After all these years, Wintersun proves they haven’t lost what makes them stand out from not only society’s disgusting stab at a money grab, not only from the carbon copy bands trying to seize a spot in a scene… Wintersun stands out among all bands because of the fearless songwriting and the execution.
As a fan of this band for many years, my expectations were very high going into listening to this record, and I can tell you that “Time I” is not only better than one of my favorite albums ever (Wintersun, “Wintersun“), but it’s moved me more than any album I’ve listened to this year.
This is how an album that takes six years to perfect should sound. So let’s get into detail on the tracks.
When Time Fades Away is nothing short of audio-sensory perfection. This is probably the most dynamic track on the album, with mostly acoustic instruments weaving in and out of each other with masterful precision. It finally leads to what you would expect from Wintersun, but not without some suspense.
Once this song opens up you finally get a taste of what you’ve been missing all these years… and it’s fucking awesome. Before you know it the song is over and what I think is really the focal part of the record appears.
Sons of Winter And Stars is a four part song & story focused on the cosmos that plays as one track. The parts are titled individually, I- Rain of Stars, II- Surrounded by Darkness, III- Journey Inside a Dream, and finally IV- Sons of Winter and Stars. This piece takes you on a cosmic journey both lyrically and with their audio-mastery. The aggression and melody fits together in a way that only Wintersun can execute. I only realize this now, after hearing others try and fail over the years.
This song is really perfection in my mind. Every element is perfectly placed, every note clearly hand-selected, and the ten-million layers flow so well it really makes you feel as though you’re in another place when you listen. Wintersun takes you out of your living room, or away from your desk, into a land they have carefully designed, note-for-note, beat-by-beat. This song is really a masterpiece.
Land of Snow and Sorrow is equally as in-depth but considerably shorter in length. I don’t want to call it a stripped down version of the previous track because the layers are so deep, but the purpose of this song best-described is a build-up to the following track which it seamlessly transitions into.
Darkness and Frost is not only particularly brutal, but it really showcases how masterful all the playing is. For a moment you realize that you’re not listening to an orchestra, but to a band. I know that’s weird to think of, but when you listen you’ll realize it’s really accurate. This song also builds and builds into what I think is truly what I’ve been waiting for all these years…
Time. With one of the most intense guitar solos I’ve heard in a long time and some of the most moving lyrics that speak to anyone breathing on the planet, this song puts the ellipsis on the first half of this double release. The dynamic changes and the intensity have built so much in the album that you really can’t expect it to get any more intense by the time this track arrives. Wintersun proves you wrong, and not by overpowering, but by showing that the boundaries of music have not yet been reached.
This album shows that we as musicians have not yet reached the limits of what we can create. There is so much more to explore and so much we can discover by reaching. Some bands reach in pieces. Sometimes those bands succeed and sometimes they fail. Especially when writing album reviews we usually judge bands based on these successes and failures, and if we apply the math on those judgments against Wintersun‘s, “Time I,” then what we have here is beyond comprehension.
This album is worth all the Time it took to complete it. As we progress forward in the genre of metal, my hope is that people will recognize this album as the defiant moment that music stopped being something that is bought or stolen, about money or about what’s cool or not to be into at the time. This is the defiant moment where we stop believing that all that’s out there is what we’re fed from the top down.
Wintersun‘s, “Time I” is your weapon to break down the barriers of what we know about music. It is also the tool to catapult us into a vast unknown, with unlimited doors to open and find something new. To say that this album is inspiring is like saying that a galaxy has a planet. There is a musical universe for us to explore, and Wintersun has built the ship to get you on your way.
Buy this record. Buy this record and know that you are owning a piece of musical history.