V - Hävitetty
posted on 1/2007 By:
The prospect of another Moonsorrow full-length so soon after the monstrous Verisäkeet was enough to keep me focused on the new one’s release date months before it arrived. And what a payoff! The fifth album from this excellent Viking/pagan/heathen/folk metal outfit – titled Hävitetty, which translated means Destroyed – offers only two songs total, though they are each incredibly long.
1. "Jäästä Syntynyt (“Born of Ice”) / Varjojen Virta (“Stream of Shadows”)" – 30:10
This is a momentous track that contains the Moonsorrow trademarks, but fleshes them out over half an hour’s time rather than incorporating them all at once. Following a brooding introduction, the Finns crash into heavier waters at the 6:10 minute mark, and from there, it only gets better. Everything becomes fully realized, or perhaps simply more driven, at 7:40 when the band breaks into an Enslaved-like Viking/black romp that contains apocalyptic elements found in the music of Agalloch and others. The venomous growls sound great against a chanting backdrop. In a refreshing move, however, the pace quickens at 11:56, which allows Moonsorrow to launch into faster yet equally riveting material. There’s of course some mellowing out during the middle before the flute makes its entrance at 23:24. Naturally, the ending is both epic and grand, as if anything else would’ve been acceptable for such an ambitious track.
2. "Tuleen Ajettu Maa (“A Land Driven into Fire”)" – 26:19
The beginning of “Tuleen Ajettu Maa,” which utilizes chanting throughout, and more than its predecessor, features acoustic guitar and the trusty mouth harp prior to 2:37 – the point Moonsorrow opt for heaviness. I really enjoy the presence of mouth harp and accordion during lulls (9:11), especially since the group is fastest and most aggressive during this track (13:17). Not to be outdone by "Jäästä Syntynyt (“Born of Ice”) / Varjojen Virta (“Stream of Shadows”)", though, the ending of “TAM” is just as moving, if not more so because it brings the 56-minute record to a close.
As a whole, V: Hävitetty stands up to their previous entries, but unlike Verisäkeet for instance, I don’t envision myself listening to this as much since the songs require at least 26+ minutes to fully pan out. So in that respect Hävitetty is more difficult to swallow despite its unabashed quality. Still, Moonsorrow have yet again proven their worth, and sometimes that’s all a reasonable listener can ask for.
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