If the Nazgul from Lord of the Rings had a stereo in Middle Earth, it would probably blast out Moonsorrow. Over the past two decades the Finnish outfit have firmly set up camp in the darker clearings of the heavy metal forest and enticed us with six challenging records and an unwavering spirit to write and play what they believe in, much like our hooded riders’ tireless efforts to return the One Ring to Sauron. Jumalten aika, which translates as ‘The Age of Gods’, is the band’s seventh studio album, and was released on Friday. It is also the band’s first release on Century Media, breaking a relationship with Spinefarm that has stretched back fifteen years.
If you’re not familiar with Moonsorrow, it’s worth mentioning that simple songs aren’t their thing – this is a band who released an EP that was a full hour in length. With five numbers present here and four of those clocking in at over twelve minutes, this certainly isn’t a record that can be digested in one sitting. However, give it the time it deserves and you’ll uncover a rich, thought-provoking album that ignites the imagination tenfold. Special mention to the production as well, which is wonderfully balanced between your headphones and allows the songs to dance around you and draw you in even further, with guitars dipping in and out and the symphonics moving gracefully from one ear to the other. From the brooding title track through to the sublime ‘Mimisbrunn’ (translation: Mímir’s Well) and culminating in the excellent Ihmisen aika (Kumarrus pimeyteen), or The Age of Man (A Bow into Darkness), each song is a journey in its own right that, in turn, forms part of an even bigger saga that Tolkein himself would have been proud of writing. It might seem like another day at the office for Moonsorrow, but it’s another job very well done.
Henri Sorvali – rhythm and lead guitars, backing and lead vocals, keyboards
Ville Sorvali – bass, lead vocals
Mitja Harvilahti – lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Markus Eurén – keyboards, backing vocals
Marko Tarvonen – drums, backing vocals, percussion
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Ihmisen aika (Kumarrus pimeyteen)