Paysage d'Hiver
Geister


2.5
average

Review

by liftyourself USER (2 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2021 | 38 replies


Release Date: 04/23/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ghost of what it was, as the title would suggest.

It seems Paysage d'Hiver's goal in recent years is to go above and beyond with each release. 2020's 'Im Wald' was a first true example of that, with Wintherr dropping his longest album to date after 7 years of complete silence, while many fans speculated that there would never be another Paysage d'Hiver record. Granted, Das Tor felt like an appropriate send-off to the saga, however the next album, when announced, had to be hyped up to the moon. That was indeed the case, however Wintherr made the most of the said hype, releasing the most ambitious and envelope-pushing record of his career. 'Im Wald' presented Paysage d'Hiver's typical sound being completely turned on its head. Gone were the days of 15-minute drones backed with buzzing guitars and drums that sound like a washing machine with rocks inside. The production, while maintaining the fuzz and low fidelity of a Paysage d'Hiver album, was a lot more conventional and easier to digest. The length of the songs has been mostly trimmed, oscillating mostly around the 10-minute mark and letting the interludes provide the calmer moments of the album. 'Im Wald' is a benchmark record for both this band and black metal in general, and solidified Paysage d'Hiver as an underground heavyweight and a force to be reckoned with.

And yet, 7 months later, a new record had been announced, along with a single, 'Bluet'. To put it bluntly, it felt like the worst track under Paysage d'Hiver's name. The vocal performance on this one was pretty engaging, but the riffing was too basic for its own good, the writing felt really stale and the repetition worked against it in a big way. The other thing worth noting was that the production, once again, was less fuzzy, and the drum tone actually came close to hitting hard. I wrote the track off as a misstep and hoped for the best out of the new release. Two singles later it was clear that whatever Wintherr drops in 2021, will be the most experimental outing under his belt and nothing like the classics in terms of sound and appeal. While that is the case, 'Geister' is not half the opus magnum Im Wald was 10 months ago.

Geister continues down the road Im Wald was pointing towards, with shorter tracks, cleaner sound, less emphasis on ambiance, and an overall increase in accessibility. Since these same traits drew me into 'Im Wald' and made me enjoy the record much more than the previous outings, I was surprised to see a record clearly trying to outdo its predecessor, but with very mixed results. Throughout the 70-minute runtime there is very little in terms of variation and attention to detail. While there are a few highlights, nearly all of these tracks bleed into one another, while sounding very directionless and inconsequential on their own. 'Äschä' is a great example, the riffing on this track is clearly standout, but the song's lack of structure and mere 4 minutes of runtime make it come off as less epic than it clearly could have been. The only song using any sort of ambiance is the closer, which starts off like an epic build-up, but ends up going nowhere and loses flavor halfway through, and that's another thing. Wintherr is the master of build-up, and even if a particular Paysage d'Hiver track lacked memorable riffing, the project never disappointed on the dynamic front, one which 'Geister' abandons almost completely. Since most of the songs here are about 6 minutes in change, Wintherr doesn't really have time for any sort of a synth passage or acoustic guitars to clean up the atmosphere and bring the rage back in his typical fashion. An old track like 'Welt aus Eis' works because despite grinding on the same melody for 8 minutes straight, it has room to breathe during various sections and justifies its 19-minute runtime. Here, a vast majority of the tracklist cannot justify its much shorter lenghts and I don't really know why. My other major grievance with this record is its lack of layers. If your riffs alredy make Angus Young look like Joe Satriani, why feed the listener only one melody most of the time? These songs could have been improved greatly if more attention to detail and textures had been paid. The writing overall feels very rushed, which might get a pass in a different style of music, but I feel like black metal requires the opposite more than anything.

None of the above is to say there are no great moments throughout. 'Schattä' is a really good opener, with some very cold and steady chord progressions. It's not the avalanche that 'Im Winterwald' was to Geister's predecessor, but I don't really think it's trying to be that, instead starting the experience off with a slower track, but hard-hitting nonetheless. 'Undä' ends with a chunky riff I would have never anticipated out of Paysage d'Hiver, but it works stupendously well and is a glaring example of 'Geister''s experimentation done really well. One thing I can compliment throughout the entire album is the vocal performance. The screams, instead of being just another layer intertwining with the distorted guitar, as was the case with every previous outing, have distinct rhythmic patterns, which helps decipher them and adds to the dramatic performance they clearly opt for, and the shrieks themselves sound a lot more polished and, dare I say, technical. 'Anders' is easily the best track on the entire record, the speedy drumming and walls of sound conjure something never seen before in the Paysage discography; energy. I know that almost all of the previous discography features walls of distortion and fast drumming, but paired with cleaner production, 'Anders' sounds more visceral than it does epic or dramatic, resulting in another example of Witherr experimenting with his sound in a bold, exciting way. 'Gruusig' adds a very sweet violin melody halfway through, but it ends really abruptly, like most good things on Geister, despite the album lasting more than an hour.

'Geister' is far from terrible, as is every record under the Paysage d'Hiver name, but its lack of room to breathe, flow, explore and change up stifles the potential of what could have possibly beaten 'Im Wald' at its own game. I love the way this album sounds in terms of the production, the vocal performance, some of the atmospheres, but the songwriting needs a few tweaks, and if Wintherr were to make another amazing record with the new sound, it needs to be less, you know, boring.


user ratings (53)
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Robert Garland STAFF (4.2)
Retcon wintery black metal aesthetics....



Comments:Add a Comment 
liftyourself
April 23rd 2021


6 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Please correct me on any mistakes, english is not my primary language and this is my second review.

Disappointed but not surprised with this one

garas
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2021


5974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

> "while many fans speculated that there would never be another Paysage d'Hiver record"

That's fairly new information to me.



> "an overall increase in accessibility"

Doubt.



I disagree with the rating (I love this "new direction" he took). It was a great read, have a pos.

Digging: Impaled Nazarene - Eight Headed Serpent

botb
April 23rd 2021


14480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wintherr casually dropping back to back BM AOTY

liftyourself
April 23rd 2021


6 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I disagree with the rating (I love this "new direction" he took). It was a great read, have a pos.



I don't mind the direction, it's one of the things I liked, but I feel like this record could have been a lot better. I feel like it will grow on me eventually, but as of right now Im Wald is superior in almost every way imo



Thanks for the pos mate, appreciate it

PortalofPerfection
April 23rd 2021


2412 Comments


Uwf. This hurts. Because I pretty strongly disagree…but it's extremely well written dammit!

I'm probably splitting hairs but you sound like you actually want to give this a 3, or even a 3.5, but Im Wald just completely overshadows this for you and kind of tilts your rating lower than this review actually reads.

butt.
April 23rd 2021


8750 Comments


Uhhh why are all their albums classified as compilations now???

parksungjoon
April 23rd 2021


30897 Comments


because technically they are not albums, they are and always have been demos, up until im wald

on this site demos are usually listed as EPs or comps

Digging: Make a Change...Kill Yourself - II

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2021


24299 Comments


Bet this rules

Digging: Arabrot - Norwegian Gothic

Sevengill
April 23rd 2021


10127 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fwiw in wintherr's new interview he says he considers them all full-lengths. he just classified them as demos because his favorite albums are demos and he likes the aesthetic.



(he also links an article saying masks make you stupid, while promoting an album about a culture of mask-wearers. so maybe he's just a dildo.)

parksungjoon
April 23rd 2021


30897 Comments


that checks out

ty for the info as well

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2021


7817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Gud rev, listening rn

liftyourself
April 23rd 2021


6 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Uhhh why are all their albums classified as compilations now???



Wintherr calls everything up to Das Tor a demo

TheSpirit
April 23rd 2021


27625 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Literally read the thread

Digging: Gonemage - Mystical Extraction

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2021


7817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Wasn't wowed by this. Will re-listen over the weekend.

Pikazilla
April 23rd 2021


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This was disappointing.

Azog
April 23rd 2021


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Admittedly, this isn't his best work, but still it's way above average.

Digging: Altarage - Succumb

PortalofPerfection
April 23rd 2021


2412 Comments


Yeah, feeling somewhere between a 3.5 and a 4. It's really good on it's own merits, and would probably come off differently if it was anyone but PDH releasing it, but in most situations I'd lean towards the top half of his discog over this.

It's cool that he's trying something different (but not really THAT different). Definitely above average.

FabiusPictor202
April 23rd 2021


857 Comments


Hi Geister, Im Wald

Cygnatti
April 23rd 2021


34991 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The singles on this were not very good...



Im Traum is lovely tho.

Rowhaus
April 23rd 2021


4171 Comments


who's the dumbass that messed with their full lengths?



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy