without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
So yeah, we've waited 8 years. The only reason we haven't just forgotten about it in the waiting period is because we're constantly assaulted by fanboy news updates and articles like "OMGZ WINTERZUN ALBUM GUN BE OUT THIS YEAR OMG OMG OMG,... oh wait, no its not". As concert after concert is cancelled, anticipation grows, and even the cynical old metalheads are getting a little tingly in suspense, because they all are a little curious as to how the album is going to eventuate and how good the music is actually going to be.
Welp, I think I speak for everybody when I say the excitement of anticipation far outweighs the quality of the album. Because yeah, it's shit.
A few primary credits I can give are to such things as dynamism, productive quality, a few speckles of compositional integrity and guitar skills. Secondary credits I can give are to drumming skills, ability to make people wait for a really long time and having luscious, long hair well into their late 30's.
However, the general overtone of this review was always going to be negative, so I'll get down to why this album is just a solid disappointment.
First of all, there is TOO MUCH SHIT HAPPENING. All the time. There is just too much going on, too many layers, too many synths, too much volume and too much attack. Overhead layers of synth battle drums cascading over upper-level layers of choirs on top of hundreds of other layers of more synths, MIDI-tabbed harps and horns, seemingly endless layers of guitars and random splurges of vocal passages, with no break in between. It's an absolute assault on the senses, leaving no time to think about what is actually happening. By the time you realise you just heard Jari singing a melody, you're halfway through a bridge guitar solo while being pummelled by a thunderstorm of choir effects and orchestral synths. It's painfully overwhelming. Regardless of the 3 minutes per assault of introductory instrumentals, there seems to be no real journey with the music itself. I don't feel like I'm being led through any passage of time and winter sorrow (or some other cheesy essay variant of the words "sorry", "winter", "stars" and "sun") like I was promised. Instead, I was sleeve-tugged into a highschool students bathroom and presented a bloody tampon propped against the back of a urinal.
On a musical scale, the compositions are fairly sound. There are some pretty cool melodies, and the basic layout of the music is nothing short of awesome. This could still be a remaining factor is it wasn't being showered by a volley of fucking noise.
All this is in a sidestep of the obvious fact that, really, there are only 3 fucking songs on the whole album. Not just because it is part 1 of a 2-parter, but because the other 3 tracks are useless interludes and intros with even more garden sprinkler-style deliveries of diarrhea. Overlooking the fact that the album is mastered poorly (you can't listen to it on a stereo system, it's too random in audio dynamism), the instrumental areas are sub-par at best. There's nothing interesting about the intros, and no amount of layers of synths and MIDI sounds is going to magically change that fact. Taking a blob of semen and putting lots of glitter on it doesn't not make it a blob of semen. The sooner Jari realises that, the sooner he can run back into his hibernation studio and edit out the billions of layers he no doubt sticky-taped onto his second upcoming chapter of Time.
Contrary to what I believed in the past, Jari has actually revealed himself to be a sullen, arrogant idiot. Unbeknownst to him, what he achieved in his debut album "Wintersun" was actually musical fortitude and production of compositions that had merit and power. His achievement wasn't attributed to his audio engineering skills, yet he somehow tricked himself into thinking the success of his debut was based on obscure synths that he mixed into the background. Had he not tripped over his own saggy ballsack that slowly descended to old-man status in the time it took to mix and produce "Time", he would have stuck to making the compositions absolutely slay ass, rather than making it as "epic" and as atmospheric as possible. However, after 8 years of foreplay, what we got was just another flaccid entrance. Jari should know that you should at least take a viagra if you can't get it up, just like you can't trick metalheads who seek compositional integrity into thinking an analogous over-frosted cake with a poo in it isn't actually just a poo.
I honestly feel like I've just basically been cheated. I hate to admit that yes I did spend the last 8 years of my life being a Wintersun fanboy, and yes I was and still am one of those people that herald their debut "Wintersun" as the pinnacle of musical perfection (for Melodic Death, that is, not all-inclusive), but now I just don't know. No band has ever held me in suspense for 8 years waiting for a follow-up, because let's face it, as we grow older, the rearing music we grow up to loses it's allure and we tend to mature.. But no, I stood stiff. I waited on edge for this fucking album to come out, even though I knew over-growing anticipation would outweigh the reward if I got carried away.
Well, even if I hated Wintersun and only waited 5 minutes for the second album, I'd still be insulted.
I probably could have saved a whole lot of typing and summed the whole album up with "It was some good music with 500 hours worth of noise layered over it", but I thought the backlash was so shocking that it merited an essay to dissect why it's so fucking offensive.
I wrap up every review with "all in all", but this time I'll say "nothing of worth".
I suggest anyone who's been waiting but still hasn't heard it (lol), just set the noose and start writing goodbye letters to your loved ones. This album is a carrot-speckled smear of shit, made only more unpleasant by the anticipation that preceded it.