Moonsorrow - Kivenkantaja review

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Band: Moonsorrow
Album: Kivenkantaja
Release date: 2003

01. Raunioilla
02. Unohduksen Lapsi
03. Jumalten Kaupunki/Tuhatvuotinen Perintö
04. Kivenkantaja
05. Tuulen Tytär/Soturin Tie
06. Matkan Lopussa

After the sophomore opus of Moonsorrow "Voimasta Ja Kunniasta " in 2001, the band recorded Kivenkantaja (Stonebearer) in 2003. Well, I've bought it in early 2004, I chose it among thousands of albums, maybe the title called out to me, but whatever is the reason, it's perfectly done with its influences featuring extravagant, bombastic, heathen metal.

I've been a big heathen metal fan for 3 years. With Moonsorrow I can understand what this band is able to do musically and lyrically, especially when Moonsorrow always retains the same high ratings in each album. No matter how many times you've listened to it it never becomes boring; one of my most played CDs (look at my audioscrobbler) and it never loses its influences of Nordic themes.

Well, let's speak about the music. If you like clear, strong, powerful, epic and melodic music you should love this album. The album starts with a 13:36 song called "Raunioilla", and ends with "Matkan Lopussa." During this album you'll be transported far away into an atmosphere plentiful with sadness and cheerfulness at the same time and ambient but melodious. Songs came out from medieval age, warriors and the chant of their swords came to my mind when I listen to this album for the first time….a fucking great feeling!!

Moonsorrow has always been about two principal things: "trollish" epic sound, and very long songs that have a very unique folkloric atmosphere like no other. But let's begin describing the music: "Raunioilla" ( "At The Ruins") is the longest song and probably the best. It starts with an orb of misty dark-ambient atmosphere then falls into melodious parts with accordion and acoustic guitar. The keyboards are combined with the guitar and the choir perfectly to create more symphonic/melodic atmosphere followed by a very heavy deep vocal slightly fitted with the music. And despite the long minutes it never feels boring. I could continue to describe it for a while but this kind of music can't be described only by words, you should listen to it over and over. All that you have to know is that "Stonebearer" is a mixture of miscellaneous Heathen Metal albums.

Overall, Stonebearer is a very good album, during these 53:48 minutes I've been proud to own it. I could listen to it thousands and thousands of times and never get bored. Contrary to Voimasta Ja Kunniasta you can start with any track - be sure that you are proudly listening to something no band performs quite like Moonsorrow.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10

Written by Mindheist | 25.07.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 22   Visited by: 283 users
18.01.2007 - 20:19
Hey, this album is absolutely awesome, I'll give it my 10 too
19.01.2007 - 01:42
Southern Wind
Account deleted
This along with Voimasta Ja Kunniasta are the masterpieces of Moonsorrow... I had personally felt rather dissapointed with their last two albums.
23.01.2007 - 01:56
Just listening Raunioilla at the beginning you can notice already that this album is a masterpiece. But one of the songs that caught my attention was Tuulen Tytär/Soturin Tie, I really like it, and also the last track which is a very good ending.
And sometimes I despair
At who I've become
I have to come to terms
With what I've done
24.01.2007 - 01:21
Doc G.
Full Grown Hoser
Great album, not worth a ten, i find it pretty drawn out at some points, seems like just for the sake of being epic.
"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
28.03.2007 - 22:20
I agree with Dr.Rock, it is a bit drawn out at some points. I give it 9.5.
31.08.2007 - 12:29
Account deleted
Great album! In my opinion the best of Moonsorrow so far. Overall sound/music on the album has become grander and more refined, and especially growls have gotten much better than on the previous album Voimasta Ja Kunniasta. No matter how many times you'll listen to it, it never becomes boring. I wouldn't give it full 10 still.... It's 9,5.
24.09.2007 - 20:44
It almost deserves 10, but something is missing. I don't know what it is. It's really epic and that's why I love it, but sometimes... the songs seem too long. It needs some concentration to dig into this record. Favourite song for me is Unohduksen Lapsi. It starts with a (fkin') majestic intro riff. Other songs, like Raunioilla, Jumalten Kaupunki/Tuhatvuotinen Perintö and Kivenkantaja have some very epic moments too. Still 9/10 from me : )
26.06.2008 - 21:27
great album. it deserved to have such a high points but 10 is a little much! 9.1 is fair enough!!
09.10.2008 - 22:59
Demonic Tutor
The Enemy Within
Killer album, hot favorite of mine lately
25.11.2008 - 06:03
Account deleted
I've somehow been able to think back on my life while listening to Unohduksen Lapsi, and eerily enough it fits like a glove. Between Cancer and people giving me shit in school, to trying to become a boxer soon, I get a great feeling when I listen 2 this song. The rest of the songs are great tho too
25.11.2008 - 18:07
Red Nightmare
Why the hell there isn't a post from me here? Well, this is an incredible album, all the songs are special in their own way. Yeah, 10 for sure.
IntoPlighT said: "Slipknot is 15 years old how the fuck is that Nu metal?"

25.11.2008 - 22:24
Just want to say that this is the best album of this band and the guy who maked the critic listened the album very well... my salute to him. 10!
25.11.2008 - 22:50
Totemic Lust
Definitely a classic, really opened my eyes to a whole new world of epicness. But as said, if epicness is bad then it loses points for being draw-out. At home, 10/10. In the car, 9.5/10. (I need technical death metal with lots of different time signature for the ride.)
20.08.2009 - 00:19
Great, Great album! Can't stop playing it!
28.09.2009 - 09:27
Heaven Knight
Cant help myself...i like this album most
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again

30.12.2009 - 20:40
Liver Failure
Best Moonsorrow album! The others look crap next to this one. One of the best i've ever heard.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
13.12.2010 - 01:03
Unasuming Madnes
This is probably the most EPIC album I've ever listened to.
09.01.2011 - 21:56
Account deleted
Usually I don't like folk metal, but I'll make an exception for this one. This album is one of the best that folk metal can offer...
07.03.2011 - 23:35
Account deleted
Written by Doc G. on 24.01.2007 at 01:21

Great album, not worth a ten, i find it pretty drawn out at some points, seems like just for the sake of being epic.

I feel the same way about most of Moonsorrow. They use synthesizers to create a pseudo-symphonic soundscape that makes the songs feel epic, but I am left unimpressed by this. It makes all of their songs sound nice, rather than interesting.
27.07.2012 - 19:16
If I would have to choose 2 albums to take on a desert island (with proper audiosystem) they would be Kivenkantaja and Varjoina Kuljemme Kuoleman Maassa.
Moonsorrow is the only band that I haven't gotten bored of at any point, and after years of listening still enjoy as much as when I first discovered them,
and the previously mentioned albums are in my opinion their best.
I wonder how much the fact that I'm finnish (so I can understand and sometimes sing along the lyrics) has to do with it.
This one's one of the few that actually deserve a 10 in my books.
08.11.2013 - 18:28
I really like this album, but it's not a perfect 10. It loses steam toward the end, I think. That being said, I do like how calm the last song is. It's a nice way to close out the album and helps to bring you back to reality. So yeah, not my favorite Moonsorrow album, but a very good one certainly.
07.07.2014 - 15:27
One of my favorite albums to get high on :-D

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