Moonsorrow - Tulimyrsky EP (Spikefarm/Riot)

 

Truly, during summer, there is nothing quite like cranking an album like this and wishing it was not forty-five degrees, imagining yourself in snowbound Europe.

 

Although I've had it for quite some time, I've been listening to it damn near ever day. Often more than once a day. Even though it's just an EP (it contains quite literally just five tracks), its running time is more than an hour. Why? Because Moonsorrow play a style of Norse black metal that some would perhaps consider epic. 

The title track does run to nearly half an hour, but unlike the style of black metal that many people consider epic, this is not full of super-obvious keyboards. In fact, the track Tulimyrsky takes so many twists and turns that you could be forgiven, if you didn't look at the progression of your CD player, for thinking that it is more than one track. It goes from the deepest north, snow-covered sound you'd expect; to a beautiful light muse underpinned by the folk elements that you may have come to expect from Finland, and from Moonsorrow in particular. It then changes a bit more and becomes a bit more raw; elements here could be pulled from everywhere if you wanted to analyse it terms of sounds that have appeared in key places throughout modern music's history.

Truly, though, the EP has been well constructed. The album is filled with fabulous melodic hooks that quite literally turn into earworms as you hear them. Tulimyrsky takes you from the quietude of melodious 'grandpas guitars' with pickups, to harsh black metal: from the quiet contemplation to the fists-in-the-air joy of northern harshness.

Truly, during summer, there is nothing quite like cranking an album like this and wishing it was not forty-five degrees.

While this album is quite honestly gold all the way through, the best part of it for me - cheesy, I know! - is Moonsorrow's cover of Metallica's For Whom The Bell Tolls. The instrumental intro is suitably lengthy, the music is, of course, unmistakably Moonsorrow - as with the vocals - but this cover has an energy and an oomph that the original somehow lacks; the peculiar viking/black/folk take that Moonsorrow have totally recreates this song.

I highly recommend this album. There is no point even mentioning its production, because it's quite simply killer.