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Review: Whispered - Metsutan - Songs of the Void
Metsutan - Songs of the Void

Label: Redhouse Finland Music Publishing
Year released: 2016
Duration: 55:31
Tracks: 10
Genre: Unclassifiable


Review online: April 26, 2016
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
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Rated 4.68/5 (93.68%) (19 Votes)

Samurai swords are red again, which can only mean Finland's Samurai Metallers, Whispered, are back for the attack.

And this attack also means the third full-length studio album from this Finnish bunch, titled Metsutan - Songs of the Void, which well could be the band's finest and most ambitious work to date. Whispered's continuous fixation on ancient Japanese mythology, i.e. old Japanese folklore with the mighty samurais, dragons and stuff, is something where they still draw their inspirations from Рand damn, they always seem to blow me away, whatever they do.

This 10-song opus blows you toward where you have never been before, and where you would not like to return back from either, once sunk into their realm of Samurai Metal. Speak of the devil, in all honesty all this Samurai Metal makes sense for Whispered because they employ several elements from many different genres. You get Neo-classical Metal, Symphonic/Orchestrated Metal, Power Metal, Epic Metal, Black Metal, Doom Metal and Death Metal all in one hell of a package, with a mandatory dose of Japanese folk elements. So, it's much easier to just say Whispered plays Samurai Metal, as ridiculous and childish as that might sound to some of us.

Of all three Whispered albums, Metsutan - Songs of the Void is definitely their most versatile, mature and refined work. All the time and workload that they have sacrificed for the songs on this record can really be heard too: With every listen you discover new details, as there's lots going on within the songs (gladly nowhere near as much as there's stuff on Wintersun's Time I, just to give you a reference point). All these choirs, symphonic and orchestrated arrangements, added with the use of a shamisen, a three-stringed traditional Japanese instrument, create an amazingly remarkable amount of depth into these songs, making the album sound like a big, epic and aggressive soundtrack for some Hollywood-made movie about epic tales of ancient samurai warriors. From both Candlemass-oozing Doom Metal to the Dimmu Borgir type of orchestrated Black Metal on "Exile of the Floating World", to the powerful, overly beautiful, melancholy-filled and totally addictive "Tsukiakari", all the way to the album's ending epic, strongly orchestrated song, "Bloodred Shores of Enoshima", in which the listener gets even a chance to become familiar with how a dragon roars, Whispered clearly show their samurai swords are still sharp and dangerous, in a welcoming and friendly way.

Metsutan - Songs of the Void is not only a magnificent and very ambitious example of what Metal music can be at its most creative and best in 2016, but most probably it will also throw Whispered to the bigger league, success-wise, due to their uncompromising and careful yet very well-thought-out achievements. Nonetheless, just an amazing and breathtaking record from Whispered.

More about Whispered...
Interview with vocalist and guitarist Jouni Valjakka on May 3, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist and vocalist Jouni Valjakka on May 7, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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