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I Don't Get It - 30%

andrewarchav, June 9th, 2013

Nominated as one of the best in heavy metal history, if not in all of music's history, stands Wintersun's first album. Even through all this hype, I did not get what the craze was all about.

The album opens with "Beyond the Dark Sun", one of the best in the record. This song describes the instruments very well. Kai's drums are clean. For this genre, they feel perfect. On the other hand, Jari's guitars are pretty dull, especially after the third or fourth song. This fast-paced song also introduces to the concept of the album with shredding guitars and blast beating drums.

Jari's voice is something that should be discussed. He does both the harmonic vocals and guttural ones and it is clear he has a wide range. However, it all falls flat because the vocals lack connection to the songs. Jari sings whenever he feels like, leaving a bad structure to the song and sometimes taking the atmosphere of the song right out. Speaking of his vocals, his shriek gets pretty annoying and dull after listening to it for awhile, as does his guitar. The solos are everywhere and no riff or solo is simple; they are all complicated. It reminds me of Dragonforce where mind-numbing solos are everywhere, taking all the originality out. He is a very talented guitarist, but his solos feel so out of place, it is almost impossible not to get angry when one comes up, especially in the last songs where they hit the 8 minute marker due to the long solos. All the songs get needlessly long and flat because of both Jari's vocals and guitars.

On the drumming subject, Kai is also another talented musician, though he falls flat for the same reason as Jari does. His drumrolls are all too complex and everywhere, and sickening, especially in slow songs. His fast-paced madness works in songs like "Beyond The Dark Sun", "Winter Madness", and "Battle Against Time", mainly because of the fast pace, though in songs like "Sleeping Stars" and "Death and the Healing", it feels boring and needless. There is no time to breathe in this album. It is like Jari Mäenpää's ego grew a conscience and created this.

The mixture of these three elements - drums, guitars, and vocals - makes the album dull and needlessly long with the last song facing the 10 minute mark, yet this is by no means saying that there are not good mentionables in this piece. "Beyond the Dark Sun" is fast-paced and a great song to hear if there is a short time on your hands. "Winter Madness" and "Battle Against Time", although having numb solos, are a blast to listen to. Also, "Death and the Healing" is also a pretty good one, if not for its solos.

Overall, the album suffers a lot, especially from Jari. I wish that the next album will contain songs that are not needlessly complicated and long. It has some good candidates for a good album, but it all falls flat in the end. Fans of this genre will eat this up like candy, but I would not buy it for a full price.