Wintersun – Time I

Wintersun
“Time I”
Released: 19th October 2012
Epic metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

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This is that kind of album that you either like very much or you don’t like at all. I’m afraid I’m in the latter batch. But personal tastes aside, let’s face it: when it comes to music, “epic” doesn’t always equal the greatness that the dictionary associates the word with.

The problem with “Time I”? Lack of original creativity and spunk. Jari Mäenpää meant to create something “astonishing as the concept of time itself”, but the only thing that astonishes me here is the fact that it took them eight years to conceive this album.

Take the first track, for instance. If “When Time Fades Away” were a “normal” intro, only one or maybe two minutes long, then it would be okay. But being a four-minute long instrumental track, it must be seen as a full song. And as full epic instrumental songs go, Wintersun did nothing here that Danny Elfman hasn’t done before – and better – in his soundtracks.

“When Time Fades Away” still plays the role of an intro, though, linked to the following track “Sons Of Winter And Stars”. In my humble opinion, there’s only one way of making a 13-minute-long song work, and that’s making it diverse. But this falls too much and too many times into repetition, so the outcome is pretty boring. The drum and keyboard patterns are ordinarily common to dozens of power metal bands, the guitar riffs and hooks don’t strike as a novelty, and even the orchestral arrangements aren’t as magical as they were supposed to be. And then they all play over and over again throughout the song. Adding the 4 minutes of the “intro”, that’s 17 minutes of something less than spectacular, even if it’s very well performed and produced.

“Land Of Snow And Sorrow” makes justice to its title, being a sorrowful and melancholic ballad. Once again its length is a little overwhelming for this kind of musical structure.

And I could use practically the same words about “When Time Fades Away“ and “Sons Of Winter And Stars” to describe “Darkness and Frost” and “Time” – just that both the latter are shorter and use some medieval/folk elements the former two don’t. But the I’m-not-impressed feeling is the same.

2 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

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