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29 January 2010

Chapter 1.3

Musically, the songs of Tämä ikuinen talvi are still quite black-ish, but they are getting sensibly more elaborated, with more slow parts, better and more complex instrumentation, and some songs divided into several parts. For example, “Taistelu Pohjolasta” (“The battle for Pohjola”) has three parts, each with its own title, and it tells, as well as the others, a story based on Nordic mythology, adorned with lines about beheading Christians every now and then. And the sound is much better, because this time they had a decent keyboard (Korg N-series) and better equipment in general. Except for the voice. The voice sounds horrible. But the instrumentation improved a lot. Its authors’ description is: “The fastest interpretation of epic heathen metal ever. Lotsa folk-influences blended with a 'norse' overall.” To me, it sounds like 50% Emperor and 50% Enslaved. The influences are sometimes very obvious; for example the beginning of Enslaved’s “Lifandi Liv Undir Hamri” is practically the same melody as one in “Taistelu Pohjolasta” (minute 5:13); the same can be said of Emperor's "I am the black wizards" and the minute 4:50 of "Talvi".

Tämä ikuinen talvi cover
Must be said, though, that many melodies here sound like Moonsorrow would sound later; saying it in a different way, they already have that ‘Moonsorrow essence’ they will never get rid of.

At this time, with two demos around, they had already a little legion of fans, although they had never played live yet. They sent demos to labels worldwide. Some of them answered, and the guys finally decided to accept the offer of the Swedish label Plasmatica Records, in April 1999, for one album. Even though they had their own, they preferred to look for another one; as Ville said: “To cut it short, Meat Hook Productions is (was) just a d.i.y. demo label somewhat equal to a self-financing band and it could never have succeeded with an actual album release. It was quite natural to release our demos on MHP, but we always knew that we would need another party to finance our debut album if such was to be recorded. Certainly lack of money played a role in that, but also the fact that the promotional and distributional capabilities of Meat Hook Productions were badly limited. We didn’t ever have enough contacts, let alone any knowledge of the market, so if released on MHP our album would probably have sold some 400 copies.

Meathooked #2 (1999)
Also, there are only 24 hours to a day, so having to do all the promotion ourselves would’ve surely gnawed our efficiency as a performing band.”

Until now, they had recorded all the percussion parts with one of those hateful drum-machines (hateful principally for those who have to play along with them), but in May 1999, during the Tämä ikuinen talvi promotion period, a human drummer joined them: Marko Tarvonen, aka Baron Tarwonen, who plays drums since he was seven and is a real lover of 70’s progressive rock: King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Genesis… all those people. Seven years later, Ville talked about Marko’s inclusion with these words: “[Moonsorrow] was just a project for like 5 years. When we got the record deal, we decided to start up a real band, and he was the first to join us. And I think it went that way, that, we didn’t actually ask him to be our drummer, but he introduced himself as our new drummer.” Marko corroborates: “I liked their demo so much, and they did the demo with drum machine, and I liked it so much, and I said to the guys that when you are getting signed, I will be your drummer, I will help you out. And the rest is history.”

Vihrealla valtaistuimella (original 1999 master)

Chapter 1.2 - Index - Chapter 2.1

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