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This is an incredible album, quite simply. At first I thought that it was a sad day when Jari left Ensiferum (one of my favourite bands), but Wintersun is a worthy cause, and Petri Lindroos seems to be doing a good job in lending the Vikings deeper vocals. Anyway, this is a must for any fans of Viking black metal, especially of Ensiferum. Yes, as many have pointed out, Wintersun is very similar to Ensiferum, yet this is a good thing - more bands out there with this great style means a larger quantity of excellent music to listen to.
Wintersun is an odd but fantastic combination of black and power metal, with the former's characteristic rapid-fire blast beats, high-pitched and high- speed riffing, and upper-range screaming vocals mixed with glorious synth interludes and almighty choruses. There are headbanging speed bullets, dramatic slower songs that showcase Jari's deep clean vocals, and epic melodic numbers building up to a climax in almost every piece. Every song has its own presence and is individually memorable, something which is not all that common in this genre. The lyrics are, of course, dark and epic, dealing with death, heroism, betrayal, lost love, and of course snow and ice. This album does capture the whole atmosphere of the 'cold north' well, while not dealing overtly with Viking themes, which may help it to garner fans who usually are wary of Viking metal. The artwork - not that it matters musically - deserves a mention, though, and makes it worth to actually buy the cd, and not just download. Every song is great, and there are no fillers here.
Brilliant Viking black metal in the style of Ensiferum, with a sweeping, epic atmosphere.