22.2.2020 Moonsorrow @ The Circus, Helsinki (Musicalypse Archive)


MOONSORROW has long captured the hearts of Finns and foreigners alike with the beautiful brand of emotive pagan black metal. While they haven’t released any new material since Jumalten Aika (2016). However, the band put on a small local tour in celebration of the 15th anniversary of “Verisäkeet” by playing it in its entirely, alongside some other tracks of course. The tour passed through The Circus in Helsinki on February 22nd, 2020. Check out the full gallery here.

Not being interested in the controversial black metal opener from Estonia, we showed up in time to find a decent place to watch MOONSORROW‘s set. The first half of the show involved “Verisäkeet” [blood verses] in its entirety, starting with “Karhunkynsi” [bearclaw] and following through until “Kaiku” [echo]. The performance was immediately breathtaking with the dynamic rise and fall of the songs, the blend of pagan and black metal elements, making for an epic and heavy performance of their third album.

The band, as usual, had red and black paint smeared all over, making them look as though they’ve just come on stage after a battle. Likewise, their presence on stage is strong, powerful, fierce, and in the case of live guitarist Janne Perttilä (who fills in for Henri Sorvali) includes strange and hilarious facial expressions. Ville Sorvali‘s vocals were as haunting as ever, and though he doesn’t move much, he still makes for an imposing presence.

Once “Kaiku” had concluded, the band had a break as “Tyven” [calm/still] played from the tape, acting as an intermission/intro to the second half of the set. They chose two mid-length and one long track for the second half of the set, starting with “Sankarihauta” [herograve; 7:41], moving on to fan-favorite “Kivenkantaja” [stonebearer; 7:40], and concluding with “Sankaritarina” [herotale; 13:51]. The long, atmospheric nature of MOONSORROW’s music paints an incredible mental image and puts the listening into a sort of trance. It’s easy to get lost in the music. The venue played “Matkan Lopussa” [journey’s end] from the tape as the band said their farewells and left the stage.

As per usual, MOONSORROW put on a memorable show. While it would have been nice to hear songs like “Huuto” or “Jumalten Kaupunki,” the chance to see all of “Verisäkeet” in one show, with extras on top, was a nice treat for long-time fans. Here’s hoping they have more material in the works so we’ll get another tour from them sooner rather than later.


1. Karhunkynsi
2. Haaska
3. Pimeä
4. Jotunheim
5. Kaiku
Tape: Tyven
6. Sankarihauta
7. Kivenkantaja
8. Sankaritarina
Outro: Matkan lopussa

Written by Simo Kuuusterä
Musicalpse, 2020
OV: 1929

Photos by Marco Manzi