MOONSORROW — Suden uni (review)

MOONSORROW — Suden uni album cover Album · 2001 · Folk Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Phonebook Eater
6/10

"Suden Uni" although feeling like a collection of drinking songs, is a fun and consistent listen.

“Suden Uni” is legendary Finnish act Moonsorrow’s debut album, which will be shortly followed that same year by a much more well developed album, “Voimasta Ja Kunniasta”, one of the most solid releases of the band’s discography. In fact this album does not stand at the same level as the sophomore LP, however, it is proof that Moonsorrow have taken a further step ahead from the previous demos, towards the path of maturity.

Moonsorrow adapt a cleaner production for their full length, compared to the rawness of the EPs/Demos, and start to incorporate a lot more Nordic Folk influenced melodies in their music, as well as exotic instruments like the accordion and the famous jaw harp, but also several keyboards are used. But compared to future albums these folkish instruments are used in a much more subtle way, and serve the sole purpose to enrich the sound; they don’t play a particularly important role within a song. This said, it’s easy to imagine how much less atmospheric and more straight-forward this LP is, again compared to the complexity of future Moonsorrow albums, thus more riff driven and melodic.

“Sudden Uni” means “A Wolf’s Dream” in Finnish: by only the title, you can tell what Mooonsorrow’s lyrics deal with, and, if you’re familiar with the band, it will be very easy to guess the main themes of the album: Viking./Nordic wars, proud warriors, Gods, but also normal people and their sense of honor. the first track is probably the one that is the oddest of all, seemingly coming from a completely different style: “Son of the God Of Thunder” (English translation) is about a young, teenage God who gets expelled by his father from the clouds, because of his futile and reckless behavior. Other than that, the lyrics deal with the above mentioned themes in a casual way, without being particularly evocative.

Because of it’s straight-forwardness, “Suden Uni” in some points seems to be a collection of drinking songs, instead of profound, epic poems of music. This impression obviously does not occur in every song: for example, in the eleven minute “1065: Time”, there are some good doses of epicness in the songwriting and the structure of the song is fantastic, which includes also more ambient friendly passages, mostly in the first few minutes. But the rest of the songs offer little variation, and some are not at all as memorable as they should be: “As Eternal” and “Son Of The God Of Thunder” come a little close to annoy me, however, standing in the middle of them (according to the tracklist) is “Pakanavedet II”, much more accessible and interesting, thanks to the massive presence of the Jew Harp and fun, heavy rhythms. . “Home Of the Wind…” is a little too simple and banal for my taste, but it still has interesting arrangements overall.

“Suden Uni” can be a fun listen for sure, and even if some melodies come a little too close to being corny and clichéd, it’s still a solidly structured release for Moonsorrow, an album that is the natural predecessor of “Voimasta Ja Kunniasta”, which uses a more complex and solid formula.
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