Time I review by Wintersun

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  • Released: Oct 19, 2012
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.8 (152 votes)
Wintersun: Time I

Sound — 7
Well, here we have it the most aptly-named album in history is finally with us. Cast your mind back to how old you were when "Time" was supposed to be released, or even further back to when Jari Mäenpää first unveiled his Wintersun project. The former Ensiferum frontman has been holed up for over seven years preparing his bombastic metal symphony, obsessing over every detail and no doubt tearing his long locks out over it. Taking that kind of time may seem like a luxury at first but the personnel problems, technology failures and endless rewrites that caused the huge delays have no doubt made the process extremely laborious. What this does ensure is that everything is polished to perfection. The melodic vocals, melodic strings, melodic leads and occasionally heavy rhythms are all fine-tuned and firing on all cylinders from a production perspective. The hugely ambitious orchestral arrangements are not just integrated; they take the lead in everything that the album does. The album's greatest strength is its use of the orchestra as a real means of expression, where so many metal artists only wheel it out as a cheap shortcut to an epic' sound. Unfortunately this does mean that the guitars take a back seat, and Mäenpää's folksy melodic style doesn't always lend itself to such a spotless and sanitized sound. When the guitars do take centre stage, at times during "Sons Of Winter And Stars" and "Time", the impact is rather softened by the mix, like a YouTube guitar player doing a metal version of his favourite RPG soundtrack. The music isn't a million miles away either.

Lyrics — 7
There is an innate cheesiness to fantastical lyric writing, and nobody demonstrates that better than Jari if past work is anything to go by. Ensiferum have always been full of symbolism and the Wintersun debut was a rather melancholy affair, wrapped in swathes of frost, stars and other glitter. "Sons Of Winter And Stars" is a real bore, trudging through endless clichés ("The energy flows in me like a river of stars/I'm surrounded by the circle of fire, but eternal ice has frozen my heart") but elsewhere the personal content is at least less dressed up. Considering the audience is looking to be excited rather than engaged emotionally, the lofty language does its job well enough, and the voice screaming "TIME!", "FIRE!" or occasionally "SPACE!" still gets the message across.

Overall Impression — 7
At this late stage "Time I" can only look and sound how we all knew it would and convince fans that it was worth the wait - both are forgone conclusions. If you're into grand, folky, melodic metal and somehow haven't heard about Wintersun already then this comes highly recommended; if you're not then this won't do a lot for you; if you're already a Wintersun fan then, let's be honest, you're already waiting for "Time II", which comes out next year. Let's hope all goes according to plan this time.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    WTF DUDE/GIRL, this is about Wintersun, not about you making a little bit of shit-money, music is way greater than any material stuff such as money.
    i'm bored of the album after 20 or so listens. the "wintersun" mood is gone, this new material is pretty sterile to be honest. jari screwed up by going crazy with the unnecessary orchestrations. honestly. he should have went with the simplistic approach. the album might have ended up better than the debut. but no. jari had to drown out the guitars and drums with techno. i preached that this album was amazing when it came out and i was fan boyish, but it legitimately is a disappointment.
    So I'm the only one who thought the album was very uninspired and boring. I felt the whole album was very monotonous on my few passes through it.
    Hey guy stop downvoting people because they don't think the album is the best album in the universe, people are aloud to not like what you like. After all, isn't the point of a review to be critical, not just pandering? That being said, the album is good but not great. Seems really short, especially since there are only 3 metal songs on it (other 2 being instrumental). First listen through is fantastic, afterwords the epicness wears off. Guitars are drowned out by the synths quite a bit, and only 2-3 solos for the entire album.
    Thrash Jage
    This album amazing! Best orchestrations in any metal album. People tend to forget that this is only the first part. Time II is already recorded and will be released next year. If only Jari had more money, he would surely release more masterpieces.
    this album still doesn't have my undivided attention. its emotionally void, the only song that comes close to having the potential of being on par with any song off the debut album is land of snow and sorrow. SoWaS and time are really not that great. i do have hopes for Time ii, cause the way of the fire just sounds so damn amazing
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