Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tonight - DANZIG in St. Paul, WRETCHED in Minneapolis, WINTERSUN in Eau Claire

A lot of recent travel has prevented me from posting, but tonight is a big night of metal if you're looking to get out. First, barring any last-minute fiascoes like the aborted show at Cabooze in Minneapolis a couple years ago, Danzig performs tonight at Myth in St. Paul with support from Scar The Martyr (featuring Joey Jordison of Slipknot), Huntress, local hardcore band In Defence. This is part of Danzig's 25th Anniversary Tour and will feature a special Misfits set with guitarist Doyle. It's an all ages show that starts at 6:30, and tickets are $25 at the door.


In Minneapolis, tonight you can catch death metal band Wretched with Abiotic, Allegaeon, Rivers Of Nihil, and Solar Slaughter at Studio B in the Skyway Theater. This is an 18+ show with doors early at 5:00 and tickets $10 at the door.


Lastly, if you're in the east metro area or western Wisconsin, it's not far to Eau Claire to see Finland's Wintersun as they embark on their first North American headlining tour at The Oxford Theater. There's strong support from Fleshgod Apocalypse, Arsis, and Starkill, making this well worth the drive. It's an all ages show that starts at 7:00, and tickets are $20 at the door.


Album Review - WINTERSUN

Wintersun – Time I
Nuclear Blast, 2012

Time I is the first of a two-album project from this epic, symphonic metal band from Finland led by former Ensiferum guitarist Jari Mäenpää. While comparisons can be drawn other like-minded bands such as Epica and Therion, Wintersun brings enough of their own ideas to make this a notable effort. As a whole, Time I encompasses covers an enormous amount of musical ground. Kicking the affair off is the orchestral instrumental “When Times Fades Away”, which leads into the four-part suite “Sons Of Winter And Stars”. The first part, “Rain Of Stars”, is a brutally fast composition that blitzes along with lightning technical speed and has Jari swapping vocal lines with opera singers. “Surrounded By Darkness” slows it down a little, more to an aggressive power metal style. The third part of the suite, “Journey Inside A Dream”, is a short acoustic interlude before “Sons Of Winter And Stars” closes the 13-minute epic with soaring melodies that picks up at the end for a grand closing. “Land Of Snow And Sorrow” is a slow, drab number that would have been better left off the album. Following another short acoustic instrumental, “Darkness And Frost”, the title track “Time” closes the album and leaves you longing for the impending follow-up album. Overall, Time I is a brilliant album of intense complexity and depth that demands your attention through multiple listens. Keyboards are used liberally throughout; this, as well as the grand scope of the album, remind me a lot of the sole, mind-blowing album from Norway’s Mundanus Imperium (The Spectral Spheres Coronation from 1998). The brilliance lapses here and there, most notably on “Land Of Snow And Sorrow”, but this album should be at the top of any fan of epic, symphonic metal.


Wintersun will perform tonight Saturday, August 17 at The Oxford Theater in Eau Claire with support from Fleshgod Apocalypse, Arsis, and Starkill.