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Release Date: Jan 2004
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genres: Death Metal
Number Of Tracks: 8
While Children Of Bodom are starting to compromise their own musical abilities, Wintersun pushes them to the fullest extent possible.
gojaromeiginla, on november 20, 2007 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wintersun is the music of Jari Maenpaa, an experienced metal musician hailing from Finland. He was previously in a number of Finnish metal bands, including ArthemesiA, Cadacross, Immemorial, and Ensiferum. Ensiferum was where Jari achieved the majority of his success, and continued to stay with the band until Ensiferum interfered with Wintersun. Throughout all of these acts, the power metal theme has been prevalent, although Ensiferum is considered folk/viking metal. The genre of Wintersun is under debate, but Jari himself describes Wintersun as extreme majestic technical epic melodic metal. The specific sound of the music varies from song to song, ranging from brutal and edgy screaming with powerful guitar, bass, drums, and synth, to amazingly gentle vocals with long, moving instrumental portions, including everything in between. Jari's vocal style is somewhat complex. He can sing and scream equally well, but is very different from other bands of the same genre. He has a large vocal range, and his style is generally very deep and airy. His screaming isn't just shoving air through his vocal chords. It is still definitely screaming, but sounds more precise, and not as distorted. It's hard to explain, but if you compared it to, say, Children of Bodom, you'd know what I mean. Now, I can't really describe the album any further unless I go into some specific songs. I have chosen 5 of the 8 songs that I think take in every aspect of the album.
Beyond The Dark Sun - the first song on this album is Beyond the Dark Sun. This song begins with an intense opening guitar portion, which moves into a full harmony with a second, equally complicated guitar part, as well as bass and drums. The vocals start off calm, with a speaking portion, almost like poetry, then moves into full on screaming. The song moves onto a mix of heavy rhythm guitar, and similar lead guitar to the intro. This intense song builds to a final climax at the very end. It is one of the more popular songs on the album, and it is the only one under 5 minutes in length.
Death And The Healing - is a seven minute long song that I can only describe as epic. For starters, the most notable feature is that the song has no screaming. It is the only song without any screaming, in fact. The song is medium in speed, and begins with a smooth opening riff that remains a theme throughout the song. The verses are a prime example of Jari's vocal capabilities, and the chorus could probably be described as choral, and is reminiscent of Jari's days with Ensiferum. In between the two verses and the corresponding choruses are long guitar portions that share the theme of the opening riff. The whole song together totals to a 7 minute masterpiece.
Starchild - is unique in this album partly because it is comprised of five parts, but it also has some of the most memorable synth portions on the record. The first part is the most intense, with screaming vocals and backup vocals that complement the lead. The song then both becomes more melodic, yet builds up to an epic finale.
Beautiful Death - the second to last song on the album is Beautiful Death. It starts off with fairly generic power metal, and sound-wise the song isn't very notable until the final two minutes. This final stretch of the song is in my opinion one of the most memorable guitar solos ever conceived. It has a calm synth, with amazingly technical notes with brilliant tone and varying speed. I love this song just for that solo!
Sadness And Hate - the final song of this introductory Wintersun album is a whopping 10 minutes long. It includes an interesting riff similar to that of Death and the Healing. Throughout the song it alternates between screaming and singing, with extended instrumental sections.
The other three songs, "Winter Madness," "Battle Against Time," and "Sleeping Stars," are fairly generic to power metal, with a distinct Wintersun feel. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are very well thought out. They were formed over a nine year period between 1995 and 2004. They fit the songs brilliantly in my opinion. Nothing is out of style with the music. Vocally, Jari executes the lyrics extremely well, and recorded not only the lead vocals, but the backup vocals as well. Very well done all around. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, this album is amazing. 10/10 all the way. Similar artists would be Children of Bodom and Norther. These two are both Finnish bands as well, with similar music, but heavier vocals than Wintersun. The most impressive songs on this album would have to be "Beyond the Dark Sun," and "Beautiful Death," although each song is great in it's own way. If I were to lose this album or if it were stolen, I would buy this album again in a heartbeat. // 10
br4d, on february 15, 2006 3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is amasing! Once I heard it once I was hooked. Wintersun combines a nice combination of what sounds like a full orchestra and heavy death metal guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, ext. The singer is also very talented and not only screams/growls or whatever you wanna call it, but he also sings and it sounds good. The singer/guitarist is from many other death metal bands but I unfourtunatly cant recall them at the time. The guitarist is an amasing shredder. Overall I think this is by far the best death metal album I have heard in a long time. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are quite unique and interesting. I would find myself sitting on my bed listening to the album for hours trying to understand what the lyrics meant, they have a deep meaning and once you know the meaning to all of the songs you can realy enjoy the album more than you already do (well, at least for me anyways). The lyrics float along with the music quite well and overall the lyrics/singing are amasing! // 10
Overall Impression: This album is by far one of the best death metal albums I have heard in a long time and I recommend it to any death metal fan who reads this. My favorite songs would have to be all of them because their all just that good. I haven't found anything about this album that I don't like so far, except that it was quite hard to get (I got it of eBay, my friend special orederd it form our local music store). If I lost this album I probubly wouldn't buy it again considering that I ripped it onto my computer, but if I hadn't I would definitly get it again. // 10
unregistered, on february 16, 2006 2 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Its a great album with a great sound. Jerry Menpaa (ex-Ensiferum, Arthemesia) is know how to do a good music. The guitar and the baas that played by Jerry himself are just prefect. Jerry's solos and riffes are prefect and deep, alots of imotions are running in this album. For exaple: the seconed solo in Beautiful Death, the riffes in Sleeping Stars, the wonderful solo in Death And The Healing etc. The drums are fit exactley to the guitars, Oliver Pokin (ex-Ensiferum) is really one of the best drumers in the metal scene. The allbum combain death metal, black metal, folk metal, and one black folk prograssive song (Starchild). I like to call it a black folk metal with touching of death album. Ok and here is the story of the CD creation. Jerry Menpaa was in the lagendray folk metal band, Ensiferum, Jerry started to work on a solo project (Wintersun), the Ensiferum's band memberes didnt liked it and gave Jerry an ultimatum: "Stop your solo project or we kick you out of the band." Jerry took Oliver Pokin with him and the results are lies just infront of you. Jerry opened a black metal band as well, called, Athemiesia, with Ensiferum's ex bass player, Jukka Pikka, and some more artists. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are deep and strong. Deep and high words are using in this album. Jerry proves he good writter and composer. You can find all kind of great comparisons and matephors, genius to be exact, in this album. The mptif of stars is using a lot in this album, and he allways have a strong meaninng. For calculation Jerry is one of the finest wrriters the world ever saw, his strong, deep and hidden meaning (it's not easy to understand his meaning) words are just another genius part in this masterpiece. The lyrics are fit perfectly with the music, Jerry is a pure genius. Jerry's vocals are exallent, perfects growls and clean vocals whom come just in time. For exaple: the clean part in Sadnnes And Hate, The final part in Sadnnes And Hate (growl), the clean part in Starchild, etc. Jerry got gret growls and great clean vocals as well. // 10
Overall Impression: I cant really compare it to other albums, beacuse of it special genre. Maybe "Cosmic Genesis" of vintersorg. But its more folk metal then black, although its a black-folk metal as well, but vintersorg combains more other genres. All of the songs in this album are impressing, every singal song is a masterpiece. Maybe Byeond The Dark sun is one level below the rest of the album, but exapet this all of them are great and unique. I like the uniqueness of this album. I like Wintersun's sepcial combain of tunes and music. The album's strong solos and riff is just unhateable. This album is a pure master piece, I've been bought him again if he was stollen. // 10
laffyjam, on march 27, 2006 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is a very good album. The sound Wintersun has created with their music is very unique. It sounds like black metal combined with power metal. This is a very melodic album also, sorta technical with great keyboards and guitars. On some songs there are just beautiful heart moving riffs. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are very poetic. The lyrics go very well with the music and the singer is great. What is so good about the singer is that he screams and growls and stuff but he can also actually sing, and when he has a clean voice it goes very well with the music. // 10
Overall Impression: This is a great album, if you can enjoy this album even if you dont really like metal that much. If your a fan of bands like old Children of bodom, Turisas or Amon Amarth you'll love this album. My favorite tracks on this cd are Beyond the dark sun, sleeping stars, battle against time, and death and the healing. All the tracks on the album are great though. // 10
Burning_Angel, on november 21, 2007 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wintersun's self titled album was written entirely by guitarist/vocalist Jari Maenpaa (except the drums), and is a masterpiece like no other. The music combines all the elements I love of metal, with the screams of melodic death, symphonic keys of black metal, excellent guitar work, and some really good singing. The guitar tone is clean and punchy, almost reminiscent of death. There are times when the sound gets a little muddy with so many instruments, but overall, it's exellent. The album has no story, although all the lyrics are based on Jari's thoughts and experiences. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are excellently written. As I said, the lyrics are based on Jari's life and thoughts. They even get better/more mature as the album goes along. For example, on the song Beautiful Death. These are probly the best lyrics on the album, and they are about the time when Jari had tuberculosis, and had to have a part of his lung removed. The lyrics fit the music perfectly, nothing is forced or awkward. Jari has an absolutely awesome voice. The harsh vocals sound like most melodic death or black metal vocals, but the singing is fantastic. Jari's voice sometimes imitates Halford or King Diamond, sometimes he goes to a low range, or a tenor range; his range is unbelievable. // 10
Overall Impression: This is definitely my favorite album, possibly even the best I've listened to. It's hard to pick a song that stands out, but I think Starchild is the best, and easily most epic on the album. Beautiful Death is close behind. Sleeping Stars is a really good slow song, with Death and the Healing probly the most melodic. There is literally, nothing I hate about this album. I love everything, from the epic-ness, to the combination of all my favorite things in metal. If it were lost, it wouldn't be a big deal to me, as I have it on my computer. If it were stolen, I'd give props to the guy who stole it for having good taste. // 10
GarionB, on november 11, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Epic, Majestic, Powerful... all adjectives which describe the self-titled first release from this Finnish musical wizard, Jari Maenpaa. This album features a high level of musicianship in all instruments, from the insane guitar solo of 'Winter Madness' to keyboard passages and the constant high level of drumming from Kai Hahto (also of Rotten Sound).
This album was performed almost entirely by Jari himself, apart from the aforementioned drums. His level of skill on all of the instruments involved is staggering, and to maintain this skill over material written over a 10 year period while performing in another band (Ensiferum) is impressive. The one downside to the album, in my opinion is the lack of solos on ALL of the songs, and the shortness of the first track ('Beyond the Dark Sun'). Otherwise, this album attains near perfection. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics of these songs are very personal to Jari, for example he deals with his struggles with TB in one of them. The songs all follow a similar theme, fairly melancholic and icy, very fitting to the band name and the concept of the album and it's (rather splendid) cover. The skill with which Jari sings in this album could hardly be found lacking, as he performs both high and low screams with as much ease as he sings the clean passages (especially on 'Death and the Healing'). Although this type of singing is not for everyone, it fits the music perfectly, and to be honest, if you have delved deeply enough into metal to find Wintersun, you can hardly complain about the screams. // 10
Overall Impression: Wintersun has, typically, been compared to other Finnish bands of similar ilk; Ensiferum, Kalmah, Children of Bodom etc, yet it does not really match up to any of them. This music does not really fit into any of the usual sub-genres (without obscene ammounts of slashes) but it seems to skim the best parts of all of these other genres. The most impressive songs are 'Sleeping Stars', 'Death and the Healing' and 'Starchild'. If I were to lose this album, I would definitely buy it again, as it is one of the most frequently played albums in my collection. // 10
Kuroishi_x, on november 25, 2011 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is first album by melodic death metal band from Finland, Wintersun. It was released by Nuclear Blast Records in September 2004. Band consisted of Jari Menp (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards) and Kai Hahto (drums).
When Jari left Ensiferum he was already involved in his side project Wintersun. This band is basically Ensiferum, but with more focus on guitar playing than folk instruments/influences. Now that he owns a project he can really shows something that he couldn't do back in Ensiferum. That's guitar playing. There are lots of guitar riffs and guitar melodies going on, like beautiful main riff in "Sleeping Stars" or main melody in "Death And The Healing". We can hear influences from many styles of metal, for example death, black, folk, power and even thrash metal. Other thing you can hear almost instantly are shredding guitar fills (first one is heard right after the first riff in "Beyond The Dark Sun") and guitar solos, which sometimes have neo-classical feel to them. Jari is really good guitar player and very fast and clean soloist. Guitars are often accompanied with keyboards, which make melodies even more epic. Many people hates the drums, but I don't see nothing wrong about them. There are lots of changes in drumming, you can even find blast beats accompanied with clean vocals. // 10
Lyrics: In addition to harsh vocals, Jari uses lots of clean singing and epic choir singing, which makes some songs great epic sing along songs. Lyrics deals with death, time and winter. They go well together with melodic guitars and they are usually written in more ballad style to fit into the music. // 10
Overall Impression: Whole album is great, but I usually skip "Beautiful Death", not because it's bad, I just don't like it as much as other songs. And the best song are "Sleeping Stars", "Death And The Healing" and "Battle Against Time".
A mix of different genres seem like a big mess at first. But it is not, in fact this album in professionally put together and is one of best melodic death metal albums. // 10