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This is probably the best Moonsorrow work so far, although very close with Voimasta ja Kunniasta. I will not deny that it is different from previous works but that does not take away anything from the quality of the music.
Let me first talk about some of the changes. First of all, 4 out of 5 of the songs are the longest Moonsorrow songs ranging from fourteen to as much as over ninteen minutes. There isn't as much folk influence to the music, although it is still present. This album is much more dark and really does sound very sad. While listening to this you could almost picture yourself sitting or hiking in the woods of Finland. It really is that beautiful as is Finland. Let me also say that Ville's screams in this album are much better than in the last albums and they are really great. They are long and very harsh. Ville sounds as if someone is stabbing him with a sword. This goes really well with the music.
The album starts off with Karhunkynsi which is one of the less interesting songs on the album but still great. This as all the songs on the album start off with a little ambience and sounds of nature. You can hear birds chirping before the fiddle comes in and then the drums which are as powerful as ever. There are some acoustic guitars on here too. At 1:57 Ville lets out a decent scream, and you have more guitars, drums, and the fiddle is still present before the vocals come in at around 2:20. The song is lengthy at exactly 14 minutes but it doesn't bore you. There are several more loud, long, ear-piercing screams performed by Ville and the last minute or two of the song are once again sounds of nature, you could hear the cold wind blowing and birds chirping and this leads into the next song.
Haaska is a lengthy song of over 14 minutes that continues with the sounds of nature but adds in acoustic guitar which while calm still manages to sound very dark and sad. Around 0:40 the song explodes with Ville's sharp loud scream. If you were sitting alone and really into the acoustic music, the scream comes in so unexpected you could even jump out of surprise. At around 1:25 we have another scream, and the song continues with the drumming, guitars, and you hear the fiddle once again in the background. You could also hear acoustic guitar. This song has a few breaks for acoustic parts about one minute long. They are excellent. Also the drums stand out and at some points for a second or two they are even in the rolling-style almost like balls rolling on the ground and hitting bumps.
Pimea starts off with an owl hooting quietly and a crow squaking. Once again at about 0:40 you get startled by Ville's scream and the drums and guitar take over from there. This song also has quite a dark feel to it as you have guitars, acoustic guitars, and drums combined in one sound. Ville's vocals in this song are also great, and they go very high-pitched at times in this song. There are many screams here as usual. At least 6 or 7 throughout the whole song. Incredible.
Jotunheim is the longest song on here clocking in at 19:28. It is an amazing epic that starts off with quiet acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars dominate the beginning of the song all the way to about 3:00 when guitars and drums come in. The acoustic guitar no longer makes its presence. And at 3:48 the song turns much more melodic at the sound of Ville's scream. The melody is a very sad one that almost makes people cry. Ville's vocals make it sound like he is going through excruciating pain which makes the song all the more sound. We have some clean vocals on this song too as well as on the other songs. The song is excellent until about 16 minutes. After that and into Kaiku all we get is basically some ambience and more sounds of nature and birds chirping. I wouldn't have a problem if all this lead into a great dark and powerful song, but it doesn't. Instead it leads to some pointless chanting which really has no point. Sure it sounds nice, but its very boring. This is my only problem with the album and if not for Kaiku I'm sure I would give this 100.
Overall a great album. Much more dark and still heavy. Not as many folk influences although you still have harps and fiddles. The birds chirping and other nature sounds are really great intros to the songs and set a sort of sad and calm atmosphere before you get bombasted with screams, heavy guitars, and drums. Moonsorrow's greatest work although also much different. I would not recommend this album if you want to get into Moonsorrow, a good starter album would be the first three albums which really take you into Moonsorrow. This album is more like a combination of the three which is why it sounds so different. Kivenkantaja had a lot of acoustic parts while Voimasta ja Kunniasta and Suden Uni were heavy and more dark, and Suden Uni definately stood out for its folkish influences (it has more than any of the other albums).