Wintersun: Time I [2012] Review

Rating: 7.5

Released: 19 October 2012
Symphonic Extreme Power metal
Nuclear Blast
Finland
Length: 40:07

Disc I
01. When Time Fades Away
02. Sons Of Winter And Stars
    1 – Rain Of Stars
    2 – Surrounded By Darkness
    3 – Journey Inside A Dream
    4 – Sons Of Winter And Stars
03. Land Of Snow And Sorrow
04. Darkness And Frost
05. Time
06. [hidden track] [Mediabook & Mailorder edition bonus]

Disc II [DVD] [Mediabook bonus]
+ Time I Live Rehearsals At Sonic Pump Studios
+ Licks & Tricks
+ Sons Of Winter And Stars – Project Demonstration
+ Photo Gallery

Disc III [instrumental CD] [Mailorder edition bonus]
01. When Time Fades Away
02. Sons Of Winter And Stars
    1 – Rain Of Stars
    2 – Surrounded By Darkness
    3 – Journey Inside A Dream
    4 – Sons Of Winter And Stars
03. Land Of Snow And Sorrow
04. Darkness And Frost
05. Time

Review

One of the most highly anticipated albums of the last decade; Time I finally ends the eight year silence, but was the wait worth it?

After the charming Eastern folk influenced introduction, it soon becomes apparent that things have changed with the band in the last eight years. From the album theme of comprehending human emotion and our time on earth to the musicianship and ambitious nature of the orchestrations, Wintersun have aimed for a much grander sound.

Much more symphonic, bombastic even, “Sons Of Winter And Stars” kicks the album off with high spirit and energy. Eight years all of a sudden becomes a little more understandable with the amount of attention to detail and intricate compositions that are so copiously and lavishly interlaced into the music. The musicianship is absolutely top-notch throughout and the closing two minutes of the song provide a wonderfully epic and memorable crescendo.

The album has so many layers, it is deeply ambitious. Time I is an album that has very clearly had so much dedication and effort put into it, but at times it also sounds like Jari has become so consumed with making this the masterpiece everyone wanted that it becomes a little over-indulgent with how complex and dense the compositions are. We are presented a masterclass of orchestration in metal, but it is a challenge to digest and connect with.

With a running time of forty minutes, which includes the introduction and interlude, Time I as a standalone album is very short. The previously mentioned “Sons Of Winter And Stars” and title track “Time” are both great songs and enough to make you crave the second album, but it is hard not to feel underwhelmed when the album seems to cut short. It isn’t made any better with a questionable light and quiet production either. Time I then is exactly that; the first of two halves, not the complete article.

The album is mindblowingly impressive in portions, but is just a little too complex and indulgent for its own good. Perhaps along with Time II the picture will become complete, but even though this album has some golden moments – it just feels unfinished alone.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 7

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