Posted by RiffRaff
In the realm of heavy metal album reviews the word ‘epic’ gets abused more than a nubile young girl on the set of the latest Rocco Sifreddi flick. It gets poked in every possible angle and more than often gets stuck where it doesn’t belong. By definition the word should solely be used to describe something of or relating to a literary epic poem, or the poem itself (eg. The Iliad or Beowulf). It’s in there, in the music reviewer mind we oft confuse and misuse the word for something that sounds heroic (Ensiferum), huge or gargantuan (Moonsorrow), or fantastical (pick nearly any power metal band). My favorite misuse of the word is when I wish to describe a feeling of a Herculean musical journey that would make the Fellowship of the Ring jealous.
And why the hell am I talking about the word ‘epic’ in an album review? Well because the band Crimson Dawn have self-proclaimed Epic Doom Metal as their genre, and quite honestly, it genuinely fits with what is contained on their debut album, In Strange Aeons… As a whole, all of their elements fit with every misuse and correct use of the word. Throughout the course of the record you will go on a long journey crossing fantastical soundscapes encountering heroic riffs, towering song structures, and massive grooves. All with this hint of flair that will bring to mind some of those ancient epic poems that
you I love so much. Epic is really the only word I can find that simply describes the whole of Crimson Dawn’s sound, so I will use and abuse it.
Posted by RiffRaff
For this weeks Song of the Week, I bring to you, what is in my opinion, an example of perfect writing, perfect production, and perfect everything. The song that just bleeds with perfection is called “Jumalten kaupunki/Tuhatvuotinen perintö” which is Finnish for “City of the Gods/Legacy of a Thousand Years” by the band Moonsorrow and comes from the album Kivenkantaja(Stonebearer).
For those that are not familiar with the band Moonsorrw, allow me to give you a bit of background on them. The band was started back in 1995 in Finland by Ville Sorvali and his cousin Henri Sorvali(who is also a main writer and recording member of folk metal stars Finntroll and was also a session member of Ensiferum on their earlier albums, he is pretty much one of the founding members of the modern folk metal scene). They started Moonsorrow taking heavy inspiration from later Bathory, in which there was the classic black metal sound but drifted away from themes like satanism and all that other evil stuff and shifted to themes of vikings, paganism(not the goat sacrificing kinda paganism, but more the love of nature and respect for all the gods that had created the world around them), and added a bit more melodic sound to black metals tremolo filled thunderings. As they grew musically stronger elements of the traditional folk music and instruments of their homeland of Finland started to find their way into the music and the duo of Moonsorrow eventually found some people to flesh out the band for live shows(whom are still the same members as of today, but on the early recordings Henri and Ville played all the instruments) and recorded a demo named Tämä ikuinen talvi (This Eternal Winter) and after much success with the demo recorded their first album Suden uni(Wolf’s Dream). And from there they took off flying striking big in the underground metal scene in Finland. They are still active today having recently released the masterpeice Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa (As shadows we walk in the land of the dead).