Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

No one hates this enough - 0%

lord_ghengis, February 7th, 2014

Fuck it, I'm doing it. I know, I know, I know, this has a billion reviews, and people have done negatives and ripped on it for all sorts of reasons, but still, no one has done it hard enough, so here we are. People are always finding something to appreciate, something to respect, maybe it's a song, or an interlude, or a simple appreciation of effort, but that just won't do. I say no more! Time I must be held accountable for its actions and be known as the complete musical and artistic atrocity that it is! This is the musical equivalent of a barbie doll having violent diarrhea into a fairies blender, and the artistic equal to someone smuggling an impressive volume of cut methamphetamine inside their urethra, and it is without a doubt the worst album I have ever sat through.

Undoubtedly my biggest issue here is the dreaded synthphonics which fill every second of this cancerous lump. Symphonies and metal already have a strained relationship with anything even remotely resembling quality music. The reasons for this are pretty obvious, first and foremost being that most bands put literally no effort into combining the two sounds with any sort of care, meaning you end up with a bunch of strings and horns over the top of completely vapid, uninteresting chug riffs or gallops. The second reason is that many bands who do this seem to have a really low tier interest in classical music despite, you know, making their music focus entirely on it, meaning you're more likely to be getting boring film soundtrack tones rather than something intricate and carefully composed. All in all, the formula tends to be pretty bad as is, boring riffs and boring movie scores played in tandem. It's not exactly thrilling stuff, despite the odd one pulling something more compelling out of their ass.

Co-existing with the bands which use real orchestras or realistic synths to attempt to recreate an authentic sound are the ones who play up their synthiness at the same time as removing the focus from the riffs, and there is no forgiveness for them. These sort of bands have all the same issues of mixing boring metal and boring quasi-classical "stirring strings", but they lack the texture or "authenticity" of it all. Instead of paying out the arse for a real symphony, or trying tweak their keyboard effects to make it sound like it features real instruments, synthphonic bands wear their fabricated nature as a badge of honour. They proudly choose the most digitized and barely approximate midi tones and slap them right up front, not aiming for the scale of a real symphony, but instead to obtain a smaller scale form of splendor. Many of these bands deliberately opt for an overall low gloss sound, using their cheapness as a form of minimalistic authenticity of its own outside of any sort of organic validity to the impersonated instruments, like Summoning for instance. The general idea does have a following due it reminding people of mid 90's RPG music, although since that style of music that ever appalled to me, so I utterly despise it with all my being, and any band who does it is bound to be a laughable joke of pseudo-epic garbage to my ears. So, where does Wintersun's fit in to all this? Simply, Time I is by far the most synthphonic album ever made.

Knowing how synth focused the style already is, finding a way to be clearly more overdone than any of their peers is a tough ask, but Time I pulls it off with ease. Wintersun's second full length album is ridiculously committed to the cause of using blatant computerised replications of real instruments to create epic soundscapes over literally every second of the album. Fast or slow, bold or pensive, it doesn't matter, this album is drowning in superfluous computer sound. The big difference they've got in comparison to other poorly synthesized symphonic acts is how they've gone about it in a shiny, slick way instead of trying to capture some kind of goofy dungeon synth or video game retro vibe. It's disgusting. As in the very concept makes me feel sick in the guts. This is loaded to the tits with layer after layer of bad sounding digitized violins, horns, choirs, Japanese instruments, random beeps and laser sounds, and whatever else the band found in the hundred and eighty three midi packs they downloaded. Every element of the music sounds like it was played by pressing a key, even when it's a supposed to sound like a number of string instruments soaring off one another; every "instrument" here plays in tones, rather than notes or plucks or chords. This isn't aiming for some kind of retro epic, this is aiming for genuine, expressive and bold grandeur and it fails horribly based on how utterly plastic, glossy and downright fake it all sounds, as well as how badly it's all written.

Just having a terrible sound is bad enough, but the composition here is embarrassingly poor too. The melodies created by the synths are simplistic and unmoving, made even worse by their pristine smoothness since they're a tone mapped to a button, not someone actually drawing a bow along a string, which keeps any character from reverberating through a single note. The band covers for the lack of individual quality by playing about eight of them at any given time and it's just way too much. The whole album is messy clusterfuck of vaguely similar melodies being played on a wide range of phoney instruments at the same time, with nothing in particular taking centre stage or developing into anything impressive. Everything stays at the same lacking standard of being a tedious melodic power or folk metal transposition, and any sort of attempted escalation or growth within the music is handled by just throwing a different tedious melodic power or folk metal transposition over the top. Individually every part sounds like shit, but as a whole the cacophony is downright annoying and it never fucking stops. I'd complain that the complete, unwavering focus on the garish and grating keyboard crap was drowning out the metal, but the metal here is somewhere between ridiculously 16th note abusing Euro power, rejected Ensiferum jigs, and vapid melodeath that makes the debut look halfway decent by comparison, so the fact they've buried the garbage is one of the few positive things I could say about the album.

Although I've been saying "Wintersun" and "they" a lot so far, this is very much a case of one guy running the show. Jari wrote all the "epic" synthphonies, he wrote all the power metal melodies, basically anything which has been made audible Jari made, the rest of the band can go die in the snow as far as he cares. Jari is so arrogant that if he went the Amon Amarth route and made an action figure of himself, it'd effectively be a Mr Potato Head with his own face, except all the the detachable parts would just be smaller versions of his own face. I don't see epic landscapes when listening to this, I see a stuck up Finnish knob, sitting in a room with walls covered in self portraits, playing a keyboard. No, wait, I don't even see that. I see him in his face-room sitting on a computer, layering dozens of chintzy keyboard tracks together carelessly, crying at his own majesty. It desperately wants to be bombastic, but it comes across as something with scale of the most unadventurous bedroom bands just glossier and more expensive; as such the album is a 40 minute procession of abject failure.

Really, it's disgustingly apparent Mäenpää is the only one who is given the right to stand out against the onslaught of impudent dreck. Usually with his vocals which are quite loud in the mix, but he also gets the odd power metal melodic lick and a solitary, lonely guitar solo. His vocals are not too bad by all standards when taken alone, highly clean vocal centric, but honestly this album is far more power metal than death so that's ok; his issue is how big he's trying to sound. There's no denying he's absolutely certain in the magnitude of the music, and he puts on the absolute biggest act he can, it sounds utterly ridiculous next to the smallness of the sound.

I hate this to a point I can barely express it properly, the album infuriates me on musical and artistic levels, and I hate the sort of personality and attitude behind it. Time I is the musical equivalent of those mega-mansions Arabian Sheikh's live in, where they gold plate literally every item in their possession that is easily accessible, and drape anything that's too hard to melt ingots over in a tasteless royal blue. To Jari I'm sure this is a regal, classy thing, but to a bystander the whole product is nauseatingly tacky. I don't care that this took 8 years to make, hell I hope Jari takes a decade between every release so he dies an old man before he subjects us to much more of this shit, this isn't terrible because of hype, or wait time, it's terrible because it's obnoxious glossy droll incessantly trying to show you it's clever by demonstrating it has the skill to piss in its own mouth.