It’s that time of year when I start to think about my “Favourite Albums of the Year” list (I’ve started a thread about this very subject on the Loucifer Speaks forum – click here to read it). I know it’s only September, but it really does take me a few months to sort out which albums will be put on it and where they will be (the main reason for this being that I always seem to forget a handful of releases and then have to reorder the whole list to fit them in). Anyway, doing this makes me remember fantastic albums that I haven’t had a chance to feature on Loucifer Speaks yet. Moonsorrow’s most recent offering is one of them.
It’s taken me a while to get into Moonsorrow. “Verisäkeet” was the first Moonsorrow release that entered my collection and, while I couldn’t argue that it was a superb piece of work, I just couldn’t get into it. I can only assume that back then I had a much shorter attention span and Moonsorrow’s epic masterpieces were too much for my little brain. Fast-forward to 2011 and suddenly everything just clicks. I get it and, for the love of Odin, it’s beautiful! So, once I was well and truly hooked on Moonsorrow’s previous releases I just had to buy “Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa”… as soon as it was released.
Upon listening to the album for the first time, I knew that it was going to be one of my (seemingly many) favourites of 2011. It’s a monumental and sprawling voyage into Moonsorrow’s world – an album that flips the switch in my brain that makes me want to stop working in an office and join a viking crew. I become savage and feral and, I can assure you, this is about a thousand times better than ‘real life’. According to various Internet sources the album title translates to “As shadows we walk in the land of the dead” and this gives a good indication as to the general feel of the music here. It’s not cheerful; it’s pretty bleak… but, at the same time, it’s wonderful.
The album is made up of 4 colossal tracks and 3 shorter ones (that feel more like interludes). Moonsorrow are the reason why the word “epic” was invented – it seems to sum them up brilliantly, but – at the same time – it’s not enough. Is there a word more ‘epic’ than ‘epic’? If there is, we need it.
Opening track “Tähdetön” really sets the scene – heroic melodies flow from the speakers and I really feel like I should be brandishing a sword. The sounds of walking through the snow during the interludes serve to make “Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa” much more than an album – it’s an experience. This isn’t just an album that you can throw on and forget about – it sucks you in and you can’t help but become a part of it. That’s not just the sounds of someone walking through the snow – that’s YOU! Personally, I can’t wait for this heatwave to pass and some frost and snow to arrive. I have the feeling that most of Moonsorrow’s discography (and this album in particular) will provide the soundtrack for the winter months.
Viking Metal bands may be two a penny these days, but Moonsorrow are one of the ones that stand apart… and this album is more than worthy of your undying love and affection.
Rating: 100% – Yep, another one deserving of top marks. There is absolutely nothing wrong or out of place on this album at all.
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In honour of Secrets She Kept’s Facebook page reaching its 666th “likes”, the band have put up a track on their Reverbnation page for you to listen to!
The following message was posted on the Official Secrets She Kept Google+ page:
New song “The Scourge and The Blessing” streaming NOW!! This song is the DEMO version off the up-coming (still untitled) SSK EP, available next year. This song will be up for 1 week for everyone to check out and then will be taken down for good
Bask in all that is unclean…
You can listen to the song by heading over to Secrets She Kept’s Reverbnation page (click here) or by making use of the widget below. The widget features “The Scourge and The Blessing” as well as a few other SSK tracks.
Norway’s TROLLFEST has today released a video for the track “Karve” from the band’s latest album “En Kvest For Den Hellige Gral”. Made by Manskow Productions, the video was filmed in Super 8, and shows scenes of the band performing at a neighbourhood barbeque in the company of family and friends, including members of PANTHEON I and DEAD TROOPER, as well as fans who had heard about the filming and turned up to enjoy the fun. As Manskow himself is actually TROLLFEST’s accordionist, Oslo-based Romanian photographer and writer Andrea Chirulescu assisted with the video, which can be seen below:
“En Kvest For Den Hellige Gral”, was released on NoiseArt Records in April of this year, and since then TROLLFEST, whose line up is drawn from bands such as URGEHAL, PANTHEON I, UNTIME, MELCH, SARKOM, HALLUCINATIONS and POWERSWORD, has been sharing its particular brand of exuberance and fun with festival goers in Europe. With members who between them are able to play a selection of unusual instruments from a variety of countries which are more typically used in folk music, as well as the more standard instruments you would expect from a metal band, TROLLFEST manages to somehow blend folk music sounds from their native Norway and from the Balkans, with the sinuous and seductive melodies of the Middle East and lively Hispanic rhythms, all mixed in with a healthy dose of pure headbanging metal to produce what the band themselves define as “True Norwegian Balkan Metal”.
TROLLFEST will hit the road on the 30th September as part of this year’s Heidenfest tour along with FINNTROLL, TURISAS, ALESTORM, ARKONA and SKÁLMÖLD. Tour itinerary as follows:
30 DE – Geiselwind, Music Hall *EXTENDED*
01 DE – Gießen, Hessenhallen *EXTENDED*
02 DE – Berlin, Postbahnhof *EXTENDED*
03 PL – Warsaw, Progresja
04 PL – Krakow, Studio
05 DE – Hannover, Faust
06 DE- Hamburg, Markthalle
07 DE – Stuttgart, LKA Longhorn *EXTENDED*
08 DE – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle *EXTENDED*
09 NL – Tilburg, O13 *EXTENDED*
10 NL – Leeuwarden, Romein
11 UK- London, HMV Forum
12 FR – Lille, Aeronef
13 CH – Pratteln, Z7
14 DE – Munich, Backstage
15 DE – Leipzig, Hellraiser
16 BE – Antwerpen, Trix
17 DE – Lindau, Vaudeville
18 IT – Bologna, Estragon
19 SI – Ljubljana, Cvetlicarna Mediapark
20 HU – Budapest, Club 202
21 AT – Vienna, Arena
22 AT – Linz, Posthof
23 AT – Innsbruck, Hafen
*EXTENDED SHOWS + WINTERSUN + DORNENREICH + TODGELICHTER
More information about TROLLFEST can be found at trollfest.com.
Check out some TrollFesT tracks below: