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22 January 2010

Chapter 1.2

Very little time later, they started working on their following demo, which would be recorded on June (or July? I’m not sure) of 1997; one month after the first one, as you can see. Its purpose was merely promotional (it doesn’t even have a name or a cover, it’s just known as Promo); anyway it was never released, because there was a technical problem and the sound was horribly bad.

The two demos
Also, the cousins weren’t too convinced about it, because Ville had done his vocal parts in a very experimental way. “imagine something like Attila [of Mayhem] trying to sing clean while suffering from a bad stomach-ache and diarrhea”, said Henri, with his characteristic delicacy. Performance-wise, it was the same as Metsä (vocals by Ville, rest by Henri); it consisted of one song (with an English title, “Battlehymn”) and an outro, and it’s described as “folkish metal, a jolly variation of Metsä”. Looks like the world didn’t miss anything too important.

But the Sorvalis never stopped. In that time they had also a fanzine called Meathooked,

Some pre-Moonsorrow demos: Urospuu, Masturbory, Ahti and Thornfrost
which lasted not less than TWO! issues, the first of which came out in 1998 and the second in 1999. Besides, they still had the abovementioned label Meat Hook Productions (Henri, Ville and two more friends), with which we dealt in Chapter 1.1.

During the second half of 1997 they started to write new material for their second demo, which would be called Tämä ikuinen talvi (This eternal winter, in English). Until now, all the lyrics and titles were written in English, but when they started writing stuff for the following demo they turned to Finnish. The reason is basically that the one in charge of the lyrics was Ville this time around, and he prefered to do them in Finnish, as he says it’s more natural for him to write in his mothertongue. Henri explains it better: “When the band was formed the lyrics were in English, hence the name Moonsorrow. On the Tämä Ikuinen Talvi demo Ville tried something in Finnish and it sounded so great and there wasn’t any talk about doing English lyrics again. Finnish fits our music perfectly.” In March 1998 they went into the studio to record some parts; the rest was recorded in September. Like in previous times,

The Sorvali cousins in the first promo pic
Henri did everything except vocals and bass (being the latter introduced for the first time), which were done by Ville. Apparently they had a thousand problems: twice the tapes got ruined when they were partially done, machines disappeared from the studio, all kind of issues happened. Because of all this, it wasn’t officially released until January 1999 (almost a year after the recordings had started), again through Meat Hook Productions, number MEAT21. The first 200 tapes were made in ‘industrial’ tapes; the second pressing, consisting of 300 copies, was made with regular TDK tapes bought in shops; anyway, this doesn’t make them less ‘official’, since they were still recorded/dubbed and sold by Meat Hook Productions.

Little time before releasing TIT, Henri had joined Finntroll as a keyboard player, under the nickname Trollhorn.

Fimbulvetr frost (from original Metsä master)

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