Jul 182023

After releasing a pair of singles and a pair of EPs since the beginning of 2022, the Finnish melodic black metal band Moonlight Sorcery will at last release a debut album entitled Horned Lord of the Thorned Castle through Avantgarde Music in September of this year.

To help pave the way, they released the most recent of those singles last month on 7″ vinyl; with the nane Burning Embrace, it included the original song ““In Coldest Embrace” (which will appear on the album), along with a B-side cover of Deep Purple‘s “Burn“.

And to further pave the way, they will digitally release another single from the album on June 21st. Its name is “Vihan verhon takaa”, and we’re bringing it to you today via the premiere stream you’ll find below.

That preceding single “In Coldest Embrace” provided a damned good teaser for what the new album will bring us. (Like the album as a whole, it was mastered by the masterful Dan Swanö at Unisound.) It seems to occupy an intersection between fanatical barbarism and grandiose elegance. The drums inflict skull-smashing beatings, the bass thunders like artillery, the riffs attack in brazen blasts and frenetic fevers, and the vocals come for the throat in terrorizing screams.

But high above, the keyboards frantically flicker and swirl in glory, symphonic waves elevate the music to heights of splendor, and the song soars to even greater heights on the wings of a crystalline guitar solo that spirals into ecstasy.

And oh holy hell, their cover of “Burn” is also fantastic. This writer is old enough to have been well and truly hooked by the original, and the cover not only brings back great memories of what a rifftastic song it is but also puts Moonlight Sorcery‘s own extravagant stamp on it, not just through the hydrochloric-acid vocals (along with some high-flying wails) but also with some very impressive bass-work, swells of electrifying synths, and bursts of eye-popping solo fireworks (both guitars and keys). It’s all fucking breathtaking (a commenter on Bandcamp calls it “One of the most fun songs of 2023!”, and it really is).

Put these two songs together, and you get a flood-tide of pure adrenaline.



Burning Embrace sets some very high expectations for what comes next from the new album, but “Vihan verhon takaa” is up to the challenge. Once again, the band conjure visions of ancient castles, flashing swords, and jaw-dropping sorcery.

If anything, the riffing on this new one is even faster and more crazed, the vocals even more maniacal, and the propulsion even more turbocharged, but the song is also packed with exhilarating drum-fills and nova-like keyboard eruptions, and it’s anchored by pulse-pounding riffage and accented by fluid soloing that’s just pure heavy metal glory.



The biggest question we now have about the album as a whole is whether Moonlight Sorcery will allow listeners any time to breathe, or whether it’s going to be one long heart-exploding, head-spinning spectacle (not that we would complain if that’s the case).

Via the links below you can pick up both of these two new singles (Burning Embrace is available on vinyl as well as digitally). Follow the band and Avantgarde Music for more info about the new album as it emerges.


Vinyl: https://avantgardemusic.bandcamp.com/album/burning-embrace
Digital: https://moonlightsorcery.bandcamp.com/album/burning-embrace




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