortly to blend these elements together even more seamlessly with their second album of the same year "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta," the result of the blending of blatant folk melodies on keyboard, accordion and mouth harp in full company of black metal shrieks, guitar fury and the insane drumming prowess of Tarvonen was quite novel at the time and is quite satisfying even at this early stage as it seems once MOONSORROW hit pay dirt with their signature sound that any variations of their elements dominating was secondary to the strength of the compositions churned out.

At this point MOONSORROW hadn't quite ventured into the world of progressive metal as with their later releases but the tracks on SUDEN UNI are ripe for the picking as each track exudes an epic feel with several extended length tracks clocking in over six minutes with the profound "1065: Aika" just squeaking over the eleven minute mark. On SUDEN UNI the beauty is in the pacing of the elements as each synth drenched moody atmosphere builds up intensity as the guitars and drum fury are coaxed from their reticence and then allowed to unleash hypnotic fury into the musical patterns that provide a simultaneous epic charm and sonic assault. Ville Sorvali's vocals have improved big time as his pissed off cat shrieks have become more distinguished shrieks and offers some clean vocal Viking metal moments as well although the band dislike that term and insist on being referred to as Pagan black folk metal.

For me SUDEN UNI is not a weak debut in the least despite the elements not being as neatly tucked together as cleverly as on future albums. This one is more straightforward in nature but not one bit less satisfying and actually sounds more diverse than some of the epic albums with sprawling never-ending tracks like "V: Hävitetty." SUDEN UNI has been released in two significant forms. The first release with the fire orange album cover with a ghostly wolf howling into the blood red horizon and re-released in 2003 with the cover art i prefer with a human body donning a wolf's head holding a spiral-ended staff of some sort. This edition includes the bonus track "Tulkaapa äijät!" ("Come Along, Fellows!") which is probably the closest thing to a black metal drinking song that MOONSORROW has ever recorded. While not a vital experience in relationship to the rest of the album since it doesn't have the epic feel, it nonetheless is a nice little lighthearted (black metal style) closer. SUDEN UNI is hardly a throwaway debut release. This is a major step from the demo laden abyss from whence they came and a true declaration of blackened folk metal innovation.

 Jumalten Aika by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 53 ratings

Jumalten Aika
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars MOONSORROW has carved out a unique niche in the extreme metal world having successfully positioned itself equidistantly smack dab in the middle between the world of black metal and the pagan Finnish folk music that is the source of their inspiration and philosophical outlook. On the black metal side from whence they sprung forth, they have kept many (if not all) of its aesthetics including the corpse paint visual effect, the intense distorted buzz saw wall of noise along with the other ubiquitous black metal elements such as blastbeats and raspy snarled vocals too buried beneath the din to discern all the while wrapped up in chaotic swirls of extreme Viking intensity. They have nurtured these attributes quite well over time never letting the incremental intrusions of the stronger folk elements or slicker production ever once distract from the overall goal of remaining firmly in the extreme shopping section of the greater metal universe. After a long five year wait for rabid fans foaming at the mouth awaiting a followup to 2011's "Varjoina Kulijemme Kuolleiden Maassa," they release their 7th full-length epic black folk metal JUMALTEN AIKA ("The Age Of Gods") and prove that their style seems to have no limits in how to expand into ever widening arenas without significantly changing the core of the band's sound.

One of the most surprising things about MOONSORROW is that it's never really a surprise as to what kind of album they will release. They dutifully check off every single element that defines their sound that began way back on "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" and adamantly adhere to the formula set forth ever since. That usual formula has consisted of sprawling ten minute plus epic tracks that commence with slow atmospheric build ups that erupt into black metal fury wrapped around Finnish folk metal song structures and then draw out and eke every possible variation from every single cadence possible. In this aspect JUMALTEN AIKA is absolutely identical to previous albums where all these elements pretty much develop in identical fashion. The most surprising thing to me with JUMALTEN AIKA is exactly how gracefully MOONSORROW expands these set standards and create an album even more lush and brutal than its predecessors in a seemingly effortless and logical way. First of all, the song structures are stronger with deep earwormy hooks that sink in deep from the get go and the magical chemistry of the atmospheric keyboards, black metal guitar, bass and drum fury accompanied by the folk aspects that include violin, flute, accordion and mouth harp just play so very very well together.

One of the things that takes JUMALTEN AIKA into slightly more elevated territory is the supreme production aspects along with a more heightened sense of folk and symphonic elements including a larger roster of chorus vocal contributions in addition to the five permanent members of the band. While the black metal has been beaten into submission as to maintain the harsh brutality of that respective world, the folk and symphonic characteristics have been given more of a free rein in creating a more polished sound than before. If that wasn't enough MOONSORROW has certainly attained a state of maturity that allows them the luxury of knowing just how long to let a passage linger before it outstays its welcome as well as knowing when to let certain aspects drop out as to let others shine. I have to admit that i seldom have hope that MOONSORROW will find the gumption to keep their set sound fresh and relevant in the contemporary metal universe but i have to fully admit that with JUMALTEN AIKA they have surprised me and am in awe of their ability to take the slower burner approach of slightly upping their elements incrementally from one album to next by staying true to their core sound but expanding from within in totally logical arrangements.

MOONSORROW once again proves that they are masters of their unique amalgamation of Finnish folk and black metal. As they transcend from one stage of their existence to another, they remain firmly planted in their philosophical roots and only adding new elements to their sound where they are appropriate for inclusion. While as always, all lyrics are in their native Finnish language but the feel and instrumental prowess successfully dictates a story in the making regardless. While the album and first title track JUMALTEN AIKA ("The Age Of Gods") begins the journey, the final track "Ihmisen Aika (The Age of Humans)" shows the culmination of a musical pilgrimage that brings forth the pagan folk philosophies that the usurpation of human introduced technologies imposing their will upon long established "godly" traditions as evidenced in the natural world will bring about a dystopian existence. As with every MOONSORROW release, i'm very much impressed by their style of seamless fusion of folk and black metal and even in awe of their philosophies of sort but never quite finding myself wanting to bestow upon them the credit of creating a masterpiece of the ages. There is always something albeit imperceivibly identifiable missing in that regard but nevertheless this dilemma prevents me from doing so. But that doesn't mean i don't love listening to their music time and time again!

Personally i have the limited edition digibook that has an extra CD with two bonus cover tracks. While i would hardly recommend these covers by Grave and Rotting Christ to be worthy of shelling out the extra dough to get the upgraded version, i do have to say that the inclusion of the beautifully embroidered patch that depicts the album cover is totally awesome! BTW that extra CD is a mere 8 minutes and 28 seconds so it does seem a little gimmicky to include it. They could have at least included some live or unreleased material. So unless you REALLY want a patch, stick to the original five track version. Personally this album is a winner and a top 5 in the year of 2016 for yours truly :) Sorrow Finntroll and other weaklings of the underworld. This band has your asses beat big time!

4.5 stars but rounded down

 Metsä by MOONSORROW album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1997
2.18 | 3 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

2 stars The origins of MOONSORROW go all the way back to 1995 when cousins Ville Sorvali (vocals, bass) and Henri Sorvali (guitar, keyboards) hooked up in Helsinki, Finland to form a simple melodic black metal band. Before they would introduce the Nordic and Slavic folk elements to their music they started out as a run-of-the-mill 90s black metal band as heard on this early demo turned remastered EP "Metsä." At this point the band was merely a duo with the two cousins handling all vocal and instrumental duties.

While the music is the typical atmospheric keyboard drenched buzz saw feedback distortionfest black metal of the era complete with a two minute atmospheric ambient chill out session, there are faint traces of folk influences that would later dominate such as the inclusion of the mouth harp in their otherwise standard Pagan and spiritually themed melodic metal marches. As with all MOONSORROW albums even to this day, everything is totally in the Finnish language, so if you're not hip to this top dog of Finno-Ugric languages then the meaning will be shrouded in incomprehensible mystery however with screeched lyrics like this it would be impossible to discern any meaning.

In addition to the four tracks feeling amateurish, the production value is fairly weak as well which for some may be an attraction, however the great promise of a melodic black metal band is born here and it's clear that even though this is hardly an essential edition of their discography that the song structures are decent and the keyboards provide more than just a subdued frosting to the cake and actually contribute a significant portion to the overall dynamics. Many reviewers compare the vocals to a pissed off cat and i couldn't think of a better comparison myself. Better things were to come but this is an interesting historical artifact for those who like to dig deep.

2.5 rounded down

 Jumalten Aika by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.85 | 53 ratings

Jumalten Aika
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Jumalten aika' - Moonsorrow (85/100)

Moonsorrow are one of the most consistent bands in metal history. They've built their sound around elevating folk metal conventions to a scope rivalling Western classical music, and they've done managed to do so without skipping a single mark in their career. Everyone will have their favourites (V: Hävitetty holds a particularly special place for me) but the fact remains that the band's reputation encourages high expectations. With each new album it's expected that Moonsorrow will reinvent the folk metal template somehow, and that they'll achieve that by means of an epic scope and masterful execution.

Jumalten aika is certainly masterful. It's also easily the most epic sound bite yet released in 2016. Once again, Moonsorrow get across the impression of being a full-bodied folk metal symphony. The compositions are lavish and involved, and no expense has been spared on fleshing out the arrangement with authentic and nuanced sound. I don't think I'd have needed to hear Jumalten aika to be able to describe the album as such. Was any part of Jumalten aika really a surprise?

This is just the sort of album I could expect from Moonsorrow. All of the things I've loved about their past work are here as well. Such as it is, Jumalten aika was one of those rare cases where I felt like I'd heard the music before from my first listen onward. Five years was a long time to wait for a new album, but from the sounds here, they've made it worth the while. Strangely enough, despite my initial thought being that every expectation had been met, Jumalten aika's been one of the biggest growers in their discography for me. Essentially structured as a journey spread across four epics and a shorter song, it takes a few listens for the wealth of musical detail to really sink in.

One of Moonsorrow's greatest strengths has been their ability to lend appropriate weight to longer songwriting. Structured similarly to Verisäkeet, Jumalten aika is best seen as a single journey, with four epics each comprising a movement in the bigger picture. Like Verisäkeet, the latest work offers an opportunity for Moonsorrow's black metal affectations to shine through. "Ruttolehto" and "Mimisbrunn" come close to Nokturnal Mortum in the way black metal is incorporated with the pagan folk textures. Riffs and earworms tend to take a backseat to the cinematic atmosphere and bombastic arrangements. Even so, while the album took a few spins to grow, it's never inaccessible. The album hits hard and immediately, and repeated listening has only nurtured my appreciation. For all the influence they've taken from progressive rock, Moonsorrow have escaped all of its pomp and pretensions.

Of the five tracks, "Ruttolehto" and "Mimisbrunn" are the two that really stand out. All of the pieces here are superb, but those two are the ones that could rival anything else the band has done. "Ruttolehto" pairs off pagan black metal passages with longform Finnish folk and Bathory-type anthemry. True to tradition, the different parts of a composition flow together organically. Moonsorrow escape a lot of the common pitfalls of writing epics. "Mimisbrunn" is less over-the-place than "Ruttolehto", but for the way it builds and triumphantly erupts, it could well be my favourite track ever from them.

I remember being really disappointed when I heard the single "Suden tunti" prior to the album's release. Now that I've heard the full album, the track seems to gracefully accept its role as the intentional lowpoint. It may be a sight plodding, but the more rock-oriented approach is a welcome respite from the more involved material. "Suden tunti" is a worthy plateau to an album that's been structured like a mountain. If "Ruttolehto" and "Mimisbrunn" represent the treacherous slopes, the first and last tracks represent ground. Jumalten aika doesn't achieve quite as many of the eargasmic moments of Verisäkeet or V: Hävitetty, but it's graced with a near-impeccable sense of flow.

Despite their instantly identifiable sound, I could always count on hearing evolution in Moonsorrow's work. See: The difference between the folk-proggy Kivenkantaja and the balls-out aggression on Verisäkeet, or the way they tightened themselves up on Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa following the sprawling V: Hävitetty. If I needed to ascribe a negative trait to this latest album, it'd be that I don't feel like Moonsorrow have pushed their sound forward this time around. In many ways, it actually sounds like they tried to retread the territory on Verisäkeet rather than to reinvent themselves once again. This is a bit of a double-edged sword. As much as Jumalten aika could have been more individually memorable with its "own" sound, the return to Moonsorrow's best sound cannot be a bad thing. They're approaching their art with all of the same tact and inspiration as you might expect. The only difference is that the experience is already familiar this time around.

The progression from "Jumalten aika" ("The Age of Gods") to "Ihmisen aika" ("The Age of Men") makes a simple, but powerful statement about paganism and belief in general. Moonsorrow are incredibly rooted in history and folk culture, but I can't help but interpret the theme of the album as being very relevant to the modern world. How are spiritual beliefs supposed to survive in the face of liberal scepticism and science? And perhaps more importantly, how is an authentic connection with nature possible in an increasingly digital, industrialized society? The end of an "age of gods" may carry cynical undertones, but ample proof of hope lies in the music itself. This is organic, folkish, nature-oriented art, and no 21st century travails have seen fit to rob Moonsorrow of their power.

Originally written for Heathen Harvest Periodical

 Viides Luku - Hävitetty by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.21 | 76 ratings

Viides Luku - Hävitetty
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by AndyJ

5 stars Moonsorrow's 'V: Hävitetty' is an absolutely fantastic album by one of progressive metals most innovative and creative bands. I purchased this when it first came out in 2007 and to this day it has remained an album which receives regular attention from me. So what makes this so good? In one word - "atmosphere".

'Hävitetty' is absolutely drenched in atmosphere, you are transported away to a medieval battlefield, to blood and sweat and grime - into a different world entirely. Never before have I heard an album with such a fantastic feel as this one; it conjures up dark images and foreboding scenes, a pagan world filled with spirits and gloom. When you hear those first opening sounds of the fire burning and the acoustic guitar from the opening track, 'Jäästä Syntynyt / Varjojen Virta', the shivers run up your spine in anticipation of what is to come. This is an album where you lose track of time, you become utterly absorbed in the music, and you savour every single moment of it.

So what about the music then? Moonsorrow are an extreme metal band, there is no getting away from that, and this album is no exception. There are some utterly devastating slabs of metal in this album, some real head-banging moments where you will be reaching for a sword and shield ready to plunge yourself head first into battle! At times the music is primal and raw. But its also so very clever, and brilliantly executed. Moonsorrow aren't just a metal band, they have elements of folk music, traditional Scandinavian music and are extremely progressive, no more so than in this record. There are clean vocals, heavy extreme vocals, there are soft guitar passages and full on nuclear assault distortion guitar.

If you hadn't heard this band before you might be thinking, based on this description above, "So they are a bit like Opeth, right?". Not at all. Whilst both Opeth and Moonsorrow are classed as extreme prog metal, they are totally different in so many ways. I think Opeth are more refined as a band, but Moonsorrow are far, FAR more atmospheric and better at developing a consistent theme throughout a piece of music. Moonsorrow are also a band which have always written their lyrics in their mother tongue, Finnish. And I absolutely love them for doing this! They have remained true to who they are and where they come from, commercial considerations be damned!

But going back to the music on here, what makes 'Hävitetty' so good is the consistency across the two tracks. These don't feel like multiple 5 minute songs stitched together to create longer music. The two songs on this album are completely unified and feel utterly consistent throughout. Themes are revisited, the music progresses but also harks back to earlier concepts and melodies. Unfortunately for fans of Moonsorrow, like myself, they have never played the first song live, and have only played the second song from this album very sparingly. The two songs here were definitely made for the album format, and not as live material.

I consider the first track to be ever so slightly better than the second track, but both are brilliant. This is one of my favourite recordings by any band, and probably my favourite metal album ever, progressive or otherwise! Easily 5-stars.

 Kivenkantaja by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.31 | 75 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Alucard Draco

5 stars I am currently listening to a heck of a lot of Black Metal music and to me it's one of the most diverse genres of extreme metal out there. It's a varitety of sounds from Atmospheric Black Metal, Pagan/Viking Black Metal, a combination of Death and Black Metal, Gothic Black Metal and a bunch of other sub genres. Kivenkantaja is most definitely the Viking kind but a most Melodic one indeed. It's really a combination of Folk Metal and a Celtic style mood but done most epically.

The reason I rate Moonsorrow so highly - especially this album is that it's good music - death growls and all which create such an atmosphere that imagining the lands and culture from just listening to this album is so easy to conjour up in ones head and to me I think it's one of the most accessible of Black Scandinavian Metal.

It perfectly creates the loud and epic moments and merges the quieter more traditional folky moments together without ever seeming out of place. The band have got a fine keyboardist and multi instrumentalist in the form of Henri Sorvali from Finntroll, which is one way to make epic even more epic.

I personally rate every song as necessary and so perfectly formed and arranged that Metal as a whole is so much healthier for it and I have no hesitation in given this album the maximum rating of five. Also check out the following albums as Moonsorrow are no one hit wonders and keep getting better and better whilst adapting different styles at the same time, so treat yourself to this wonder of Extreme Metal.

 Verisäkeet by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.02 | 61 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Moonsorrow's Verisakeet is folky black metal (or perhaps blackened folk metal) that has a bit more staying power with me than many examples of the folk metal subgenre; rather than having folk instruments playing in a folk style whilst metal instruments play in a metal style, as some less satisfying folk metal groups do, here the group weave folk rhythms and motifs into the very fabric of their compositions, so the folk instruments play in a folk style during the quiet sections and the metal instruments play in a folk style during the loud sections. Progressively minded without being aggressively prog, Moonsorrow work nature sounds in here and there, going so far as to open and close album finale Kaiku (a more or less entirely folk-based number) with birdsong and other sounds of nature. Intriguing stuff; on repeated listens, I find that on balance it's not really my cup of tea, but I'm more inclined to recommend it than many other examples of the folk metal genre.
 Tulimyrsky by MOONSORROW album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.88 | 26 ratings

Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kluseba

4 stars Moonsorrow is one of those bands that were introduced to me as a unique, epic and progressive band that did revolutionary works for the Pagan Metal genre. When I stumbled over their overlong Tulimyrsky EP with this beautiful epic cover artwork I decided that it was about time to try this band out.

But opposed to many positive reviews, I didn't find much magic or originality on this record. The title song "Tulimyrsky" is interesting when the band employs exotic folk instruments such as didgeridoos or when they employ some epic keyboard passages, decent choirs or short narrative passages. The music itself sounds like a mixture of Bathory, Falkenbach and Tyr and doesn't introduce anything new to the genre. The title track tries to develop some atmosphere and is surely quite hypnotizing. But the track works rather as a relaxing background msuic to me and has not enough originality to keep my attention for almost thirty minutes. In only one third of this time, the band could have created a fairly addicting epic Viking Metal track but they chose the path of endless repeating patterns. There is a lot of light and shade and boring passages meet some fine breaks and interludes from time to time but overall this song can't truly convince me and I expected more here. Even more recent and commercial bands such as Wintersun did better epic tracks on their albums and this can't be called a highlight of its genre for me as it is simply overambitious and long. As a score for a Viking movie, a relaxing background music for role play gamers or a soundtrack to lose yourself into during a walk through the nature, this EP is still a very accurate choice and I can't deny that Moonsorrow have their moments even if it takes some time to find them.

The new versions of old demo tracks have somewhat the same problem. They have a fairly promising structure but the songs are overall too long and not very progressive or epic at all. The keyboard sounds have a certain charm and the blackened vocals have a lot of energy and emotion but especially the guitar riffs are rather mediocre. If the band had decided to cut maybe three minutes of each of those two tracks, the final results would sound much more intense, diversified and coherent. The intense beauty meets the beast track "Taistelu Pohjolasta" is though my favourite track on the record and grows on me each time I listen to it once in a while again.

The two cover versions have pretty much been adapted to the style of Moonsorrow and sound like if they were the band's own tracks. While this fact is interesting and very positive, one must nevertheless compare those versions to the original ones and I thought that they sounded well more unique for their time and got better to the point or the essence of spirit of these songs. I would though not consider these new versions as failed experiments as they fit surprisingly well on the record. The whole EP indeed sounds like an album and has a very coherent structure.

In the end, this record has too many lengths and is a perfect example for the fact that overlong tracks don't always mean to be epic, magic and progressive. The band sounds epic from time to time but I don't feel much magic or originality on here. I would always chose the originals from Bathory to Primordial first but also bands such as Amorphis and Månegarm or even more recent stuff like Arkona or Equilibrium. That means that Moonsorrow are one of the most inaccessible, boring and also overrated ambassadors of this genre that is usually intense, atmospheric and authentic without getting in overlong "wankery" passages like here. This record may still grow on me with the time but this hasn't been the case in the last years and I usually don't change my mind very often. I would suggest you to rather check the bands out I mentioned before and keep this for a time when you want to dig deep into a record and approach this experiment with some much needed patience, time and tranquility. Even though my rating is still rather positive from an objective and fair point of view, you can easily get much better in the large folk and pagan genres with Empyrium, Ulver or Cruachan but also worse like Heljareyga, Eluveitie or Alestorm.

Originally published on on August 25th of the year 2011.

 Viides Luku - Hävitetty by MOONSORROW album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.21 | 76 ratings

Viides Luku - Hävitetty
Moonsorrow Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 8/10

A world of pain and loss, but triumph will somehow take shape.

Moonsorrow's final, great album so far is 'V: Havitetty', the most ambitious, mature, and complex albums by the band, and that is to say a lot, being followed by a masterpiece of intricacy such as the epic 'Verisakeet': But the band push their boundaries even further, and create something that a listener would never forget.

This is an album of details. Details are the elements that build 'Havitetty'; it's like creating a castle not with immense milestones but with small pieces of rocks that together nevertheless make an incredibly solid effort. And it is a castle that is quite hard to destroy. It's a solid, almost hour long album, where ambition is the first word that comes to mind. More synthesizers, even more Folk elements incorporated; there is in the slower, quieter moments, even some Prog Rock sparks. But Black Metal is still the core of Moonsorrow's music: it's not a cerebral, polished BM like it was in 'Verisakeet', but it is a raw, abrasive one reminiscent of an earlier period for the band.

The element that attracted much more ambitious metalheads to this release (and perhaps distanced the ones who like their metal played safe) is the fact that this is a two song affair, both of them reaching nearly the half-hour length. The first one, 'Jaasta Syntynyt/ Varjojen Virta', more melancholic, sad, hopeless, but of an amazing beauty especially in the first seven minutes or so, where atmospheres a-la-Pink Floyd take place, before exploding into a bunch of different, unique, and carefully arranged Black Metal riffs (with shrieked vocals) that take turns in hopping up in front of the listener. With lyrics concerning the death of our world, due to stupidity of man ( immense frustration is felt in the poetry of lyricist), and the preparation to a war that will give nothing but further loss to us. But if the first track is resigned and helpless, 'Tuleen Ajettu Ma' is the revenge, the anger, the hope. Starting almost right off with heavy riffs, it has in the core of the song slower passages. The feeling here is more triumphant, more epic almost. The hooks thus are even more memorable, and often even hauntingly gorgeous, like in the last, final minutes of music. Both of the tracks wonderfully complement one another, and together create an album that couldn't have possibly felt more rounded and complete.

It won't be an easy listen for many people because of it's highly ambitious nature, in terms of structure but also of the music itself. Although not as seminal as previous Moonsorrow works, 'V: Havitetty' is an album that will always be regarded as one of the finest, most interesting and successful achievements of Folk Metal

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives