Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika (Century Media)

Genre: Folk/Black Metal

Moonsorrow have been plying their trade for more than two decades, and it’s fair to say that the Finns have become pretty damn good at it. Fusing their homeland’s ancestral spirit with black metal’s bombast – and taking their songcraft deadly seriously – the talented quintet certainly aren’t for the plastic sword-waving brigade.

You see, Moonsorrow have more in common with the Norse BM of Bathory or early Enslaved than say, the folk metal fun of Finntroll or Enisferum, and if you want to know how that sounds, listen to this album’s title track. An opening, rousing chant segues into a mighty riff, backed by a militaristic stomp which sounds like it should herald the arrival of a Viking horde. Massed vocals and a layer of synths combine to raise the song to heroic levels, and at a near 13-minutes long, there’s a truly epic feel to it.

Similarly, the dramatic Mimisbrunn apes some of Quorthon’s best work while never sounding like a pastiche, and its collision of gentle folk passages with raging blastbeats and searing tremolo picking will send your adrenaline surging.

Both compositions are typical of Moonsorrow’s seventh full length, which oozes quality throughout and encapsulates everything that’s great about the group. Put simply, Jumalten Aika could be their defining moment… and they’ll have to work very hard to better it.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Full Moon