Finnish crusaders of epic pagan metal, Moonsorrow, are touring Australia for the first time, hitting the Rosemount Hotel this Sunday, November 24. JESSICA WILLOUGHBY chats with guitarist, Mitja Harvilahti.

Pagan metal is a musical genre often considered foreign to Australian shores… but that is about to change. 

For the first time in their 18-year history, Finnish titans, Moonsorrow, will be bringing their heavy brand of post-apocalyptic tunes to capital cities across the nation

With six albums already behind them, guitarist, Mitja Harvilahti, says the band can hardly contain their excitement about finally coming down under.

“It’s a great privilege to get to tour Australia finally,” he says. “It’s one of the things we always wanted to do, but we couldn’t know when and how. It might be that the scene in Australia is only now starting to warm up for us enough. We never had any promotion there, so all of it had to go from people to people. I like it that way, but it takes time. I still don’t even know how much of a crowd we’ll draw, but it’s going to be a great tour.”

Moonsorrow are touring off the back of their most recent LP, 2011’s Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa, a release that takes the band and their fans down a darker path. A conceptual album, Harvilahti says the release reveals a new opportunity for those wanting to delve further into their back catalogue.

“The title means ‘As Shadows We Roam The Land Of The Dead’,” he says. “It has a storyline of a group of people that are searching for life and future in the dead world. It’s our first complete concept album and everything – the music, lyrics and the art work – goes hand in hand with the story.

“I recommend people buy the vinyl copy of it to enjoy it in the best possible way, with the big pictures of the gatefold. CD really killed the visuality from music and internet downloading killed the rest, but vinyl is coming back. We have a huge 13 LP Collector’s Edition Box coming out next year. That is, at the moment, the biggest LP box ever in the history of metal. It will be gorgeous with all the art and extra stuff.”

To be released via Blood Music, no release date has been set. Harvilahti hopes it is sooner rather than later. “Blood Music contacted us and told us how much they would love to do this mega-release,” he explains. “We saw how much effort and attention to detail and art they put into their releases, so we immediately understood that this is the right companion for our long-awaited LP release.”

But that doesn’t mean the pagan metallers are turning away from a focus on new material. With their sixth opus circulating for almost two years now, Moonsorrow is slowly looking towards work on the follow-up.

But it is still early days, according to Harvilahti. “We indeed are experimenting with lots of stuff, but more to find the right elements,” he says. “I wish I could tell you more, but it’s hard since we are in the beginning of the journey.”

Moonsorrow play the Rosemount Hotel this Sunday, November 24.

Get your tickets here.