After a dramatic intro the Viking-Metal epic unfolds, and after you heard the vocals you cannot put that impression "Nightwish meets Moonsorrow/Black Sun Aeon" aside, although Helena Haaparanta has nothing to do with opera. Her voice rather reminds you of Jutta Weinhold (Zed Yago), when she has the chance to shine in her solo parts (Son Of North). And she is the reason, or better her unique voice, that this band has a trademark and improves the overall impression for at least 1/2 points - just to mention that right away...
Crimfall are dedicated to epic Death/Pagan style and have become tougher - at least compared with what I know of their debut As The Path Unfolds (2009). The previous album had the air of careless, reckless joy a la Finntroll, the atmosphere of "The Writ Of Sword" is much more earnest, there´s more drama, and sometimes they cross over to Black Metal (just like Black Sun Aeon, and Mikko Häkkinen has this brutal growling talent, just like Mynni).
Folklore sounds, their version of Finnish "Joiks", traditional instruments and epic orchestra parts are not forgotten (hence the bow to Moonsorrow), pure Folk and winter depression is expressed in the instrumental Geaðgái. Silver and Bones (with Accordion-Intro) represents sort-of a miniture epic, where brutal sounds, tender tunes and heartbreaking melodies meet, also parts that could be from the Lord Of The Rings soundtrack, or even Horror atmosphere - pretty much everything the band is about, in a nutshell. But, just to mention it again, without Helena they would be just one among many others.
Summary, who likes label colleagues Metsatöll and also everything from Ensiferum to Turisas will also enjoy this one.
02. Storm Before The Calm
03. Frost upon Their Graves
05. Shackles Of The Moirai
06. The Writ Of Sword
08. Silver and Bones
09. Son Of North