Some of you may have noticed but for those who haven’t, I’m totally biased in the realm of Scandinavian, folk and/or black metal. I just love the shit and I love Moonsorrow, and although I’m late to the party, ’tis why I’m reviewing this album.
I have to start with my first impression, which was with their single Suden Tunti. All I can say is, “Holy fuck” simply because of the sheer volume this track brings. It’s a six minute track which is decently sized for a single. Once I decided to listen to the whole album, I realized I was sadly mistaken in regards to the length. The first track, Jumalten Aika is a whopping 12:43. That’s insane. This makes the aforementioned track seem like an interlude in comparison!
Now the album is only five tracks long. That was shocking for me to look at, at first glance. Once I decided to dive in, I started to understand why they did this with the album. The sound is absolutely HUGE! Their potency as a band has only refined itself, sounding better with each release. This album, although I’m impartial to Kylän Päässä, is probably one of their best yet. They very much carry that Finntroll-type of black/folk medley. It’s astounding how they make the two genres mesh, more black than folk. The minor choir presence in Ruttolehto incl. Päivättömän Päivän Kansa is atmospheric to the point of pure ecstasy. It also has a very nice interlude in the middle of it that reinforces the folk roots of Finnish tradition. A sentiment I am very thankful for. To tell it true, you can find these oases of traditional music throughout the album and it serves as an intimate reinforcement of what the artists believe in.
The first half of the album, Suden Tunti being the middle ground, captures a lot of the elegant nuances of the northern mindset. Whereas, the track mention in the lat sentence, brings that fantastical metal sound and does not fail to get the blood pumping. Standing alone, it is a fine track, but hearing it in the middle of the album completely changes the context and makes it a hundred times better. Not to mention, that freaking guitar riff. Damn.
The juxtaposition posed by the intro guitar of Mimisbrunn is very refreshing and atmospheric. I keep referencing Finntroll, but it just reminds me very much of their style. The track explodes into a similar riff, though with the electric guitar, that carries the same melancholy of the acoustic. However, this transition is more urgent and emotional in sound, passionate, perhaps.
Lyrically, the album almost seems conceptual. Playing heavily on both Finnish and (presumably) Nordic myths, it makes for an interesting medley of ideals. For the English translations of the original Finnish lyrics, it almost seems as if it is written in the Kalevala metre. Such a fact would be interesting, especially if done on purpose. It slips up here and there in regards to that theory, but still interesting to think about nonetheless.
In conclusion: I think this album is great. Musically and lyrically, it demands your attention tenfold. The length of the songs are definitely not for the faint of heart. But for those with the ears and the patience, it will pay off. Jumalten Aika is an album well worth your time.
Stay Metal \m/