Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika (2016) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika - Album CoverThe things we missed in 2016. And it is 67 minutes of raw and corny metal issued by one of the most prodigious metal bands out there. The Finnish outfit Moonsorrow released their 7th full length album Jumalten Aika (The Age of Gods) last year. This after five years of wait, when many thought that nothing would be forthcoming anymore. And boy is this a peppered dish.

It is funny: I am hearing their sound described as Folk Metal a lot. Well, whenever I listen to their tune, I hear the mighty ogres marching towards the King’s castle, making their sounds of war. Nothing of the hurdy-gurdy heavy mess many of the Folk Metal bands are projecting these days. The tune on Jumalten Aika always sounds to me like a more cathedral and delicate version of the latest SIG:AR:TYR record, combined with some early Bathory mixed into the fray.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

2016 Top 10 Records

RockmusicRaider Review - Darkend 2016Well, it is time for some 2016 Top 10 reflections on RockmusicRaiders‘ most coveted findings for the last year. And it might turn out to be a few more than ten, but we will keep the official ranking to this magic number. We will just add a few honorable releases to the list that kinda missed this viking fighting ship. The list is also a reflection on those bands that got us thinking and managed to mess up the peace (of mind) and quiet of the writer supreme on this blog.

And it was a funny year: Seamlessly latching on to 2015, many more shades of black have been covered throughout these 12 months. At times it seemed like there is only black, just to find yourself in progressive country for quite long stretches. The symphonic and operatic divisions did not quite convince this year, albeit there are a few pockets of excellence that showed through the blankets of snow copiously covering the countryside. Then what a year it has been with many great names in music calling it quits last year and a new US president nobody expected to win. But enough of this, let’s start, shall we?

Here are the 2016 Top 10 records:

#10 Van Halst – World of Make Believe 

TRockmusicRaider Review - Van Halst - World of Make Believe - Album Coverhe Canadians from Edmonton project a very serious brand of Gothic Metal onto the fan crowd. Their approach to music is two-pronged: First, they take advantage of the amazing vocal presence of Kami Van Halst, wrapping sturdy metal around her singing prowess. Then, they broach serious subjects of social nature throughout the record. This not only renders it a pleasure to listen to musically, but is also challenging intellectually. And this cannot often be said in metal concoctions, where lyrics often are the most neglected aspect of the production.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

SIG:AR:TYR – Northen (2016) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - SIG:AR:TYR - Northen - Album CoverSee, it is indeed possible. You can write a complex metal tune without building brick walls so high that you won’t hear yourself anymore. And it can be done with a hike to the epic mountain top without firing up the mighty cheese machine too. 

Speaking of which: Here is a contender to metal fame that renders Amon Amarth and their Viking friends awfully cheesy. We are speaking about SIG:AR:TYR and their newest metal contribution Northen. I never quite knew that Viking Metal adepts brandished their tune in good ‘ol Canada. Until I came across the bands last record Godsaga. It took them some very long six years to hit the metal waves of the North again.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!