After 8 long years, Wintersun has finally returned with part one of their new material, “Time”. I don’t want to dwell on the fact that has been a while since the last album, but I definitely want to talk about the decision to release this as two separate records. Whether or not Jari Mäenpää or Nuclear Blast made the decision, it was the correct one. Simply put, this album is an epic, bombastic affair of keyboards and symphonic atmospheres that is almost too much to handle. 80 minutes of this style of music would be physically draining on the listener, and I say that because even 40 minutes can be quite difficult to fully absorb what is going on. There may be only three full songs on “Time I”, but they are more than enough material to satisfy the listener.
The instrumental opener, “When Time Fades Away”, introduces some new oriental influences to Wintersun’s brand of folky melodic death metal. By the time this song is over, you start to understand the transition in sound from the debut to this record. On “Time I” Wintersun uses more clean vocals, keyboards, and melodies. That isn’t to say that every song here is a rehash of “Death and the Healing” from the debut, but there is certainly less speed and intensity on this record. The band definitely embraced the “melodic” part of melodic death metal. “Sons of Winter and Stars” is the first epic and is actually the track that is most similar to the debut album. There are blastbeats and riffs aplenty, and the intensity is kept up throughout the song; however, you will notice the increased use of choirs and clean vocals. The other two lengthy songs are employ similar methods, but are not quite as fast. In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of this album is the huge range of dynamics. There are perfect transitions from huge, heavy death metal moments into quieter acoustic and keyboard driven sections with Jari's clean vocals over top.
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"Sons of Winter and Stars"
4.5/5 or 90%.
Written by Scott