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'Jumalten Aika'
(Century Media)
Release Date: 01/04/16

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


Finland's Moonsorrow have been quiet for a while. It's been five years since the release of their last album of epic heathen metal so we are long overdue some new material.

Since their inception in the mid nineties Moonsorrow have never been afraid to do things their way and delight in taking their mixture of doom, folk, pagan and black metal and matching it to songs which are equal in length to many prog rock epics. They insist on singing in their native language too and all these band traditions are upheld here.

'Jumalten Aika' ('The Age Of Gods' in English) is your standard hour plus length album but features only five songs. That isn't a problem though as what Moonsorrow is all about is emerging yourself in a soundscape, a vibe with a huge metal bite but underlined with subtleties.

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You get beautiful choral harmonies at the start of the catchily named 'Ruttilehto incl Paivattoman Paivan Kansa' but it's not long before there is pounding metal coming at you along with those strangely strangled sounding vocals. As the song progresses through its fifteen minutes they manage to combine those elements, include an atmospheric folky mid section and somehow make something huge yet cohesive out of it all.

Epic is certainly going to be the most used word in a review of these guys' work and it is so appropriate. They make the kind of metal music you can just get lost in. Not being skilled in languages like most Brits I can't even hazard a guess what they are singing about most of the time so when the band say that this album is about "unchained aggression, mysteries of the north and thundering witchcraft" I have to believe them. It certainly sounds like it is.


'Jumalten Aika' is a fine addition to the Moonsorrow lexicon. If you buy into their musical vision this is one of the best albums they have done and worthy of attention from anyone looking to explore metallic mysteries of the north.

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