There’s no better feeling than listening to an album or EP that can only aptly be described as a masterpiece and one such release is Moonsorrow’s 2008 epic, Tulimyrsky. An incredibly substantial EP, it packs a real punch and is something you’ll keep wanting to revisit time and time again because it’s one of those releases that never gets old, no matter how many times you listen to it.
For a release as mindblowing as this, it only seems right that I break it down track by track for this review.
Beginning with the track written especially for the release, Tulimyrsky slowly eases the listener in with soft atmospheric sounds and spoken dialogue, really taking their time in setting the mood, before launching into an aural assault on your ears when the full band kicks in at just after the 3:45 minute mark and that’s when the track fully gets underway. It’s the little things that make this track as special as it is, such as the underlying themes interwoven together throughout the song and the instrumentation is top-notch to say the least, especially when it comes to the repeated ideas that crop up in various different forms. It’s almost impossible to describe just how perfectly it all slots together, with the crushing instrumental sections seamlessly leading into vocal-driven parts and softer acoustic sections before rounding it all up with one last burst of energy and group vocals. It’s almost like Moonsorrow takes you on a mini-adventure with this song, especially with all the twists and turns that take place within its lengthy duration.
Sheer perfection, served in just under 30 minutes – what a way to make an entrance!
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Following on from the epic opener is a cover of the well-known Metallica song For Whom The Bell Tolls. This track features a vocal performance from Henri as opposed to the band’s usual singer Ville and it’s an interesting take on the song. Cover songs can be rather dull if bands stick too close to the original, but Moonsorrow have made the song their own. Their rendition has a fantastic amount of melody to it whilst also containing more aggression to the track and both of these things lend themselves well to the song. In essence, it has Moonsorrow’s firm stamp on it but is still recognisable as a Metallica song, which is exactly what you want from a cover.
Taistelu Pohjolasta (2008 Version)
As the title suggests, this is a rerecorded version of a song from Moonsorrow’s earlier career and Taistelu Pohjolasta first appeared on their 1999 demo Tämä Ikuinen Talvi. Out of the five tracks of the EP, this definitely has the most energy and kick to it, and although the original introduction has been cut from this one, the song largely stays true to the original and just sounds more polished and ‘crisp’ than its predecessor. Wildly catchy and memorable, this is one that will have you headbanging along to in no time.
Hvergelmir (2008 Version)
Similarly to the previous track, Hvergelmir (2008 Version) is another reworking of an older Moonsorrow song – this time taken from their 1997 demo Metsä. Perhaps it’s because I’ve only ever heard the original version of this track in terrible quality on youtube, but the 2008 version of Hvergelmir is a definite improvement of the original. It sounds a lot more organised and ‘together’ and the guitar solo in particular is utterly phenomenal this time round. The original was good, but this version has the edge.
Back To North
It’s always important that a release starts and finishes well, and this rings especially true with Tulimyrsky as this EP features its two strongest tracks at the beginning and end. A cover of the Merciless track, it’s a masterpiece of a cover and the folksy acoustic sections within the song give the song that special something, really making it stand out and resonate. A highly emotive piece, it plays on Moonsorrow’s strengths as a whole and serves as a triumphant end to what can only be described as an epic of an EP.
Tulimyrsky is not just your average EP – it’s a masterpiece. I dare you to listen to it and not want to immediately replay it once you’re done.
To see our feature on Moonsorrow, click here.