Paysage d'Hiver
Die Festung


5.0
classic

Review

by A.K. USER (65 Reviews)
October 15th, 2008 | 45 replies | 9,509 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

This is probably the most successful album that I have heard in regard to capturing the atmosphere and ideas that are represented by the album title, song names, and the bands main theme (winter). The album is musically extremely unremarkable, sometimes even reminding of extremely simple melodies that one would play when just tinkering on a keyboard. The mastery here is in the huge flowing arrangements, the trance like repetition, and the production which makes the atmosphere feel cold, brittle, and thin. If you are familiar with black metal musicians attempts at ambient, then rest assured this is not another Daudi Baldrs, this is an amazing experience to behold.

Paysage d"Hiver is often defined as dark ambient, but the actual production is not dense or bleak, but actually quite light. It cuts out the mids very much to make the highs stand out as very crisp and pristine, which in turn helps to give the listener a way to interpret the melody in the context of a cold surrounding. The focus here is on overall sound, not on specific synth lines, and chords will often drone for very long and blend with other chords, creating a very layered wall of sound at times. At other moments chime like melodies will be repeated to allow the listener to familiarize themselves with the melody and then draw different images and interpretations out of it.

This brings me to an important point. If the individual listening to this cares little for the natural world, or for trying to achieve a higher sense of understanding, then I doubt this album will be of much use to the listener. The music ultimately serves as a way of being able to reflect on ones ideas and on our natural environment. On a more simple level, the music would only give a calming background environment for work, and it's greater potential would be overlooked.

The theme of the album is winter, and it is the usual theme with Wintherr's work. He does not however use the wind effects common on other Paysage releases to help enhance the atmosphere. There are absolutely no sound effects on this release, and the resulting atmosphere is all the more impressive since it is being solely made by the arrangements and melodies of this man. By arrangements I do not mean structures, for this music is impossible to interpret in a verse - chorus context, but rather the way that melodies transition, and melodic voices interact with one another throughout the music.

In a way this music is a form of escapism, for it enables us to create our own worlds from the music. But it is also deeply rooted in reality, for it allows the listener to reflect on themselves. All the more amazing that it asks so much of us while saying so little itself.



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user ratings (49)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Driven9
October 15th 2008



19 Comments


i gotta tell ya... the sample track is pretty damn boring. But hey, to each there own right. If this slow amdient rolling wave type music brings a sense of overwhelming emotion to you, then I say rock on man.

Silenius
October 15th 2008



302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'll admit that what you get out of this is a hugely subjective issue. The music relies on the listener's personality and interests heavily and almost assumes that since you are listening to it that you share similar ideas to its creator, hence there is of course a huge range of opinions that can be had. I myself love the music and can totally relate to it, part of why it's a 5 rating.

BallsToTheWall
October 15th 2008



44164 Comments


Good review, and I pretty much agree with that staement. I do remember complaning about this on the listening party not too long ago but it's these kind of albums that need to be heard fully. I will get this and I will play it with my windows down.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2008



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice work Silenius, I loved the other Paysage album you reviewed so I'll look into this for sure.


Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Wizard
October 15th 2008



19333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review. You haven't been around much lately, have you? I need to get a few albums by these guys and I imagine I will be paying huge for their albums.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

Eakflanderyof
October 15th 2008



2143 Comments


Paysage is definitely the king of atmosphere. I love his music.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2008



16083 Comments


im so glad i introduced everyone here to him*This Message Edited On 10.15.08

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 15th 2008



3743 Comments


asterick

Wizard
October 15th 2008



19333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

im so glad i introduced everyone here to him*

Toot your horn much? hahahaha

Silenius
October 15th 2008



302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You haven't been around much lately, have you?


I still read a lot of reviews but there's not much new stuff that I'm motivated to review and I don't have much time to write reviews these days.

btw you can get a lot of his stuff for free from his site, this whole cd is available at
http://kunsthall.ch/kunsthall/bands/paysagedhiver/popups/die_festung.htmlThis Message Edited On 10.15.08

Wizard
October 15th 2008



19333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Silenius. You have good taste in music, hence why I'm upset you don't review much .

username345
October 15th 2008



594 Comments


I don't like the Paysage d'Hiver album I have, it's too harsh, grim & necro for me :P

Though I do remember listening to an excellent ambient track on youtube.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2008



16310 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just downloaded this, will listen to it later.

Silenius
October 15th 2008



302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This entire album is ambient so give it a shot man.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2008



17204 Comments


I have Winterkalte and its a tad bit too bleak (i guess would be the right word) for me, how does this compare?

Silenius
October 16th 2008



302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is not as bleak, I'd go as far as to say if you wanna get into Paysage d'Hiver then start with this album, it's the most accessible.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2008



17204 Comments


cool, ill give this a try then.

username345
October 16th 2008



594 Comments


So will I.

Fort23
November 10th 2008



2475 Comments


this sounds really good the sample got me excited.

Adabelle
December 12th 2011



4254 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

3 years since last comment, just listened, bumped.



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