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Wintersun - Wintersun CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.76 | 104 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars WINTERSUN's first and only album wears its influences with pride. But it's anyone's guess if the mixing of two different worlds into one sonic experience will please most fans of both power/symphonic metal and extreme/black metal.

On one hand, WINTERSUN sounds a little like a power-metal band, straight from the land of groups like RHAPSODY OF FIRE: fast songs with even faster guitar solos, lots of keyboards and thunderous double- bass drums. The album has a certain epic feel to it that definitely makes the link with power-metal even stronger. But for fans of the genre, a word of caution has to be said: this is not power metal. It has many elements of it, it's been influenced by it, but this is, primarily, something else.

On the other hand, the vocals will immediately tell any listener that this record has a strong connection with black metal, with high-shrieking guttural vocals that reminds us of bands like IMMORTAL. The black-metal-side of the music is definitely even more evident than the power-metal side, as not only the vocals but also the music, with tremolo-picking sections and really heavy passages, takes us directly to Scandinavia. WINTERSUN, being from that part of the world, carries the extreme-cold sound in their veins. A band I was constantly reminded of was a Swedish black-metal band that should've been more famous than it was when it was active, DISSECTION. But for fans of the genre, caution again: the music, dark yet inviting, evil yet heroic, is not your typical black-metal. Add some AMORPHIS to the mix of ingredients that I've given you and by now you may start to have a clearer idea of what WINTERSUN is and if it may appeal to your taste.

The musicianship is excellent. The album was recorded by just two individuals: Kai Hahto in drums, doing a terrific job, and mastermind Jari Maenpaa on every other instrument, shining in all of them especially in the guitars where he manages to evoke the virtuosism of master-shredders like Luca Turilli. It's a good thing that, on the musicianship-side of things, WINTERSUN owes more to the virtuosic school of European power metal than to the as-raw-as-possible-style of Norwegian black metal.

And it's that ingredient what ultimately makes WINTERSUN an album worth getting and hearing. By combining the good elements of two in theory very different genres, Jari Maenpaa has created music that should appeal to any prog-metal and metal fan. For those in the extremes, though, this will be harder to swallow, as it will be too-extreme for a power-metal band and too-heroic for a black-metal one.

4 stars. I hope we can hear more of Maenpaa's music in the future, as only one album of this good music is not enough.

The T | 4/5 |


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