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Winter put to music. - 95%

thrässhole, March 15th, 2005

3 tracks, 53 minutes, sheer brilliance. Paysage d’Hiver is one of the most brilliant projects that has risen out of the mass of black metal bands the last couple of years. Never was a band able to induce such an icy cold feeling and translate pure winter into music as Paysage d’Hiver is able to do. This, children, is the epitome of atmospheric black metal. More ambient than black metal in fact, every track lasts more than 16 minutes and is repetitive like hell. The guitar sounds very chilly and cold, and atmospheric instruments like keyboards and violins make the first song “Welt aus Eis” (World of Ice) and unforgettable epic homage to winter, that could appeal to many a penguin and/or polarbear! Acoustic interludes between oceans of heavily distorted guitars, pounding percussion, melodious violins and amazingly eerie screams characterize this song for it’s entire 19 minutes.
Track 2 is even more amazing. A dark upbuilding note starts to have the better of your ears. Various sounds are added to fortify the grim atmosphere. A soft scream, and the guitars and drums are added, after which a mighty scream breaks loose. The dark note sides with the riffs and forms an unforgettable whole: Gefrorener Atem! (Frozen Breath). Much slower than the first song, but on par as far as atmosphere goes. Roughly around the 12th minute the music shifts from black metal to dark ambient. Hovering synths, still with that same dark note, that only last a good 2 minutes, because then the distorted guitar penetrates the whole again.
About a minute later a somewhat hypnotising tune leads us into the next song, being “Der Weg” (The Road). This starts quite fast, with a harsh riff-attack, accompanied by spheric keyboards. Later a piano is added, causing the song to slow down considerably. A melodic guitar takes over, completed by synths and double bass-drumming. An extremely weird combination, but one that works in an inventive (and dare I say it, genious) sort of way. Even later the synths take full control, behind which only snaredrum (which dissapears swiftly) and feedback from the guitar are audible. The tape ends with a single guitar and keyboard, and Wintherr whispering something inaudible ...