THE DEMO CORNER
Moonsorrow - V: Hävitetty
November 2, 2008
When it comes to folk metal and the word “epic,” one of the very first bands that come to mind is Finland’s Moonsorrow. From albums such as Kivenkantaja to Voimasta Ja Kunniasta and even down to Verisäkeet, the band rarely makes a bad album. With the latest release in V: Hävitetty, the one thing that can be said for the album is that it is ambitious, as it is a two track album that runs close to the one hour mark. However, ambitious doesn’t always mean great, as the album proves in spots.
Anytime an album is made that features tracks that have an average running time of about 28 minutes, there are bound to be some mistakes, no matter how good a band is at their craft. Moonsorrow is not much different in that regard, and as with all songs of great length, the songs on V: Hävitetty definitely take multiple listens to fully grasp what is going on within the songs. The songs also allow for some experimentation, as Moonsorrow seems to be incorporating progressive elements on “Tuleen Ajettu Maa.” While some long time fans of the band may scream bloody murder for such a statement, the band should be praised for at least thinking outside the box, and that is saying something for a band that continually pushes the limits on what they can do. What may cause some issues with some fans though is that the emphasis seems to be placed more on the black metal elements with the folk elements being pushed into the background a little. With a good ear, one can hear that the folk elements do play a role in the music, a sign that Moonsorrow hasn’t lost touch with what brought them to the position that they are in now. As said earlier, the black metal elements are done in more abundance, which in a way, makes the songs more drawn out than what they are, but at the same time, show a different side to Moonsorrow that few have seen before. Even the cover art bears that out, as it can be seen as a light fading into darkness, symbolic of the black metal elements that appear ready to take a firm hold of the band’s sound.
While Moonsorrow shouldn’t be written off for V: Hävitetty, this is also not their best album when compared to the band’s other albums. In no way does this mean that the band shouldn’t be allowed a break every now and then, as they try something different and even go as far as trying to see how far they can go with their sound. Long time fans of the band will no doubt be disappointed, but approach the album with an open mind and enough patience and the rewards will be there.
Release Date: January 15, 2007
Label: Spinefarm Records
1. Jäästa Syntynyt/ Varjojen Virta
(Born of Ice/ Stream of Shadows)
2. Tuleen Ajettu Maa
[(A) Land Driven Into the Fire]
Total playing time: 56:29
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