I’ve heard of Moonsorrow since their 2007 album, V: Hävitetty, but being young and impatient back then, the band’s brand of epic metal failed to capture my attention. So it was with little knowledge of the band’s sound that I chance upon this Finnish outfit’s seventh full length album, Jumalten aika. With all the band’s release up till 2011’s Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa drawing critical acclaim, it is with little surprise that fans of the band hold high hopes for the record, especially with the long 5-year wait.
Moonsorrow indeed doesn’t disappoint, and with Jumalten aika the band proves that the 5-year wait was well worth it, as they indulge fans in an epic journey that spans more than an hour long. Opening track Jumalten aika throws the listener into an epic soundscape, complete with those chant-like backing vocals as well as the huge orchestration that sets up a large soundstage. One almost feels as though he were in a battlefield aside war-hardened vikings, charging fearlessly towards the enemy. The opening riffs of tracks like Suden Tunti and Ihmisen Aika (Kumarrus Pimeyteen) brings in some aggression to them, setting the mood for the journey to come for the respective songs.
While the focus is mainly on the atmosphere that the band has created on Jumalten aika, the black metal elements that Moonsorrow has incorporated also helps in reinforcing the overall vibe of the music, with the coldness and bleakness that one experiences on certain moments on the album. That said, the band does not shy away from using heavy keyboards, and often Markus’ keyboards take the spotlight, driving the band’s creations forward. On songs like Ruttolehto incl. Päivättömän Päivän Kansa, the keyboards combined with the clean backing vocals results in an almost liberating emotion within the listener.
Moonsorrow‘s Jumalten aika reminds me about my love for such epic style of metal once more, scratching an itch that your traditional black or death metal often doesn’t manage to satisfy. If one were looking for a more epic Blood Fire Death or Hammerheart, Jumalten aika would be one hell of a trip. As of now at least, Jumalten aikia is certainly one of the main contenders for album of the year.
1. Jumalten Aika
2. Ruttolehto incl. Päivättömän Päivän Kansa
3. Suden Tunti
5. Ihmisen Aika (Kumarrus Pimeyteen)
Favourite picks: Jumalten Aika, Ruttolehto incl. Päivättömän Päivän Kansa