Soundscape’s A-Z Of Bands: Moonsorrow

Moonsorrow 2012
Photo by Allan Smithee.

This week sees us head over to Finland for our next featured band, Moonsorrow, who play a stunning blend of black and folk metal.

Formed in 1995 by cousins Henri and Ville Sorvali, Moonsorrow released four demos before their debut full length album in 2001, Suden Uni. Once members were recruited in order to perform live, the band went from strength to strength from there and have consistently released top-notch albums that hit the spot every time.

In 2003, Moonsorrow released Kivenkantaja, which has been described at times as their eponymous release, and it’s a glorious affair, chock-full of gloriously epic and atmospheric music that grips you from start to finish – everything you could ever want from an album, and it’s one of those releases you’ll keep wanting to revisit time and time again.


Moonsorrow hotel prank, in which Henri’s hotel room was covered from top to bottom (including all the items inside!) in black binbags. Taken from the official Moonsorrow youtube

The band’s most recent album is 2011’s Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa and preorders recently went live for their tremendous limited-edition vinyl box set Heritage: 1995-2008 – The Collected Works (released by Blood Music) which is already bordering on completely selling out at the time of writing this piece with two out of the four editions completely gone already! However, Blood Music have also just announced that they will be releasing some of the vinyls seperately – namely Tulimyrsky, Kivenkantaja, Verisäkeet, and V: Hävitetty, which is great news for those who couldn’t afford the whole thing! In conjunction with the box set being released, Henri recently wrote about Moonsorrow’s influences on his excellent blog (which is honestly well-worth a read from start to finish) and it’s mindblowing to see the sheer amount of different influences coming together to create an entire discography as stunning as theirs.

Something that’s refreshing about Moonsorrow is that they’re not a band that take themselves seriously 100% of the time, as evidenced by the video above and also their grindcore ‘side project’ Lakupaavi, which was formed as a joke whilst the band were recording their fourth album Verisäkeet. With silly lyrics and outfits, this project is something that shouldn’t be taken seriously and if you find yourself taking offence to this band then you should probably reassess your sense of humour because Lakupaavi was only ever supposed to be a bit of fun. In an interview, the band had jokingly said that their upcoming album would be entitled Raah Raah Blääh and stylistically different to their previous material – something which some people took to heart before the band cleared things up! Moonsorrow did actually record one song however, Kuolema Taidehomoille… Ja Muille, before making the decision to record the entire Raah Raah Blääh album and release it digitally under the Lakupaavi name for free. It can be downloaded from here and it’s well worth a listen just for the sheer amusement factor alone! And hell, if a pigeon approves of the album, then what more can you say?!

As for what the future holds for Moonsorrow, the band are hopefully heading into the studio at the end of this year (if things go as planned) to record their seventh full-length album – so we’ll all be keeping our fingers crossed for a new album in 2015!

Recommended tracks:
Tulimyrsky
Huuto
Kivenkantaja
Tuulen Koti, Aaltojen Koti
Taistelu Pohjolasta
(And Perspillu ja Hyvät Vitut (puh runku) for Lakupaavi!)

Agree with our track choices? Think there’s something we’ve overlooked in the article? Get involved below!

Moonsorrow: Website|Facebook

About Natalie Humphries 1817 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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