Rating: 90%

wintersunWintersun’s debut album was released in 2004. This was meant to be a side project that turned into a full time job by Jari Mäenpää as he was forced to leave  Ensiferum due to studio conflicts with his project and that of his band. He recorded all instruments on this album with the exception of the drum tracks which were provide by Kai “the Grinder” Hahto. The end result was an album that crosses the realms of Symphonic Melodic Death Metal. This album is a great effort put forth by Jari Mäenpää.

Musically, this album is full of raw energy. It has many great riffs and the leads are absolutely amazing. Lots of fast moving tempos centered around classic death metal that often at times enters into the realms of speed metal, power metal and folk metal. There are slower tempos on this album that really gives the listener a break. The chording of the power chords are simple. At times chords scream out loud, and then the music softens to a more folk feeling and then some classical influences begin to shine through. Aside from the guitars, the keyboards add to the atmosphere with out bogging the music down. Production is clean.

Jari not only proves himself as a talented musician, but as a decent song writer as well. His song writing center around a collection of themes such as human emotions, winter, space, dreams, death and time. Jari has a good mixture of mostly harsh vocals and some clean vocal work thrown in. There is some background spoken vocal work that Jari throws in which seems to help pull the listener in.  This is a very good album and an album that is well done.

Track listing:

1. Beyond the Dark Sun 02:38
2. Winter Madness 05:08
3. Sleeping Stars 05:41
4. Battle Against Time 07:03
5. Death and the Healing 07:13
6. Starchild 07:54
7. Beautiful Death 08:16
8. Sadness and Hate 10:16


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