Paysage d'Hiver
Geister


4.2
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland STAFF
April 25th, 2021 | 58 replies


Release Date: 04/23/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Retcon wintery black metal aesthetics.

On the back of last year’s Im Wald, Paysage d’Hiver will need little introduction amongst extreme metal devotees. The album, originally slated as lone band member’s, Wintherr's, debut piece under the moniker (which is kind of weird since the act has been releasing various demos and EPs for the better part of twenty four years) blew down the wall of traditionalist black metal stereotypes while fulfilling the need for gale force, blizzard like black metal. More impressively, the debut was expansive. With a runtime of two hours, taking seminal moments of lo-fi production, Im Wald became the impressive, gold standard for raw atmospheric black metal. That aside, Paysage d’Hiver’s sophomore, Geister is more approachable, condensed into an hour and eleven minute display. Without falling into the trap of cutting the debut’s more prominent features, Geister instead makes tracks for a different path through the snow trapped forest.

Importantly, is Wintherr’s ability to craft atmosphere out of such a lo-fi range and yet, Geister is noticeably less brick walled by the static rawness that enveloped last year’s Im Wald. In creating such a contrast between the two records the ‘cleaner’, more traditional style of Geister was to come as a shock to some fans who have attached themselves to the sweeping majesty found within the sprawling landscapes a la Im Wald. With distinction, Geister is less atmospheric and more virulent due to its more straightforward compositions and clearer production values which further promotes the disparity between the ten month gap that would likely suggest a natural cohesion - rather than a direct change in styles. By using the clear success of the former as a springboard for any future soundscapes, Geister is also clearly more accessible (well, as far as the more extreme side of black metal goes). Shorter tracks define the newer record’s run-time, coupled with more definable instrumental sections. Melodies sweep in and around the often galloped rhythms and rumbled bass, while snare hits and kicks surge through the album’s sensible climes. Still, Geister is a remarkable accomplishment that only pales when compared to the likes of its majestic predecessor.

In spite of the natural comparisons Paysage d’Hiver’s current record is receiving to the former, “Schattä” takes a stance built in whispers and ambience. Wintherr’s screams pierce through the scenery. It’s a black metal staple, finding contrast in simple compositions and yet, the stereotypes work better here than most modern day entrants into the scene. The album’s lead single, “Bluet” quickly addresses the new sound’s larger immediacy, bombarding the listener with almost catchy riffs and sensational melodies and yet it’s tracks like these that scream replay value, especially in regard to that two hour epic released last year. This time around, Geister is clean furor.

After time, “Undä” and “Äschä” continue this trajectory. Screams pierce the tumultuous landscape, while riff and blast carry the listener this way and that while making the most of this almost simplistic Paysage on autopilot format. The album becomes centred on its riffs, musical hooks and circling passages without trying to emulate the larger mystique so easily reached. At times, Geister almost circles on itself, carrying some ideas from one track into the next and doubling down later in the album’s run-time. It’s seemingly deliberate, grounding a listener to the linear progression of a record that aims not for the stars, but enjoys the desolate reaches of a stoned, well-worn path at the edge of a winter-worn holt. The effect becomes passably hypnotic, droning on about the same picturesque greys in the corner of a portrait to which no amount of gold framing will distract the eye.

It’s understandable that some fans of Im Wald may be miffed with the turn of sound found within Geiter’s walls. Doubly so if you’ve come to their 2021 effort expecting boundless atmosphere and a wall of lo-fi production. In many ways it would’ve been all too easy to continue in the vein of the former, releasing another album full of majestic, boundless black metal. If nothing else, Geister is ambitious in the fact that it steps away from such a firm platform and paves another direction, albeit more successful and markedly accessible. Paysage d’Hiver reinvents itself again. It’s not a bad thing to evolve, reshape and rejig on a formula that will earmark a new direction of others for years to come and yet, Geister is all that success. Forget the icy, windswept path through the trees...Geister is here to guide you through some of the year’s more prominent and best black metal.




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user ratings (67)
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
liftyourself (2.5)
Ghost of what it was, as the title would suggest....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Staff Reviewer
April 25th 2021


14274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

A couple days late. Blame work for that.



Here's the bandcamp for bandcamp reasons: https://paysagedhiver.bandcamp.com/album/geister

Digging: Diskord - Degenerations

Bedex
April 25th 2021


2715 Comments


m/ excited to jam

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
April 25th 2021


14274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Surprised at the low rate count right now to be honest.

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 25th 2021


38072 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Everything about their debut sounded like it was recorded inside a tin container two miles away. Does this have that same atmosphere?



Edit: Just read the review (great job btw), and I might actually dig this. Cleaner production and shorter songs sound like things I could appreciate from these guys.

Digging: Floating Points - Crush

Azog
April 25th 2021


504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally this album gets the review it deserves.

Digging: Portal - Avow

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 25th 2021


26570 Comments


Dammit Sowing.. Im Wald sounds perfect. how dare you

haha, honestly tho it's kinda supposed to sound like that. they completely nailed the lo-fi aesthetic and it just makes the album more intriguing and ethereal imo

not sure about this one yet. yeah the production is louder but the songs themselves don't feel as interesting to me. but haven't spent enough time with it yet so we'll see

DarkNoctus
April 25th 2021


11525 Comments


not gonna bother with this one. good review

Digging: VOLA - Witness

kevbogz
April 25th 2021


3131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's worth a skim if u enjoy punky bm

rage11111ro
April 25th 2021


393 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Finally this album gets the review it deserves.(2)

Trifolium
April 25th 2021


24876 Comments


Oooh nice, curious for this one!

Space Jester
April 25th 2021


9425 Comments


Here’s hoping Geister doesn’t sound like keister

Actually jammed it once but I wasn’t really paying attention lol

Sevengill
April 25th 2021


10188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoy this change of pace. We just got seven years worth of blizzard, and now we have another album for a different mood.

kevbogz
April 25th 2021


3131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agreed sev. there just weren't that many moments where i was floored like his previous stuff. also didn't really transport me anywhere like previous stuff either, but again, different mood/shtick

Sevengill
April 25th 2021


10188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ya this one kinda floats by, ironically, compared to Im Wald. it reminds me of Schattengang with those mid-paced riffs, which is far from a bad thing.

kevbogz
April 25th 2021


3131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

v tru actually, big Moloch vibes here. i will say, however, that nothing on this compares to how fucking br00tal Moloch is man. sheesh 90s Paysage was an absolute force of nature. that 2step chug chug around 9 minutes is so sick woooof

kevbogz
April 25th 2021


3131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

god and those synths???? man now u got me spinnin Schattengang

Sevengill
April 25th 2021


10188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

someone else getting excited about Schattengang is the best thing that's happened today. that album is big underappreciated.

kevbogz
April 25th 2021


3131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

feelin spicy, might put on Kerker next ;)

Space Jester
April 25th 2021


9425 Comments


Yo Schattengang is one his best

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
April 26th 2021


14274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Tis spicy.



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