MOONSORROW's current album "Kivenkantaja" absolutely deservedly stands in my personal Top 20 of 2003, as one of the absolute Viking Metal highlights of that year. Now "Kivenkantaja" already had been the third album of the Finnish band, already in 2000 "Suden Uni" was the debut of MOONSORROW, released through the completely unknown Plasmatica label, which now gets re-released with a bunch of bonus videos.
As most of you most probably already know, the Sorvali brothers Henri and Ville are the driving force behind MOONSORROW, forming the band in 1995 and after two demos (or rather three as the first one never got released as after the mastering half of the recorded material had disappeared) released "Suden Uni" ("Dream Of A Wolf") in 2000. Even back then it had been the goal of the band to make Folk influenced Pagan Metal and even though you can or rather have to draw a fine line between these two styles, the debut of these folks to me is Viking Metal - and if I may add truly excellent.
From the introducing wolf's howl of "Ukkosenjumalan Poika" on MOONSORROW pull you in deeper and deeper with their highly melodic Viking Metal and its great and grand melodies, driving, variable drums, rough vocals, very well implemented keyboards and the use of authentic instruments and also a melodic Black Metal eruption. All of this is almost perfected with "Köyliönjärven Jäällä (Pakanavedet II)", complete with accordion, mouth harp, acoustic guitars and changing vocals, that the keyboards are used a bit more extensively here is not negative at all, the accordion alone is worth this song!
Also to be emphasised shall be the strong, mostly slow paced, but still very varied instrumental "Tuulen Koti, Alltoien Koti", again with accordion and brilliant melodies, the more than 11 minute epic epos "1065: Aika", which both show greatly that MOONSORROW do not only have the will to differ from the majority of other bands, but also are able to unite these many different elements and influences into a whole so masterfully that they create a truly original and cohesive sound that is just plainly great!
The closing "Tulkaapa Ii T!" is titled as "Drinking Music" and I have to say that this fits perfectly, for this song is almost predestined for the later hours of a party, if you have a bit in you already, I guess that the Finnish lyrics will go fluently, too, super catchy, with accordion, flute and mouth harp, mostly stomping, accelerating in the chorus, perfect to sing/shout along and towards the end getting wilder by the second. Strong closer, even sober a great song!
Even though "Suden Uni" has a few years already, it has not lost anything of its class and fascination and together with "Voimasta Sa Kunniasta" and "Kivenkantaja" stands high up on the Viking scale, trust me! (Online January 29, 2004)