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Voimasta ja kunniasta is essentially a direct continuation of the themes and ideas found on Suden uni. The most essential differences lie in the way the band polished the concept to a finer edge, and turned the "epicness" dial to 11.
The album's name means "Of Strength and Honour" in English, and that's exactly what the lyrics and the music are all about. Gone are the hints at pseudo-historical stories of the dreamy ages before written Finnish history, the focus is on heroism and a warrior's honour, liberally coated with enough intentional epicness to approach the limit where epic qualities turn to amusing cheese, but not quite reaching too far and keeping the awesome atmosphere intact. The stories of the lyrics are set in undefined times, and entail vengeance, respect for those fallen in battle, and the mental strength of those who can resist temptation and remain faithful to a warrior's code of honour. The triumphant male-choir choruses have been utilized more, and the layered sound is thick and meaty, with pretty much perfect production that emphasizes the story telling and age-of-legends feel of the album.
The music has more of those difficult to define epic qualities than its predecessor did. It could be claimed that if epic atmosphere in folkish metal is what you're looking for, this is The Album for you. But there's more. The tunes are still absolutely infective, and the songs have turned slightly more complicated. They evolve more than before, and that particular trend was destined to continue and increase all the way until the two-song epic V: Hävitetty, an album consisting of many individual parts that other bands would turn into a dozen or more songs, but Moonsorrow simply lumped them into two extremely fluidly flowing and, at the same time, extremely long songs.
Yes, already at this stage, it's possible to recognize a bunch of trends in Moonsorrow's discography, if only in hindsight. If we only look at the first three official full-lengths and forget the demos, they are more or less based on the same thematics and musical ideas, but looking further, it's quite possible to notice an increasing amount of progression in the songs. In this context, "progressions" doesn't have anything to do with funny time signatures or technical wankery; no, the kind of progression found here is of a different kind. The songs start somewhere, and especially in the more recent eras, they end in a completely different surroundings, going through transformations and winding paths. If you compare Suden uni and Voimasta ja kunniasta, the songs take more time to make detours and visit other musical realms on the way from their beginning to the end, and that trend spans the the albums until the epic title song of the Tulimyrsky EP, becoming more pronounced throughout.
Another trend, stealthily seeded already on this mighty album is the gradual moving away from the pure folk metal. That trend is still progressing. If Suden uni is perhaps the purest folk metal album in Moonsorrow's portfolio, this has other qualities hatching amongst the folk. The style, with its epic ideas, has more of the definition-defying Viking atmosphere in it, perhaps as a result of the overall idea of strength and honour. The epicness was bound to increase along the band's career.
The third trend, not yet as prominent as the two above, is the gradual darkening of the sound, songs and the subject matter. That trend would eventually lead Moonsorrow off on another path altogether, and even if it took several albums to turn into a real, noticeable development, the seeds that turned Moonsorrow back to black were sown here.
Yes, this is more of the same, but perhaps even a bit better than on Suden uni. Both are to be recommended to anyone looking for a gate drug to quality folk metal without silly fiddling and mugs of mead in a tavern: this is serious business, and done with good taste, despite the inclusion of the dreadful "folk" part in the alleged genre tag.
I'm never particularly keen on reviewing re-releases, whether I originally knew the album or not. In the case with this Moonsorrow release, "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" is one of their albums that I don't own and so am starting afresh with it, but other than to stop people forgetting about the band I have no idea why it is actually being re-released. It was originally released only 8 years ago, and the version I've been sent (a proper jewel case version - thanks Spikefarm!) has no bonus tracks or any information alluding to a re-release; so given that last album "V: Hävitetty" was released in January 2007 Spikefarm must've been worried about the band being forgotten with new Viking bands seemingly emerging every week onto the scene.
Well there's no chance of that happening given the massive esteem many people hold Moonsorrow, one of the earlier bands playing this style don't forget, in. I say 'many people' because the band has never quite done it for me despite the obvious brilliance and elegance found in albums like "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta". There is no resting on genres clichés or hollow drunken fun for Moonsorrow as is common to the genre, but an album here full of serious, epic Viking/pagan metal that references Bathory, of course, and old Enslaved, but which also reveals the influence they have had on the likes of Turisas and Thyrfing in more recent times.
In my notes on my first listen I wrote that opening instrumental track, "Tyven", sounds like 'either the introduction to a Nightwish album or a seafarers expedition' and I will stand by this a number of listens later. The following 5 songs proper roll at a mid-pace, with plenty of concessions made for the building up of a necessary atmosphere to accompany the feel Moonsorrow look to accompany their music. Vocals vary between deep choral chanted passages (see "Sankaritarina") used frequently by Turisas, and the more common BM-influenced shriek, exemplified by bands like Thyrfing or Manegarm. With all 5 main songs topping 7 minutes the song structures are complex, fitting in numerous passages before their termination and requiring a few listens just to begin to appreciate the depth to the recording, as the passion inherently involved is certainly worthy of your time.
I myself however have failed to get massively excited about "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta". "Kylän Päässä" in the middle of the album is a very good song and the most involving part of the album but as any Moonsorrow album is a veritable adventure to remote lands and with it a highly demanding listen, they are by no means a band for everyone. The apparent admiration for "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta" is understandable, and hopefully something I'll discover in the future, but for now an album that never seems to really get going amongst all the scene-setting will still get a more than solid mark.
Originally written for Rockfreaks.net
Viking metal is a subgenre that shouldn't work. I mean, it has everything it takes to be one of my favorite metal subgenres. And it is. However, the first viking metal song was "Blood Fire Death". When a musical style begins with the best song ever, everything else in that style pales in comparison. Luckily, viking metal bands (at least a considerable amount) didn't ran away from Quorthon's initial idea. Therefore many of these bands play long, epic metal songs with a small folk influence and have extensive use of choirs, acoustic guitars and keyboards. Not the gay 'flower metal' type. The atmospheric, awesome type.
Moonsorrow is one of those bands. Regardless of them liking or not the term 'viking metal', regardless if they write about vikings, they are viking metal. And one of the best in their style, for sure. This is their second album, and one of the best viking metal albums there are. Like stated by another reviewer, this album is a journey. It takes you back to the time where vikings were raping, looting and pillaging, to the point you feel like a viking yourself.
And this epic journey starts with "Tyven", a beautiful prelude of things to come. Acoustic guitar, keyboard, short instrumental piece. It has been done many times before, but Moonsorrow does it well. This wonderful introduction changes immediately into the second track, the heavy "Sankarihauta". Plenty of great riffs, short acoustic moments, the sound of horses and a brutal, deep scream. The vocals are like the scream: brutal, deep, unique and great. And once it ends, the third tracks starts. "Kylän Pääsä" begins with a slow, hammering riff. The sound of the cymbal in the back. Then, a scream. The riff slightly changes, becoming more epic, and then it turns acoustic. Beautiful. The keyboard starts, and so do the vocals. The song grows heavier and more epic as it proceeds. Then, another scream. The first riff returns. And yet another scream. By the time the song ends, you can't believe you just heard something so epic.
"Hiidenpelto" comes next. It starts slow, with an occasional heavy riff and a beautiful acoustic guitar. It changes the melody, still acoustic though. Then the electric guitars kick in. More great vocals. It changes then to the most recurring part in the song, with a slow, pounding riff and some of the best keyboard work in history. Heavy again, then epic again. But this time with clean singing, chanting actually. And I must note that the chanting is really good. These guys have talent, and they know what they're doing. Overall, another great song.
"Aurinko Ja Kuu", the fifth song, starts. Another beautiful acoustic intro, and something I believe to be a flute plays this melody. Then the heavy electric guitar in yet another great riff. Keyboards and epic riffs. Hell yeah! Great riffs, then nothing. Then another scream with new riffs and more epic keyboards. After some time, you hear only the drums, and another riff is played. Another scream, more epic keyboards, then a chanting chorus... Do you notice a pattern here? I guess the album is a little repetitive, as is this review. That is one of the few flaws in this album, if not the only one. All the songs consist of the same things, only in a different order and with a new sequence of notes. Nothing too irritating, but could be improved. Still on the description of the fifth track, I must note that the ending is especially epic.
And now the time has come for the best song of the album, "Sankaritarina". The sound of waves, then birds... Slowly rises the keyboard, playing a beautiful melody. Once the first riff is played, and the keyboard keeps going on, only stronger, with the drums on the back. It all changes to a new riff, very memorable. After some seconds it returns to the keyboard, but now with more chanting. It slows down, and a low singing voice, followed by a superb keyboard part, with some acoustic guitar. And again chanting, along with the harsh vocals. Then it changes to the most beautiful part on the album, somewhere in the sixth minute of the song. The harsh vocals return, and then you can hear the sounds of battle, with the song in the back, slow, building atmosphere. The chanting, and the guitar getting heavier and faster... And yet another great riff. Chants, and a solo. And what a solo! The chanting returns. The epic keyboards, and a choir. Then that very memorable riff returns, to be followed by the chorus, but this time with the growling. And yet another magnificent riff. The riff is now accompanied with the keyboard, and a little chanting. After some time, everything starts to fade out slowly, until only the wind is left, with a low keyboard in the background that reminds you of what you have just experienced. And then, it ends.
It lasts almost 50 minutes, but it feels like a second. It is as if you close your eyes and imagine yourself in ancient Scandinavia, in the sea after having pillaged many villages, now only wanting to return to your own, to your family. And when you open your eyes, you are you again. But you remember the journey, you remember the vision of a burning village, of the riches you looted, you remember as if it actually happened. And as long as you listen to this album, it did.
The second full-length album of the great Finnish epic folk/black metal band Moonsorrow, Voimasta ja kunniasta, is truly an awesome piece of art. It was a step away from more straightforward sound Moonsorrow had on their first album, Suden uni, towards more heroic and grandiose atmosphere. Voimasta ja kunniasta is a formidable work also because of the fact that it was released the same year with Suden uni. Think of it! Two great albums within such a short time! That is not an easy achievement to any band and it tells to us how talented these guys are.
Voimasta ja kunniasta (Of Strength and Honour) could be best described as epic folk metal. The black metal-side of earlier and later Moonsorrow is present but it’s quite subtle throughout the album except in Ville Sorvali’s vocals. Breath-taking, mighty and heroic feeling is the primary element on the album. It is blended very skilfully with effective metal components to create a tense ancient and heathen atmosphere. A strong Nordic, mainly Finnish, touch is always present through the melodies, folk instruments and of course, lyrics. Lyrics on Voimasta ja kunniasta deal with legendary tales, Finnish and Nordic myths, heroic battles and such, which are themes that always appeal to me. The music supports that kind of lyrics perfectly and Ville’s emotional vocals finishes the overall image.
Almost everything on Voimasta ja kunniasta is bombastic. Strong riffs, a couple of solos, pounding bass and drums, flowing synth layers and beautiful folk parts, everything is well planned to make the album exceedingly enjoyable and to honey the music towards astonishing perfection. Vocals are mainly blackish shrieks but a great amount of clean choirs are also present. As a whole, the album holds an awesome variety within it but still the guys of Moonsorrow have managed to keep the music consistent.
Because every one of the songs on Voimasta ja kunniasta is special, I want to tell something about each. The album starts with an intro called “Tyven“, the only intro on Moonsorrow’s full-lengths so far. It consists of some sounds of wind and a beautiful piano melody. Straight from the end of “Tyven” explodes the second song, “Sankarihauta“. It’s an epic and heavy song holding intense power. One of the few Moonsorrow-solos appears near the end of the track and I find that solo to be excellent, maybe because solo is always a rarity in a Moonsorrow-song. Though I see no need for solos in music like this, it’s refreshing in a way. Third track is “Kylän päässä”, a song similar to “Sankarihauta” but with bigger folk-touch. I’ve heard many people praise this song but I find it to be slightly weaker than other songs on Voimasta ja kunniasta. It somehow lacks that enchanting depth that can be found elsewhere on the album. In fact, “Kylän päässä” is the reason why Voimasta ja kunniasta doesn’t get higher points from me.
Fourth song is more darker epic named “Hiidenpelto/Häpeän hiljaiset vedet”. It has a quite slow tempo and many gloomy parts that merge into each other flawlessly. Fifth track is the exalted “Aurinko ja kuu”. The whole song is enthralling, especially the melodies in the beginning and in the middle of the verses. The last song “Sankaritarina” is the longest and the best song on Voimasta ja kunniasta. “Sankaritarina” clocks at 13:50 and includes numerous memorable passages. Step by step it grows from the magical beginning to an epic that exceeds everything else on this album but still being “only” the climax, not drowning other songs under it’s pure majesty. Lyrics tell about a man who has died with honour and glory and whose journey into the underworld is told by his brothers in arms. Hávamál is brilliantly quoted in the first verses of the song. “Sankaritarina” is constructed from the essence of events long since forgotten. It has many powerful parts but also calm parts to introduce the other side of heroic legends.
In conclusion, Voimasta ja kunniasta is an album that sends chills down my spine and while listening it I can’t help longing for the ancient times. Only “Kylän päässä” is a minor flaw in the midst of perfection. Every fan of epic, folkish extreme metal must try this. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!
The best Viking Metal CD (and the best album of all time) was made in 2001, and it was called "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta", the best masterpiece ever made. In this excellent CD can be heard Black/Viking metal voices with an atmospheric and folk ambient, and with some of the nicest guitars I've ever heard.
This is 100% Moonsorrow, so it's pure fucking Viking Metal. The ambient in this CD is absolutely incredible, and with the folk sound in the ambient, we can imagine that we're in front of a bloody epic battle, these songs can definitely act as battle hymns, and sometimes we'll hear the noise that warriors are making when they're in the battle, the swords sound, the shouts of people dying... OGHHH!!
The true Moonsorrow sound begins into the Intro "Tyven", with some excellent notes, and this notes will be repeated along this CD, happening the same than in Suden Uni, that fucking folk riff is true amazing, and you'll repeat it for days, really catchy and elegant, really... viking. The next song "Sankarihauta" can act as the best Viking Metal hymn ever created, with its amazing guitar riff and its excellent vocals. The changes of intensity on the sound are excellent, when we're listening strong guitars, the sound can change into a nice folk ambient. "Kylän Päässä" is the heaviest song on this CD, and in the beginning we can hear another vocals riff that we can hear in all the Moonsorrow's releases, their characteristic and true sound is, definitely, the sound that we'll hear in this CD. "Hidenpelto" and "Aurinko Ja Kuu" are more fucking masterpieces, but the most ambiental and atmospheric song is "Sankaritarina", an amazing song that we'll enjoy for more than 13 minutes, with the nice fucking vocals riff. In fact, "Sankarihauta" and "Sankaritarina" are the hymns of this CD. "Sankarihauta" has stronger guitars and stronger vocals, "Sankaritarina" is a more ambiental and atmospheric song, with some riffs that are repeated a lot of times along the song, but with amazing growls, and perfect changes of intensity. There is a moment in the song where we can hear a bloody battle: people dying, people winning... and when it finishes, the best riff guitar of all this CD. This CD is really a fucking masterpiece.
I can say they have improved their sound since they edited their first CD "Suden Uni", but a lot of elements of their first CD can be found in this release. This CD is, definitely, the born of the new Viking Metal supergroup, and the born of the best Metal release ever recorded.
Viking Metal forever...†
To truly understand the rating I give to this album, when listening to the music, don't listen if the vocals are good, neither the drums, guitar nor keyboard. Ok, you may say that this is a Viking metal album and metal is about... NO. This is a very atmospheric album, more than metal, and that is what it counts here.This album makes you travel through space and time, to where Vikings live, in wartime. And you are there. This is my feeling when listening to this. And you know what? I love Vikings!
But let's talk about the music. What you will hear here is a very well done epic Viking (or heathen like they call themselves) metal. Beginning with "Tyven", and ending with "Sankaritarina", you will be in a very atmospheric musical experience. One of the things that makes this album unique is the riffs. They are epic, yes. They are boring, no. They are repeated endlessly, yes. Does it makes it boring? No. Does it create a fucking atmosphere? Hell, yeah!
In fact, let's begin describing the music. "Tyven" is a keyboard driven prologue, in which there is only a riff, repeated until the end, preparing the atmosphere, until "Sankarihauta" explodes where "Tyven" ends. The main riff is repeated like the 80% of the song, but it never feels boring or monotone. There are two main brakes, one at 3:30 (the scream here is the best metal scream, trust me!) and other at the end, where the keyboard takes the lead, and it's fucking great! The feeling of that is undescribable. Just hear it and see Vikings in all their glory.
If I had to tell which song is the best, I just couldn't, because it's little piece of music is just perfectly done. "Sankarihauta" is the perfect opener, because if you don't like this, I doubt you will like the rest of the album. "Kylän Päässä" is the heaviest track, and "Sankaritarina" the most atmospheric and longest. But don't worry, you won't bore. Just when you think the song is beginning, it just ended, and about 13 minutes had gone like 5. It's like that, it has happened my always, even I've heard this song hundreds of times.
I could still describe what I believe is my favorite album, but this can't be described merely by words. Just hear the album. If you like extreme metal, know this band has the best screams I've heard ever. If you like melodic metal, don't worry, because there is enough melody for you. Hell, if you like music, kill, rape, destroy to get this album!
Best tracks: Don't ask. Every track deserves a perfect score.
First of all, I was shocked at how excellent this band was, yet another spectacular band from Scandinavia, Moonsorrow from Finland. I started off with Voimasta ja Kunniasta and was not disappointed with.
The album starts off with a beautiful piano intro, "Tyven". Very nice and short intro. It sets the mood for the rest of the album. We move on to "Sankarihauta" which starts off with what probably is the best scream I ever heard. It has all the elements of a perfect scream, it is long, loud, harsh, and sounds very painful. Beautiful scream. After that its all very nice instruments until we hit 2:00 which is when the vocals kick in and they sound just as harsh and painful. They are just perfect. After that the song kind of goes on and is really great. Beautiful epic, the strongest song on the album.
"Kylan Paassa" starts off really nice with guitars and the sound of swords. After that follows a good scream, more guitars and swords for a while. After that we also have a noise in the background that sounds sort of like a spring before the great vocalry kicks in again although its not as powerful and moving as in "Sankarihauta".
"Hidenpelto including Hapean Hiljaiset Vedet" starts off quietly with some nice guitar and drum work and even some acoustic guitars. It gets louder at around 0:50 and the vocalry kicks in at 1:15 which is very well done too. It is a very dark song and kind of slow paced. It also includes a nice instrumental towards the end.
"Aurinko ja Kuu" has a nice acoustic intro before it explodes at around 0:33. Very well done song with a good blend of all the instruments.
Lastly we have "Sankaritarina" which starts off quiet and with the sound of waves. It doesn't really kick up until after the 2:00 mark. It is a slower paced song but very well done. It is also a good closing and is the lengthiest song on the album at 13:50.
This is a very good album and while it has some polk influences, that only makes it better. It is dark throughout and by the end you wish it wasn't over and that there were more than 6 tracks. Very well done and I am happy they stretched the songs out. Even though they are long, they are not boring. You can always hear all the instruments except the piano. I only heard it during the first song and maybe in a few places throughout the rest. The guitars are great too. There are a few nice solos and some memorable riffs. But the strongest song was "Sankarihauta" which once again includes one of the best opening screams I've ever heard.
One of three releases to come out in 2001, along with a re-recording of their demo, "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" and their debut "Suden Uni", MOONSORROW came out of nowhere. For the uneducated, MOONSORROW play Viking Metal that is somewhat rooted in Black Metal, fusing together heavy metal riffs with their atmospheric Nordic folkloric influeces - and hell does it sound good.
MOONSORROW have many similarities with fellow countrymen FINNTROLL, the most obvious being that they share a keyboarder. But where FINNTROLL apply a humppa influence, MOONSORROW opt for long, drawn out epics that maybe actually be too long for some, but are just the right length for what they're trying to achieve.
The album opens with the folky intro "Tyven", setting the scene (and pace) of things to come. A great folkloric instrumental that builds up to the first real song on the album.
"Sankarihauta" (Warrior's Grave) starts off with a great, epic intro that leads into a riff with an evil sounding twist. You'll recognise one of the riffs from this song as the intro, "Tyven", aswell.
"Kylän Päässä" (A Village Away) opens sounding evil enough, followed by an acoustic break with the good ol' bouncy sound just before the vocals come in. At 3:19, the song really picks up into something that can only be described as one big orgasm, lasting for the rest of the song. Fucking awesome stuff.
"Hiidenpelto including Häpeän Hiljaiset Vedet" (Field Of The Devil) is about a once battle-hardened warrior who turns against his own people and leads the enemy to strike against his village, killing his own brother in the process. The song's strong point is it's lyrics, and although the weakest song on the album, it is still as epic and grandiose as the rest.
"Aurinko Ja Kuu" (The Sun And The Moon) starts off with a great Nordic acoustic intro before leading into a riff ripe for headbanging. This song is, as you'd expect from MOONSORROW, another epic that draws you in from start to finish.
"Sankaritarina" (Warrior's Tale) is the longest song at the album, aswell as being the strongest. A 13 minute long epic with an intro worthy of appearing in any BAL-SAGOTH song. This song has an atmosphere of it's own, it has to be heard to be believed/felt. The music shows perfectly just what the lyrics are saying, and is a great way to close an even greater album.
If you enjoy the likes of ENSIFERUM, FINNTROLL and ELVENKING, you should already know about this band, and if you haven't already got this album then what are you waiting for?
Here is the second album of this Viking Metal band.After the awesome debut “Suden Uni”,Moonsorrow release this second album with the name “Voimasta Ja Kunniasta”.Yes another strange Finnish name!But their language is absolutely fitted with their music and the lyrical themes.
The first song here is an introduction for the second and for the whole album actually.This intro with the name “Tyven” contains a piano melody that makes you enter into the world of Moonsorrow.This magical and epic world.
The second song bursts out as soon as the intro is finished.This song starts very epically,you hear a whinny of a horse and the guitar riff takes on the rhythm of the music.The keyboards are still here to give more essence to the whole atmosphere and I can say that they work very good on this.In the first minutes of this song you hear also the rhythm and riff changes.Moreover the screams of the singer are perfect,they introduce you perfectly to the song.The vocals are still brutal and blackish here but the music has something of this folk thing and the chor plays important role here too.There are some beautiful melodic parts here and sudden changes.From melody to powerful epic metal.I think that this song is a testament for Moonsorrow and shows that this band will have a great future.
In the third song,we here the swords clanging in the start and the cry of the singer.Very epic stuff here!The pounding of drums and the production of the drum sound is very good and fits with the whole epic souns of the music.The acoustic guitar makes much job in the music and gives more atmosphere.The black metal influences on the vocals are clear too.Sure Moonsorrow liked Bathory.The third song is more brutal and powreful than the second.But there is here too this epic character and scent.The folk music also does its apperance to this beautiful song.However toughness remain in the song.
And now we are in the fourth track and maybe my favorite in the album.The name of this song is “Hiidenpelto”,the song starts with the pounding of drums and a quit guitar melody,continues with the sound of the acoustic guitar and after a little bit the riff bursts out of the scene.There are many rhythm changes here too,so you wont get bored with the song even if is 9:20 minutes.The choir also is here again and is combined with the bestial vocals of the singer.Great job yeah!The song is absolutely incredible and when is close to the end,the riffs and the drums are just awesome.
Aurinko Ja Kuu is another song that I like very much here.The folk sounds are here in the start of the song but just for a little bit.The guitar and the drums make the appearance fastly!The riff changes are frequent here too.After the first two minutes there is a true epic riff which is just wonderful.In the middle of the song the choir singing blows into and its fucking perfect.True epic thing here.The melodies are excellent and theey fill you with this epic feeling.Its like you’re running in the field of battle with your brothers and fighting with the enemy.With swords and shields of course,no with bombs and other idiots thing which the new goverments use to kill the forceless people!This is man to man!Ok the song is absolutely perfect.I like it very much and I think that you wil love It too.
Sankaritarina is the biggest and the most atmospheric song in the album.From the first minutes of the song you’ll realize this thing.There are many melodic parts with keyboards and many parts that you will hear loud cries of war or the narrator.Ok there is singing there too but the most of the song is built up on the atmosphere.Its something different from the other songs of the album and its very good.
Overall Moonsorrow made again a great epic album.After this is Kivenkantaja and this is album if isnt like Kivenkantaja is very good and I think better from the first.if you like viking metal you must have this album,its perfect.The whole atmosphere the vocals the melodic parts the instruments all are perfect.There are black metal influences here but this album is more epic.Take it.
From the first piano line, which repeats a bit, but is intermingled with another piano based riff, and also has a nice synth backing you get your first taste of the albums begining feel. A great short intro that holds a dreamy, sorta warriors ballad type quality that soon gives way to the bands full power.
Some accents and an odd little horse noise kick off track two (Sankarihauta). The piano line from the intro is repeated in some parts on the second song, and this is sorta a typical thing for this album, repetition that is. An awesome high pitched scream is also another element which helps to add to how much this song kicks ass, but there really arent many other parts that contain a similiar wail. I think one of the draw back to this song and album on a whole is the riffing's repitition, which does feel very epic, but can get boring also, but only takes a minimal amount of plesure away. A highly keyboard oriented sound is first showen here, and you can expect it to last the albums length.
A chugging riff opens (Kylän Päässä) with sounds of metal clashing behind it, as the drums and keys help fill the sound. An odd noise is present behind the short acuostic part that follows the intial intro riff, and then leads into some well done vocal patterns, and a killer thrashy riff. The keys are very prominant, and give the bands sound more power than if left untouched. There is a break in this song that goes into a drum and keyboard sound, short it may be, but I think this is one part that should have been left out (like a few other parts soon to be mentioned). Epic like the last tune, but lacks a bit in some areas, like the claping accompanyment part before breaking into a melodic thrashy riff slightly reminiscent of some Amon Amarths stuff. There are some very kick ass parts like when the vocals are sung clean, which pack a meaty punch of feeling, but in a small dose since its a short part of a long song. I think a little less repetition would have done a lot to shorten the songs, and add to the listening experience, but probably would have taken away a bit from the epicness, so its a bit hard to say.
I enjoyed the begining to Hiidenpelto... alot and there is some great melodic building within the music as the song progress into various riffs. The clean vocal chorus accompanyments are quite entertaining in their delivery, but as soon as that part ends it goes into a riff that should have been left of this. This could bave been the best song on here, but I was highly disappointed with one short riff break when the guitars play a riff that almost sounds Nu-Metal (actually reminds me of a few riffs by the band Kanker). I just cant get over that one riff, even though its one of many, its easily a point were I go "What the fuck!!" and ask why did they have to add that. Every other part of the song is well done (especially the acoustic parts), epic metal to a degree that it stands out, but as I have mentioned it also lacks in a few areas, but these guys are from Finland, so what can I say.
Opening up acousticly, with the same background noise on a few other parts that also contain clean guitar on this album, this shortly there after breaks into the bands full metal assaulght. Some nice lead work comes in right before some great thrashy accents, or break into another riff, that in some ways reminds me of Lamia by Lord Belial but with trying to achieve a totally different sound, and merely breifly. There are also some parts on here that just dont catch me at first, possibly cause there are too many riff breaks, but as the full band comes in the sound is drasticly improved. Again clean vocals are used, and sung damn finely, but are layered on a tired pattern and dont really build into anything. Great leads are on here, but in short tiny doses.
The sixth song, Sankaritarina, opens with winds, slowly bridgeing to crackling noises and quite synths that grow louder. Again the full sound does some pounding accents for a measure before going into a slower riff that all the others so far, and catching quite a melodic tone when the clean warrior choir comes in. Repetition does the riff to death, but in its defense there are different accompanying instruments, voices that do help. There is also a part on here were there is a bunch of voices, not really in any pattern, that just come in sounding original, and presenting a truelly original sound (which I cant say to many other parts of this album encompass).
This is worth the time to check out if your a fan of Melodic Viking Metal done in a very native sound (they are from Finland and sound like it). Good metal, lacking in some areas, but still possessing an epic Viking sound that is great to drink a chalice of mead to. Recommend to fans of the style, but not for everyone. I also must say that the layout and cover are very well done, and quite an interesting aspect of the overall package.
The first thing that struck me about this band are the vocals. I guess it may be a typical Viking style, but it sounds awfully close to gremlins or a milder Dani Filth. Not bad, just humorous. As far as the music goes, it's great epic stuff that boils pride in your blood. The first song, Tyven, is an instrumental and it perfectly captures the adventurous Viking atmosphere. The melody in this song is reprised later in the last song, Sankaritarina. Anyway, the second song, Sankarihauta, trudges along at a lazy tempo and features a prominent jew's harp. This instrument resurfaces several times on the CD. Well, there's not much for the way of solos in this song, but the drunken Viking choirs sound especially resonant, with a chorus of "Ah"s.
The third song is Kylan Paasaa, which is my favorite off the album. It begins with a jews harp, then furiously erupts into a simple guitar riff with more indistinguishable "ahs" before becoming an extremely catchy melody that doesn't sound too far removed from a Disney movie, seriously. Fortunately, the vocals don't add to the Disney effect. One cool thing about this song is how fast the vocals are. There's definitely some vocal skill at work here. Later on, as the song heats up, there's a Celtic instrument that plays for awhile; then the heavy guitars come in and mimic that same melody from the Celtic instrument. Then the guitars go to a lower octave with the same melody. There's more awesome guitar-playing and the song closes with very inspiring shouted Viking vocals and Celtic instruments. The following song, Hiidenpelto, is nothing too special. This particularly song is very hypnotic and trancelike. Following this comes Aurinko Ja Kuu, which is the second best song on the album. It begins with smoky acoustic guitar-playing before shifting to a massive sound wall of guitars and more "Ahs". This song has a very bludgeoning chorus with great Celtic melody layered over the guitars. Later on, a transitional period comes in the song that sounds like 80's techno pop, but then gives way to a truly inspiring closing. The last song, Sankaritarina, is a fourteen minute epic and begins with the sound of a fire crackling, orchestration, and then some more drunken Viking choirs. There's nothing technically impressive about this song, but it does capture the fury and intense pride and emotion of the Vikings. The ending reprises the melody of Tyven and features some mystical sounds of wind blowing. Truly magical. For people just starting out in Viking metal, this is definitely one of the first CDs you should buy.
The debut album was great, but left some space for progression since it mostly reminded me of Finntroll with finnish lyrics and without the polka-parts. The best song on the first album was the most epic part of it, the amazing 1095 aika and I was glad that the songs on Voimasta ja Kunniasta (Of Strenght and Honour) pretty much follow the same style and go even more epic. The speed of the material remains quite mid-tempo mostly, there are some faster parts though. I really love the solo's on this album; there aren't many of them but when the solo comes it really fits into mood! In the last song, Sankaritarina (Warrior's Tale) the solo is my personal favourite part of the song.
It's quite hard to name any favourite track since they are all very great. Exception to Hiidenpelto including Häpeän Hiljaiset Vedet (Field of the Devil, including The Silent Waters of Infamy) which is great but isn't as great in quality as the other tracks. The album overall doesn't have much flaws. I think the growled vocals could be better, they lack some strenght. But this doesn't annoy me anywhere on the album.
Production is quite nice, it doesn't emphasize any instruments, but they can all be heard there. I give 100 points to the keyboards and orchestrations. It's nice to hear an album where keyboards do not steal the show or on the other hand they do not become redutant either. And the most important part: No annoying keyboard solos!
While I was very pleased with their first album, it is most certain that Voimasta ja Kunniasta is more mature and definitely more ambitious Moonsorrow album. With more this kind of albums Moonsorrow would soon appears on the top of my list when it comes to either folk/pagan metal or whole finnish metal scene.