Awaited, delayed, the “Chinese Democracy” of metal, the “Holy Grail of folk metal” and whatever else you want to say about the new Wintersun album Time I, is totally invalid as the wait for it was worth it, and the band delivers a complete piece of musical greatness.
Time I represents 6 years of efforts and crafted musicianship that Jari Mäenpää (Vocals, Guitar), Teemu Mäntysaari (Guitar), Jukka Koskinen (Bass), and Kai Hahto (Drums) poured on this album. A spectacular production of an epic musical masterpiece, because is not doubt that Time I is that, a masterpiece. Yes, they took long time to release it, yes, they teased us, and yes, it was delayed a couple of times, but I want to believe that Jari and his gang just wanted to create a great Wintersun record, which actually they did.
The album is 40 minutes of bombastic and epic music, beginning with When Time Fades Away, a delicate mixture of symphonic, atmospheric and Japanese music elements that takes to a whole new level the idea of folk metal, I would say Wintersun went global metal with this song. Songs Of Winter And Starts begins as an extension of When Times Fades Away, but soon gets faster and bombastic, then is just pure metal heaven as Jari’s voice inflicts character to the song. This track goes for 13 minutes of just amazing metal goodness, the changes in the song and the attention to detail at the time to transcend from one change to the other just transmits different emotions and sensations as the song goes on.
Land Of Snow And Sorrow is a stronger song, not less atmospheric and epic, but starts in a more metal way if we can call it that way. The mix of clean and grunting vocals adds a great deal of emotion to the song. Now at the musical level, this song is not faster or slower, but has a steady tempo that works amazingly well with the symphonic and atmospheric elements within it. Darkness And Frost is a 2 minute acoustic and bombastic track that works as an intro to the last track of the album Time.
Time the title track of the album is a 11 minute epic musical rendition that goes on full circle as the band uses the Japanese music again but this time a little more encrypted within the symphonic parts of the song. This time around Jari uses a more clean vocal approach, on the vein of power metal singing, but not going too far into it.
Overall Time I is an amazing musical piece that combines symphonic and atmospheric elements without losing that folkish metal essence that is well-known in Wintersun‘s music. It also takes the folk metal element further towards a more global concept when the band decides to use Japanese musical influences on this album. The wait was worth it, as Wintersun created one of the most impressive and well produced albums of this 2012, definitely a great CD to own. Don’t forget also that they will be touring North America for the first time this November and December.
1. When Time Fades Away
2. Sons of Winter and Stars
I Rain of Stars
II Surrounded by Darkness
III Journey Inside a Dream
IV Sons of Winter and Stars
3. Land of Snow and Sorrow
4. Darkness and Frost