Incredible to see how a band that at least some of the Metal community describes as bland or not particularly original evolves so much and creates such a unique yet recognizable sound. With their fifth album MOONSORROW attempts at redefining the word ‘Epic’ and succeeds wonderfully; not bad for a band that only a few years ago was merely seen as a solid player in the Viking/Pagan Metal scene. Even persons who have only a tiny percent of their hearing left should be able to hear the massive Epic character of "V-Hävitetty". This should also put to rest the many potential arguments about MOONSORROW’s current genre. Alright, so they have elements of Viking/Pagan/Black/Folk/Metal, but at least we can all agree it bloody epic, no?
Only two songs to describe here, combined they have the very respectable length of almost an hour. The first ‘chapter’ so to say is the most interesting, though only by a little bit. Atmosphere is the key for this whole album in general and on this opener they take their time to create it, which is not a problem if you have half an hour. While the start with the simple melodies and acoustics sounds nice, it’s not yet brilliant, yet by putting it in the greater perspective it all seems to fit.
The album truly gets going when the electric guitars start, and they’re not just there for support but are truly evocative at times. Also the vocals are of exceptional quality, much harsher then what would be required for the style and as such really advancing the atmosphere
The second chapter sees a side of MOONSORROW that’s perhaps a little more recognizable. Many epic choirs are coupled with more traditional harsh vocals. The melody is mainly created by the grand keyboard compositions but also by some fantastic evocative guitar playing. I could’ve mentioned it earlier already but since they really excel in this song… No longer are the riffs there because they need to be there, but they actually take the lead often and create fantastic harmonies.
And that is probably what makes this album wonderful; the Finns already nailed down near-perfectly on their previous records how to create a fine type of ‘Viking Metal’ by mixing guitars keyboards and vocals in a melodic and epic manner, but on "V-Hävitetty" the instruments seem to excel more at certain moments and thus create more memorable moments.
(Online March 11, 2007)