Monday, July 26, 2010

Wintersun-Wintersun

Wintersun is a melodic death trio hailing from southern Finland. They are the side project of Jari Mäenpää, the guitarist for folk metal band Ensiferum. After obtaining a record deal, Mäenpää scheduled studio time to record the first album. Ensiferum's tour to support their 2004 release was scheduled at the same time, which forced Mäenpää to request time off from the band. The band instead fired him, and Mäenpää was free to go ahead with the production of their self-titled album.

Wintersun is a beautiful combination of melodic death, power metal, speed metal, and a little bit of folk metal. The quality of the album is crystal clear (mostly because it was released under Nuclear Blast), the musicianship is astonishing; the guitarist can play amazingly fast, with outstanding creativity, and the drummer plays extremely fast, but is almost completely relaxed. Their theme is winter, snow, ice, and supernatural magic. The songs get gradually longer throughout the album, the first song being 2.38, and the last song being 10.16. My favorite song off the album would be Beyond the Dark Sun. Its technicality and speed blows me away every time I listen to it, I think that it also has the best melodies and bass lines.

An article on Wikipedia says: Recording for the second album, tentatively titled Time, began on May 2, 2006. Wintersun entered Sonic Pump Studios with Thunderstone's Nino Laurenne as sound engineer. Recording of Hahto's drum tracks began on May 3. Rhythm guitars and bass were also recorded during the session. Mäenpää would record synthesizers and sampling, guitar solos, acoustic guitars, vocals, and Mäntysaari's guitarwork at his apartment studio. The album will have seven songs and an intro and outro. The songs' compositions are complex, being composed of 200 to 300 tracks each. Time would face multiple setbacks, delaying the album's release for years. On October 23, 2006, Wintersun released a statement that, because recording was continually delayed, the dates for the album's mix would be pushed back to May 2007, causing Wintersun's appearance at Ragnarök Festival that same month to be cancelled. A tentative release date for August 2007 was given. On April 17, 2007, Mäenpää released a statement updating the status on the album, detailing that difficulties with hardware failures caused further delays in the recording process. The mix dates were cancelled, and because Laurenne's schedule at Sonic Pump Studios was full for the remainder of the year, the album's release would be pushed back further. By this time, all guitars, including solos and acoustic, were recorded, and the intro was completed. Mäenpää had begun composing and arranging the synth layers, but stress and frustration had been hindering his creativity. I’m giving this album 18/20.