A tale of epic brilliance captured in two halves
I'll be honest in saying that I was a little concerned, for want of a better word, when it came time to give Moonsorrow's latest album, V: Hävitetty, a spin. It was a simple thing too that caused this reaction - the fact that it contains only two tracks that clock in at 30minutes 10seconds and 26minutes 19seconds respectively. Sheesh! But this prolific act that has produced five albums in six years is set to take their style of Bathory styled viking metal and turn things up a few notches by really pushing the limits with their songs as can be seen by their latest two track three song effort.
The first track technically, well in all reality really, is in two parts dubbed Born Of Ice and Stream Of Shadows taking in a total over just over 30 minutes. When you think about 30 minutes, that's a TV show, a trip to the store, or a lunch break for office workers. It's amazing then at just how brilliantly Born Of Ice/Stream Of Shadows is written to the point that 30 minutes comes and goes and at no point in time does this slow, dynamic and majestic track get anywhere near boring. It's anything but that and through ebbs and flows, only the slightest transition appears between the two parts of this outstanding opener. Equally brilliant is the instantly heavier and Bathory flavoured A Land Driven Into The Fire which sees some true viking metal riffs dominate this slow burning fuse of a track. A huge choir backing in amongst monstrous riffs, subtle breaks delivered via quieter passages and a consistently high class of musicianship and song writing once again ensures that A Land Driven Into Fire also remains interesting for its duration as well.
It was always going to be a tough ask when it came to keeping two tracks of such epic proportions interesting from start to finish. Without a sliver of doubt, Moonsorrow have stepped up to the plate and belted that concern out of the ball park. V: Hävitetty is pure brilliance through and through, and easily their best and most challenging work to date. It's sure to satisfy long time fans as well as those with a taste for the more recent material from the now defunct legends of the genre, Bathory. Quorthorn would be extremely proud.
(Spikefarm Records/Riot! Distribution)