Wintersun
Wintersun


4.5
superb

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
July 26th, 2006 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Brutal yet melodic; aggressive yet serene; triumphant yet melancholic; technical yet effortless. Extreme metal has many extremes and variations on the genre's aspects, and very few bands roam outside of the few distinctive traits that their style is built upon. Finding a band that touches on opposite ends of the spectrum once in a while tends to be rare, and finding a band that regularly combines every element that a genre could have into constant sound is virtually impossible. However, with the boundaries of modern extreme music constantly being pushed outward, did anyone really expect any combination to never develop? From the dark northern lands of Finland comes Wintersun, a progressive/black/folk/power metal band that combines every heavy metal facet thinkable. Ranging from the slow and sorrowful to the fast and vicious, Wintersun combines a flare for catchy riffs and melodic passages with folk themes and unparalleled musicianship to produce one of the best extreme metal debuts within the past decades.

Dismissing Wintersun as yet another Finnish power metal outfit would be doing the band injustice. The core of their sound may be that of the savage, atmospheric sound of Scandinavian power metal, but the essence of Wintersun is captured through the many other facets they use to create such a unique sound. So many emotions and soundscapes are created through the mere eight songs. From the fast, melodic power metal track Beyond the Dark Sun to the epic black metal track Beautiful Death and the folk metal cry of Sadness and Hate, this is one dynamic debut. The songs span so many different approaches that one would almost have to dissect each and every one to truly get the full feel of Wintersun. For the faster power metal tracks, look toBeyond the Dark Sun, Winter Madness, and Starchild. For the more depressingly and melodic songs, see Death and the Healing, Sleeping Stars, and Battle Against Time. Finally, Sadness and Hate balances out the album with a heavy folk sound and epic length. Each track adds intricate dimensions of a progressive variety creating an implausibly elaborate collection of riffs, solos, melodies, atmospheres, and vocals ever to grace the music world.

As Wintersun is the innovation of guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Jari Mäenpää, it’s no surprise that the music of Wintersun is tastefully written while performed in a true virtuosic manner. For those who don’t know, Jari is quite a musical prodigy. He recorded all rhythm, lead, and acoustic guitar tracks for Wintersun as well as recording the basslines and synth/keyboard effects. To top it off, he performed all vocals himself and produced the album. A musician with such inspiration to perfect the art of music couldn’t possibly hold their creative and physical abilities back – Jari certainly did not. The riffs as well as solos are tremendously written for optimum metal perfection. The fast, furious power metal riffs of Beyond the Dark Sun and Battle Against Time provide an epic upsurge for epic and melodic songs such as Death and the Healing and Starchild. As if to channel a combination of deep-set emotion and Nordic heritage, Sadness and Hate features a barrage of folk guitar and crunchy metal mayhem. Mäenpää’s vocals are pristine right through album, ranging from the tortured shrieks of Beautiful Death and Beyond the Dark Sun to the clean chants of Death and the Healing and Sleeping Stars. Musical ability is clearly not an issue with this Finnish posse.

For power metal fans, Wintersun’s emergence is more than well received. For heavy metal fans in general, their surfacing was a breath of fresh air in the realms of proficiency, originality, and belligerence. Few, if any, bands have created such a powerful and emotional presentation of epic melodic death metal. Jari Mäenpää has since gone on to acquire two more members for Wintersun, making it a Finnish quartet. Will the modern Wintersun be able to successfully follow up its fantastic predecessor? Only Time will tell.

Summary:
- Wonderful blend of melodic death, power, and black metal
- Incredible musical virtuosity
- Creative writing with powerful emotion
- Feelings range from aggressive to epic to distressing

Personal favorite moments:
- Winter Madness (3:05) – insane neoclassical shredding
- Death and the Healing (2:40) – mournfully epic vocals
- any part of Beautiful Death

Recommended songs:
- Beyond the Dark Sun
- Death and the Healing
- Beautiful Death



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user ratings (1122)
Chart.
4.2
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Time I

Comments:Add a Comment 
Toaster
July 26th 2006


343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually love this album. At first I wrote Wintersun off as another stock extreme power metal band, but this album is now among my favourites.

Dismissing Wintersun as yet another Finnish power metal outfit would be doing the band injustice.


Yes.

Great review to boot.

Storm In A Teacup
July 26th 2006


13226 Comments


:mad: How dare you turn all these in after such an absense and I don't even have the time to read them.
I'll try to though tomorrow, nice to see you back in heavy metal action. :cool:

Thor
July 26th 2006


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So many reviews from you! And they're all great!

I love this album.

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

Darkness
July 26th 2006


67 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of my favorite bands/albums. I can't wait for Time.

mjjm1184
July 26th 2006


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album/band. I like Ensiferum a lot better, though.

Shadows
Moderator
July 26th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ensiferum is good, but Wintersun has more of a neoclassical power metal sound to go with the atmospheric folk metal. That's what makes them so freakin' awesome!

Thanks a lot everyone, it's good to be well-received after many months of absence.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2006


17945 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Winter Madness is so good.

Cygnus Inter Anates
July 27th 2006


721 Comments


Must get.

Tarantino's Tarantulas
July 27th 2006


819 Comments


Just gave some of this stuff a listen, its pretty damn good.

Shadows
Moderator
July 27th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Make no mistake, this shit's amazing!

And no one has voted yes or no?

Shadows
Moderator
July 27th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thank you very much. It's good to be back.

Dexter
July 31st 2006


7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Very good album and band..
The review good too..

Storm In A Teacup
July 31st 2006


13226 Comments


This is a rocking review, Ben. Nice to have you back.

Shadows
Moderator
August 9th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Why thank you Herr Ian, it's good to be back reviewin'.

and now moddin'! :D

(heart) Wintersun

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 28th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For some reason, this album really suprised me. Good stuff. Quality review, too.

Dethtrasher
December 20th 2006


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Is this their only album so far? This sounds very interesting plus that this album has been given sky-high ratings on metal-archives.This Message Edited On 12.20.06

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 20th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They've got a new album coming out in the summer.

And if an album's got a 93% on metal archives after fourteen reviews, chances are it's pretty good. At least, that's what I find. :p

Eliminator
December 20th 2006


2067 Comments


Good album.

Shadows
Moderator
December 20th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

They've got a new album coming out in the summer.

It was supposed to be August of this year but they had to push back their recording time. Now it's August of 2007.

I've really been digging this lately but I'm becoming impatient waiting for Time.

Dethtrasher
December 26th 2006


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I found the medley stuff on their website, sounded very VERY interesting! I have to get this album.



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