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Formed in 1995 by cousins Henri (guitar/keyboards/vocals) and Ville Sorvali (bass/vocals), Finland's Moonsorrow traced a path similar to that blazed by their countrymen Amorphis by combining death and black metal with heavy doses of atmosphere and Finnish folk traditions; but theirs was arguably an even more ambitious and epic approach. A number of demos, including 1996's "Thorns of Ice," 1997's "Metsä" (meaning "Forest"), and 1999's "Tämä Ikuinen Talvi" ("This Eternal Winter") laid the groundwork for their first album, Suden Uni ("A Wolf's Dream"), which also featured drummer Marko Tarvonen. New members Mitja Harvilahti (guitar) and Lord Eurén (live keyboards) were soon added to the lineup, and, after reissuing their second demo, Tämä Ikuinen Talvi, on CD in 2001, Moonsorrow capped off the year with another full-length entitled Voimasta Ja Kunniasta ("Of Strength and Honour") -- their first for new label Spikefarm. Their best effort yet, the album solidified the group's standing as top purveyors of Scandinavian fantasy metal and set the stage for another highly regarded opus in the shape of 2003's acclaimed Kivenkantaja ("Stonebearer"), as well as Spikefarm's reissue of their Suden Uni debut. Of note, since 1999 Henri Sorvali has also doubled as the keyboard player for fellow Finnish fantasy freaks (try saying that real fast) Finntroll. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi