|The cover is just one of the strikingly beautiful and detailed things about this album.|
Sons of Winter and Stars is the highlight of the album, featuring the widest array of musical styles and most shreddy guitar. It's also the longest, clocking in at 13 minutes and 31 seconds. That's not to say that the song drags on. In fact, those 13 minutes of your life will fly by and you'll find yourself wanting to use up that time over and over again. I've already listened to the song three times today alone. The song starts off with the end of When Time Fades Away, giving an oriental vibe as Jari previously stated the album would contain. It then kicks off in true Wintersun style, a barrage of expertly crafted sounds that all seem to sync together perfectly. It's on this track that you can hear the increased symphonic elements of the album. Despite the fact that Jari didn't get an actual orchestra (which is something I'd like to see for future album releases), the end result is probably even better. The symphonic sections are made up of not just orchestral elements, but also oriental and sometimes even electronic sounds. It all combines to make some of the most unique melodies I've heard. Of course the guitars, drums, keyboards and vocals on top of it all add yet another element to the music. The first time I heard "Sons of Winter and Stars RISE", the experience commenced. I just can't get over how expertly timed everything is and how well it all works together. The song continues for a normal Wintersun length before it slows down at the 7 minute mark for an amazing acoustic bridge. Then it picks up again and goes back to the ferocity of the first half. Then, just when I thought I couldn't be surprised any more by the song, Jari's all-star chorus (which was teased on Youtube, see below) kicks in, increasing the epicness tenfold; if that was even possible. One of the reasons cited for the album being split in two was the fact that the music just can't all be listened to in one sitting. After this song, I can see what they mean by that. I had to take a break and let it all sink in.
Well seeing how long that was, I don't think I'm going to individually review the rest of the songs.. There's plenty that I could say for any song or even any given second of the album, but the most important is "go listen to it for yourself". Once I finished listening to the album (after taking a break in between each song of course), I found myself letting the disc go back to the first song and playing it all over again. Despite Jari being the mastermind behind this project, I think the rest of the band deserves huge props. This album wouldn't have been possible without the help of Kai, Teemu and Jukka, all extremely talented in their own right. After all, there's a limited amount of mortals who possess the prowess needed to play alongside Jari. I also especially enjoyed Kai's drumming.
|Some of the greatest musicians in metal.|
In the end, Time I was worth the wait. Every song is so masterfully crafted that it warrants multiple listens. Although it does feel like half an album is missing, Time II will most likely be worth the wait as well. If Wintersun was trying to take my money, the succeeded. Not only will I give them money for the album, but I now have an even more burning desire to see them live when they finally come here in December. I'll see you soon Wintersun!