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Not his best, but still amazing. - 95%

PaganFear89, June 29th, 2008

Paysage d'Hiver it's with no doubt one of the most famous bands in the european underground, having been active for ten years and releasing some of the best works in the black metal scene. Now, what I am going to talking about it's their (or better his - in fact Paysage d'Hiver is the child of Tobias Mokl's mind) first demo, released in the year 1998.

Steineiche (wich means Stone Oak in German) it's composed by four tracks, for a total lenght of over 70 minutes. The Creator (Tobias Mokl) said about this demo that every track it's a mimic of the previous one with different vocals and lenghts. After some listenings this mimic comes to the listener, stunning him - or her - for the great genious wich has composed the demo. Yes, because Steineiche it's an emotional flow of pure black metal with some inserts of ambient parts. The tracklist of this demo it's perfect because it explains the mimic of the songs. In fact even the names of the first three songs are similar to each other, and the final song - Deja Vu - it's like a "summary" of the previous ones but without lyrics.

The sound on this demo it's perfect and fits the kind of music played. It's not too bad produced, the guitars can be heared and the drum (I think drum-machine, but I'm not sure) are not mixed at a too low volume (sadly it happens in some later demos of Paysage d'Hiver). There are also some doom metal influences on this demo, such as the entire track two, with a slow guitar riffing over some emotional clean guitar notes and a growl (yeah - not a scream this time). The amazing thing it's that even if it's a doom metal riff, it reminds of the previous song wich was played in a pure black metal way (tremolo picking and fast drum beats). The ambient parts are very good to create a strange and scary feeling in the listener. Personally I was scared the first time I heard track three - Der Baum.

Overall, this demo sounds like a cosmic gift that a superior mind gave us. It's a demo that requires accurate listenings and a long period of assimilation to be understood in it's original shape. I suggest to get this album (or at least to hear one time) to every one who likes black metal, dark atmospheres and high quality music. Buy it.