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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendent Metal
I think it's fair to say that Wintersun fans have waited a long time for this release. A very long time. Eight years following an outstanding debut which made many declare Wintersun a masterpiece of extreme metal, we've been waiting for this release, Jari Maenpaa's most important release of his career perhaps. The hype, as in any extended length of time following an album...
Published on 22 Oct. 2012 by Riffan

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking in parts, but generally not my cup of tea
Let me start of this review by saying that I have mad respect for Wintersun and the incrediable musical vision and scope of this album, and my heart goes out to the band for pushing the boundaries of the oft stagnant melodic death/extreme power metal scene. Indeed, as many reviewers have already mentioned on this page, Time transcends whatever confines the genre might...
Published on 3 April 2013 by Hedon


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendent Metal, 22 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Time I (Audio CD)
I think it's fair to say that Wintersun fans have waited a long time for this release. A very long time. Eight years following an outstanding debut which made many declare Wintersun a masterpiece of extreme metal, we've been waiting for this release, Jari Maenpaa's most important release of his career perhaps. The hype, as in any extended length of time following an album which astounds all who hear it, has gone through the roof then for the release of Time I and now, in October 2012, we finally have it. Does it live up to that hype? That may be up to you and your expectations, like the latest Ensiferum this may work or not work for you. But for certainly, this was unbelievable. Whilst it is far from conventional in an album sense (three songs only for 40 minutes + two instrumentals) it is just incredible in how meticulous and atmospheric every single second of this album is.

The opening instrumental "When Time Fades Away" is many things, emotional, intricate, melodic, beautiful, breathtaking and majestic all at the same time. It's one of the best instrumental openings I've ever heard on an album with a faint far Eastern tint lying beneath the orchestral work. It's a perfect intro to the album with its swaying rhythm and complexity, building up to a climax.

The first tracks ends even if you don't realize it and the soft intro continue until - the heavy stuff goes in and we get the epic to throw "Sadness and Hate" out the window both in length and in scope - "Sons of Winter and Stars" Nearly 14 minutes in length with choirs, Jari's vocal work both in his harsh and clean vocals having changed and developed remarkably. The guitars merge perfectly with the orchestration and it's just plain epic. This song is divided into five segments on the track-list, each one holds up, although 1 and 4 are particularly excellent. And this is where the non-conventional side of this new record really comes out in the lack of solos or straight-up riffs, but every other aspect of metal has done that? Why can't this go for something more transcendent which takes music at its core and does everything it can making it epic in the least conventional manner, it's not just adding full orchestras or extending song times, Time I goes beyond that. The atmosphere here is impressive, the vocal work blows everything Jari has done in the past clean out of the water and once again, its a snow-storm effect one gets during a listen. Following this we get the tracks "Land of Snow and Sorrow" with a fantastic guitar intro, solid vocal work and backing and the same mesmerizing work as the previous songs. Jari's clean vocals shine here more than ever before as do his harsh.

"Darkness and Frost" is the second instrumental on the album, it's very different from the previous one, not so much the emotional beauty of "When Time Fades Away" but it does have that Far East side which is further explored and it builds up well enough, getting louder and more spectacular as it goes. And then we have the final song on this half-album "Time" which picks up straight up after its instrumental (again hardly a transition). Like the other two songs, it's multi-layered, intricate, complex, has many interludes and vocal diversity. The lyrics are seeking and the song length is spot on. And of course, it leaves you wanting for nothing but more, and seeing as how it's only Part 1 - that is a good thing.

Just a couple of last things to say, out of all the participants in the epic-war that seems to have come over genres like Folk and Symphonic Metal and the bands which cross between those genres (Turisas, Ensiferum, Nightwish and Within Temptation) to name a few, Wintersun is the only one who has perfected the art and basically has awe coursing through every second of its time, it doesn't just add orchestras or extend song times, power is welded in and the meticulousness of this album sends Time roaring against the efforts of its counterparts. Now one thing to bare in mind for anyone who feels a little short handed with this. It's only Part 1 of a greater product, not the band's decision so much as Nuclear Blast's and Time II should be released in 2013 which essentially means that one then, all of this will work together probably as a greater whole.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 29 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Time I (Audio CD)
Album of the year? Definitely. Album of the decade? Could be. Without becoming tangled in comparisons and superlatives, I'll put it like this: 'Time I' is epic in vision, theme and musical execution. Not chained by the restraints of stereotypical metal, Jari Mäenpää and his Wintersun compadres explore musical styles from Chinese traditional (using instruments such as the sublime-sounding erhu) to precision-picked extreme metal with blast-beat drumming and choral backing vocals à la Nightwish. Indeed, 'Time I' has an epic soundtrack-like quality to it that is often reminiscent of Nightwish at their best. As has been pointed out by many others, the wait for this album was inordinately long. Every time I listened to Wintersun's flawless debut album, I wondered when - and sometimes if - they would get around to releasing a follow up. Jari is a perfectionist with every detail of the music he creates. That, combined with financial issues, delayed the album. The resulting masterpiece is well worth the wait.

Intro 'When Time Fades Away' is oriental, epic and majestic. It would fit just as well onto the soundtrack of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' or 'Hero' as it does onto this album. Subtle strings and heart-wrenching erhu melodies hook the listener with their poignance, setting the scene for track two.

Clocking in at 13:31, 'Sons of Winter and Stars' is the longest track on the album. Its four sections, (I) Rain of Stars, (II) Surrounded by Darkness, (III) Journey Inside a Dream, and (IV) Sons of Winter and Stars feature Wintersun's trademark sweep picking, executed with astonishing precision. Kai Hahto's drumming is notable, as are the Scandinavian influences that permeate the lyrics and music after the album's decidedly eastern intro.

'Land of Snow and Sorrow' features, in addition to one of the greatest titles ever, one of the greatest riffs ever. Starting out slow and down-tuned for maximum heaviness, it segues into a clean-toned refrain then pummels the listener with a monumental riff. Throughout the 8:21 of the track, it alternates between delicate melodies and epic heaviness. This is something Wintersun do extremely well. Like their compatriots Insomnium and Amorphis, they understand that the key to making a sonic impact isn't relentless bluster: it's exhibiting light and shade, darkness and light.

'Darkness and Frost' is another instrumental piece that could easily be from a film soundtrack, although this time it's not oriental: here we find ourselves very much rooted in the band's Scandinavian homeland. Subtle wintry keyboards and note-picked guitar melodies provide the tune, with occasional bass-drum booms creating a sense of majesty.

'Time' is the second-longest track on the album. The biggest difference between this track and the Wintersun debut is Jaari's vocals. Gone are the growled words discernible only with a lyric sheet, in their place clean vocals that soar above twin guitars and a thunderous rhythm section. The song twists and turns until 6:15, when a staggering guitar solo precedes another beautifully sung chorus. The song outros with piano melodies, delicate keyboards, wind chimes and an erhu bringing us back to the oriental theme of the intro.

There isn't a weak moment on 'Time I'. Every detail of the album - song titles, lyrics, melodies, musical execution, vocal delivery, production, artwork and packaging - is breathtaking. This is the standard by which other metal will be measured. With this album, Jari and co. have set the bar so high that most bands won't be able to see it, never mind reach it. Monumental.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My metal album of the year, 25 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Time I (Audio CD)
I loved the first album which I discovered about 3 years ago, so I couldn't wait for this. The first time I listened to it I just couldn't get into it. I had heard the previews on Youtube which were amazing but I was a bit underwhelmed. Then I came back to it again the next day and wow! it blew me away! It's had many spins since then. Album definitely sounds better on headphones.

It's a quite different sound in all to the debut album but there are similar characteristics. It's quite bombastic and epic, more cleaner vocals. Sons of Winter And Stars is the stand out track, absolute masterpiece but the other are great too. I actually like the instrumentals and don't discount them. The song 'Time' sounds like a cross between Wintersun and Devin Townsends earlier stuff, which isn't a bad thing; You can clearly hear the inspiration in it. It's not as heavy as the first album but I don't think that's what Wintersun are about.

Overall highly recommended but would have loved a whole album instead of what's essentially an E.P!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking in parts, but generally not my cup of tea, 3 April 2013
By 
Hedon (Eternal Night) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Time I (Audio CD)
Let me start of this review by saying that I have mad respect for Wintersun and the incrediable musical vision and scope of this album, and my heart goes out to the band for pushing the boundaries of the oft stagnant melodic death/extreme power metal scene. Indeed, as many reviewers have already mentioned on this page, Time transcends whatever confines the genre might have set upon it, and has evolved into something of a different beast entirely. However, I would say that in realising its grandiose aspirations, the album sarifices a lot of what fans of Wintersuns now deified debut album was loved for, and, as such, this album might not be everyones cup of tea.

Time is less like a metal album and more like some sort of metal opera. The band turns it's back on such conventions as verses and chorus, with the 'songs' being more like musical movements or arias in an opera. Progression and division are heavily on offer, while repetition is in sparse supply, giving the album a unique feel and one very different from Wintersun's previous album. Also, as we all well know, the album took around a decade to get out simply because mastermind Jari had to wait for technology to catch up with his musical visions. Time is as complex and dense and metal music comes. What seems like millions and millions of overlapped layers of sound, ranging from the traditional metal outfit of guitars and drums to waves of symphonic bombast, surreal choral sections, a plethora of keyboard lines, and what sounds like some traditional Japanese instruments too. The result is some pretty beathtaking stuff that drops into a territory all of its own, seldom travelled by other metal bands. As I mentioned before, the heavily progressive nature of the song structures and the crytically complex nature of the musical arrangements make Time more like the soundtrack to a metallic opera or play then a standard metal album.

From reading the other reviews, it seems that most people have already fallen in love with Time, and I can see why. The album is very a very unique experience, and it is difficult not to appreciate the sheer creative and technical mastery of the musicians in Wintersun, who went to such painstaking efforts forr what seemed like an eternity to complete that album. Hats off to you guys.

However, while I really appreciate this album, at the end of the day I found that it was not my cup of tea. I love a bit of prog in my rock music, anything from Jethro Tull to Absu, but what attracts me most to metal music (and Wintersun's debut album) is mainly heavy metal instrumentation - i.e. the mighty riff. I love riffs, solos guitar harmonies, shredding, complex bass lines and roaring drums, and this is what Time is lacking in. In order to achieve their sublime vision of Time, the guitar has taken a few steps back, and I found it hard to pick out the riffs in the mix. There are some cool solos and some great growling at some parts, but for the most it gets lost in the operatical bombast. As such, I found myself enjoying parts of the album (the beginning of Sonsof Winter and Stars and parts of Time) while finding myself a bit bored for large other portions of the album. I'm not critizicing the band for this, after all its just my personal taste, but even after repeated listens it still hasn't clicked for me.

I'm sure some rapid Wintersun fans will jump all over this review and chastise me for my narrow mindedness in my inability to appreciate this album as much as they can, but let me say it again - I really think that Time is a pretty breath-taking album with a musical scope and vision rarely heared these days. However, with the guitars pushed so far back in the mix and the general absence of memorable hooks, its just not really my cup of tea. Although I am fully open to the possibility that the fault is in the beholder, not what is beheld, if you know where I am coming from.

If you are looking for something along the lines of the first album, may I recommend Embraced by Fire by Wolfchant. It is pretty similar at times and a damn good album too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME EPIC METAL., 13 July 2013
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This review is from: Time I (Audio CD)
This album will definitely take you on a journey. It's just got that vibe to it. You put it on and it's like "hell yeah dragons and wizards and snow.. and time and space!". It's none of that pretty annoying folk metal where they all sing about getting drunk with folky guitar riffs (sometimes it's cool.. but they're all the same). This is pretty complicated stuff, beautiful production, seriously, it sounds fab. BUY IT.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric Metal, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: Time I (Cd+dvd) (Audio CD)
Wintersun's 2012 belter, "Time" comes in at a mere 45 minutes. If this were any other band I would instantly call them out as not writing enough songs. However, upon listening to this one thing becomes crystal clear; this music is so good it's almost transcendental in tone and mood.
If you like anything Metal, melodic or any music that makes you FEEL, then I strongly urge you to get this album. Even though these guys don't give as much output out as they should, when they do it's something to be truly treasured.
Subsequently the DVD sweetens the deal. Within this gleaming rim you'll find studio performances of the entire album, random bits and bobs (posters, tour info) and, my favourite, a look at mixing the first 6 minutes of "Sons of Winter and Stars", the album's flagship song. The sheer craftsmanship shown in that featurette made my appreciation of Wintersun's music skyrocket.
In summary, get this album, you WILL NOT regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth my time, 18 May 2013
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This review is from: Time I (Cd+dvd) (Audio CD)
My appetite for Wintersun was really sharpened after their first tour in Europe (2005-2006) when I discovered that they were actually one of the most original and promising metal band in its genre. But I'm not sure what that genre is at the moment. Jari Maenpaa is a typical 'auteur' and produces whatever he likes, from early melodic death through to power/epic/symphonic (or even cinematic) metal with a lot of great riffs, nice growlings and clear vocals to make it more epic; plus his band bring technical perfection to all his compositions. this makes Wintersun stand out on metal scene. Although Time I divided opinions about Wintersun among metalheads, this album is definitely an achievement for the band. after so many years of silence, I honestly say, I did not expect something so different yet so "Wintersunnish" on this last album. However, I rate it only 4/5 because we all know there will be Time II and this might be the one I would love rate higher, so I am leaving some space for that.
I would recommend it for people who liked self-titled album in 2004, but are interested in new sounds and multi-layered complex compositions. The DVD makes Time-experience even better because of the live rehearsals on which sound is rougher and more immediate. If you are not a fan, but like exploring beyond metal subgenres you are used to, then it is definitely worth its price. But it needs more than one hearing due to its complexity, and it takes time to adjust your ears to all the orchestrations and overlapping melodies and vocals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanting More, 3 May 2013
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This review is from: Time I (Audio CD)
I bought this on recommendation and after hearing the completely epic final track "Time". The whole album works up to this track, which has a really great, melancholic and catchy chorus. A stunning track. I have to say though, and this may just be the fact that I am not a great lover of Prog-Style Metal,that the rest of the album does sound a bit the same and none of the tracks although good in their own way match up to this one unbelievable track. On shuffle it is at times hard to tell each one apart.

That said, the production values are outstanding with extremely complex arrangements and orchestration and great guitar parts.

I cant help feeling that maybe if they had released both parts simultaneously it would have worked better but its still an excellent album. Really I would give it 3.5 but Amazon wont let me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time 1 is a master piece!!!!!!!, 1 May 2013
This review is from: Time I (Audio CD)
this is what I've waited for, for a long time it's a complete epic master piece worth more than I paid tbh \m/ got the CD and the vinyl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars time, 25 April 2013
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time, it certainly took some time to make, several years i think. is it better than the first? its more prog but not better
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Time I
Time I by Wintersun (Audio CD - 2012)
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