Moonsorrow - _Kivenkantaja_
by: Quentin Kalis (
Considering that their previous CD, _Voimasta ja Kunniasta_ is literally the best Viking metal album since _Hammerheart_, it would be unlikely that Moonsorrow would top their sophomore masterpiece and unfair to expect them to do so. Nonetheless, they make a valiant attempt, and while _Kivenkantaja_ ("Stonebearer") comes close to the dizzying heights reached by _VjK_, it simply just isn't quite as good -- though still miles ahead of anything else released by any Viking metal-related act this year. _Kivenkantaja_ differs from _VjK_ and their debut, _Suden Uni_, in that it is calmer, more reflective, and a more mature album. Apart from that change, _Kivenkantaja_ isn't substantially different from its predecessors, but it does contain sufficient subtle tweaks and alterations so that it doesn't merely feel like a rehash of the band's previous work. The lyrics are still sung in their native Finnish, but it seems likely that their preferred lyrical topics remain unchanged. After three albums it is safe to say that not only are they elevated to the elite pantheon of quality Viking metal, they are now the (ahem) thronebearers; if not, then it is merely a matter of time.
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