my first contact with moonsorrow was on the 9th of april this year, when they were playing at the z-7 in pratteln. i didn’t knew them before, but i was told that i might like them. well. i did. after the concert, i decided i had to buy one of their albums, namely viides luku: hävitetty, which is finnish and means chapter five: ravaged, being their fifth album, and i immediately listened to it when i came home after the concert. less than two weeks later i also had the rest of their albums lying on my desk.
simlarly to finntroll’s visor om slutet, v: hävitetty is a very special album. consisting of just two tracks, each having around 30 minutes of music, it builds up an intense atmosphere throwing you back into the old times, when vikings were sailing the northern seas. in contrast to visor om slutet, most of this album is heavy, very heavy, transporting a completely different mood. the first six minutes of the first track can be seen as a separate song, called jäästä syntynyt (born of ice), a very atmospheric, slow, dreamy piece, featuring a short poem:
“auringon kuoleman syntyäkseen
uusi maailma tarvitsee
vain pisaran vettä kylmyyteen
käsillä juoksemaan ihmisten”
which translates to:
“through the death of the sun
a new world is born
a drop of water in cold
to run on the hands of man”
other bands would let this be a whole song.
after this, a twenty-five minutes long heavy sound scape named varjojen virta (stream of shadows) breaks loose on the listener, never being boring, recurring motifs varied, always melodic, sometimes a bit slower, mostly fast, screaming. closing my eyes, i can see vast landscapes and seascapes, raging storms, ships fighting the rough sea, endless forests, fog, darkness, bleak lives, people dying, battles raging. the music makes me want to move, it’s so intense, so beautiful, intoxicating. the lyrics are in finnish, with an english translation being provided in the booklet, allowing to enrich the experience, putting more emotions and emphasis into the music. they transport dreary feelings, are depressing, make me shiver. beautiful, in some sense, sorrowful, in another.
the second song on this album, tuleen ajettu maa, which means a land driven into the fire, begins with shaman chants, quickly progressing to heavy riffs, screams. similarly to varjojen virta, this sound scape is intense, dense, heavy, varying between more silent, folkish parts, many heavy parts, black metal thunderstorms, forming a fascinating masterpiece.
this one feels similarly depressing, bleak, even more aggressive. i can see boats floating, shaking on rough water, the sea trying to swallow the boats, i can see battles, fights, man against man, dying and dead people, the distinction between victor and loser being that one is dead, whereas the other is dying. skimming through the lyrics, i read as the last verse:
“näin kaikki päättyy, näen sen nyt
tämä sivu on viimeinen
näin kaikki päättyy, tyhjään ja unohdukseen
eikä kukaan tänne palaa”
“this is how it ends, i can see it now
this page will be the last
this is how it ends, to emptiness, to oblivion
and none will ever return”
this is what the music makes me feel. makes me see, makes me think about, when i listen to it.