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Paysage D'Hiver- Das Tor - 97%

stenchofishtar, March 23rd, 2014

Modern black metal is short of acts who can essentially come close to capturing the essence of what made it so mystical and thrilling, as it was in the early 1990′s, though this recent effort by Swiss one man act Paysage D’Hiver overcomes that.

The best way to describe ‘Das Tor’ structurally would be a cross between the haunting epics of ‘Hvis Lyset Tar Oss’ geared towards the low fidelity ambience and emphasis on repetition of ‘Transilvanian Hunger’, with greater song lengths that in terms of movement are like the foreboding, icy musical landscapes of records such as ‘Moondawn’ and ‘Mirage’ by Klaus Schulze, set to the black metal aesthetic.

In terms of execution, Paysage D’Hiver take strong influence from the Quebecois black metal acts. Guitar is like a more streamlined Sorcier Les Glaces, interweaving frequently with synths to punctuate and add emphasis much like Frozen Shadows do.

The phrasing is at times similar to Russian bands such as Forest and Branikald, but with the melodic and harmonic components separated quite often between different instruments. The mechanistic drum machine is often quite fast paced, much in the Nordic hyperblast style of said band. With the use of highly distorted, static and shrieked vocals, one can think of the extremity of a band like Akitsa.

There’s an overall feeling of nocturnal grandiosity on display that has early Emperor’s sense of romanticism encoded in the hypnosis and minimalism of Burzum’s third and fourth albums. The influence of electronic music plays a role here, a transitory interconnection between each movement.

With its length too, it never at any point manages to be overindulgent or boring. It’s a prime example of black metal as ambient experience, a raw journey into the naturalistic core of wintery earth.