V: Hävitetty

Spinefarm/The End

The fact its taken me this long to review this album despite the fact Moonsorrow is responsible for two of the greatest Viking metal records ever (Voimasta Ja Kunniasta and Kivenkantaja) as well as my rather non-committal response to the bands last, grittier album, Verisäkeet sort of shows what a hard time I’m having reviewing V. Havitetty(meaning “Ravaged or “Destroyed”).

First off; as I’m sure most of you already know, V. Havitetty is two tracks, each over 25 minutes long. Now, I’m all for epic and adventurous, but as a reviewer, it’s hard to absorb that level of material and try to define certain moments, moods and hues, and it makes it especially hard for casual listens. Of course, the flip side is as with albums like Edge of Sanity’s Crimson, Green Carnation’s Light of Day, Day or Darkness or one or two song albums, you are meant to sit and absorb the whole thing in one sitting, and by god appreciate the whole damn thing.

On a more positive note, the band seems to have found a balance between lavish ‘Wiking’ atmospheres (Choirs, synths, toothharps etc) and production of their first few albums and the grimmer, leaner tones of Verisäkeet. The first track, the 30-minute “Jäästä Syntynyt/Varjojen Virta” (Born Of Ice/Stream of Shadows) is the more enjoyable and for me, more akin to the band’s earlier material, though you have to be patient to hear it. After a prolonged build, the song’s mid point on is the stuff of Viking metal legend with seemingly more ethnic elements and choirs.

The second track, “Tuleen Ajettu Maa” (A Land Driven Into Fire), at a mere 26 minutes stumbles because, to be honest, its pace, build and sheer length is that of the first track and it requires a lot of effort to make it through another 25 plus minute song. Though more direct and to the point, “Tuleen Ajettu Maa” never seems to quite hit an apex as glorious and epic as its predecessor, preferring a more plodding consistent pace, despite the mid song blast beat.

That all being said the Viking majesty of Moonsorrow is unrivaled and they remain the genres true kings. However, I would just prefer it in smaller, more easily digestible servings such as the brilliant and classic Voimasta Ja Kunniasta and Kivenkantaja.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 24th, 2007


  1. Commented by: fightingmike

    I love Kivenkantaja, but i havent been able to get into any of their records afterwards. I dont really like their harsher, dirgey black metal side and the production doesnt get me in the same way was their earlier stuff. I totally prefer Turisas over Moonsorrow’s newer records.

  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I feel the same mike, none of thier newer stuff has struck me well. Give me Kivenkantaja and Strength and Honour any time. you should check out a band called FInsterforst- very mid era Moonsorrow

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