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4.31 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1999


1. Welt aus Eis (18:51)
2. Gefrorener Atem (17:55)
3. Der Weg (17:38)

Total Time: 54:24


- Tobias Möckl / Everything

About this release

Tape limited to 300 copies.

Re-released as A5 digibook in 2007

Thanks to Wilytank for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Tobias Möckl - AKA Wintherr - isn't exactly one to make a fanfare, with all of Paysage d'Hiver's work emerging as demo tapes at first (a select few, such as this one, have enjoyed subsequent CD releases). Here, though, you get the impression that a statement is being made about what the project is all about. It's not just the fact that the album is self-titled - though it is notable that Paysage put out a few tapes before coming around to this one - but on top of that it's also a remarkably confident musical statement, essentially taking the aesthetic of early Burzum, freezing it down to absolute zero, and then absolutely going to town on it. The lo-fi production is precisely what is needed to turn the guitars into a howling wail not unlike the blizzards the wintry material puts you in mind of, as Wintherr shrieks incoherently like a lost soul trying to stumble out of the snowstorm. Great stuff.
(Originally posted by me to Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives;

Well, winter is back for the season, but not so you'd really notice it around my area with 60 degree Fahrenheit weather on some days. Regardless, the desire to listen to winter themed black metal returns; and among the artists to delve back into, Paysage d'Hiver is the one closest to the top of the pile. I've already expressed my enjoyment for the first two releases in Wintherr's project, but today I turn my attention to Paysage d'Hiver's self-titled release, the most popular release in this discography though probably because it's the easiest to acquire because you can actually buy an mp3 version off of Amazon or iTunes. I'm sure if Steineiche or Schattengang weren't as limited in their distribution, they'd get more praise because when compared to those two, I find the self-titled to be actually weaker. But Paysage d'Hiver is stunning nonetheless.

This release is a lot rawer sounding than anything Paysage d'Hiver has done before, which is saying a lot considering the band's music has been known for being raw as hell. There's more fuzz here which kinda makes it difficult to approach when it's harder to make out the music. There's also less tempo variation; two of the three songs here stay on the same pace for most of their lengths save for a lower tempo break. This would make the songs totally boring save for the fact that Wintherr did include enough riff changes to keep things interesting, the exception being the less varied "Gefrorener Atem" which turns out consequentially to be the weakest of the three songs on the album. I will say one good thing about it though: its slow tempo is a nice break after the faster "Welt Aus Eis" and before "Der Weg".

Tobias Mockl never had any trouble of letting the guitars drive the atmosphere in his music in both Paysage d'Hiver and Darkspace, but the extra keys and other elements do help the atmosphere along yet not overpowering the song. There's no keys in "Welt Aus Eis" until the very end after all other instruments stop playing, so the guitars get to play on as the blizzard they are. What "Welt Aus Eis" does have is a violin that plays a sweet sounding melody over the metal music. Meanwhile, "Der Weg" has the most changes starting off fast before slowing gradually down. It also has the most extra instruments used with acoustic guitars and keyboards played alongside the usual metal instruments. "Gefrorener Atem" also makes use of keyboards, but like the rest of the song they aren't varied enough to be interesting to listen to.

As for the atmosphere itself, yeah the strong winds and blizzard feelings are definitely there. The tone of the music actually isn't as dark as Paysage d'Hiver's first two black metal album, leaving more of a feeling of a broad daylight like being on top of a ski resort mountain on a windy day but no clouds. One bummer I get is that there's no night time atmosphere conjured up on this release due to the lighter tone and consistently faster pace of this album. There's no equivalent of "Der Baummann" or "Moloch" on this album which they could have really used instead of "Gefrorener Atem". There's also no chilling ambient tracks here, but Mockl already blew his ambient load on Die Festung the year before anyway so go there if you want ambient.

Paysage d'Hiver isn't the best Paysage d'Hiver release, but those already into his sort of material can easily get some sort of enjoyment out of this release. If you want to experience Wintherr's true winter metal magic though, you'd do well to seek out Steineiche and Schattengang.


Members reviews

"Summer is the hottest every year, every winter there's a different sky Every spring there's a different sky, every sunrise feels so right" --Drudkh, Eternal Turn of the Wheel

It's that time of year, everyone. The first of December; when the light rots out, the darkness sets in, and you prepare yourself for a cold, long, and brutal winter.

To celebrate this dreary occasion, I will be reviewing one of the most notorious black metal bands of all time, in my opinion - Paysage D'hiver. Paysage D'hiver is a one-man black metal project by Tobias Mockl, a.k.a. Wintherr. At the read of "one-man black metal project" I can already hear some people clicking away from this review...well, bare with me here for a second.

Tobias Mockl, setting aside his desolate and arguably even more dreary interest in the cold, black veils of space, instead with his project Paysage D'hiver he turns his head to the season of winter.

Out of all seasons, there is something absolutely enthralling about winter, specifically a major interest of mine in terms of music. It's cold, clammy, desolate, dark and wet - what better season is there for metal music? It's my favorite time of year, but it's also my least favorite - it's beautiful, soothing and sorrowful, but at the same time, depressing and dreadful. All perfect attributes for good metal music.

Tobias' work, his self-titled album Paysage D'hiver, can easily be summed up in a few words: a blizzard turned into music. If a brutal snowstorm could have an audial sound, it would definitely be this.

Paysage D'hiver can easily be described as ambient/atmospheric/"depressive" black metal. While it's not necessarily music to kill yourself to, it can certainly work as a decent substitute; however, this type of black metal, in my opinion, sounds like that of a person who has had so many regrets in his/her life and that they are meeting their end by brutal snowfall - a final closure to their lifetime full of regrets and tragedies.

The metal on this album is raw, violent, frostbitten and evil - behind the buzzing, lo-fi, razorblade guitars and piercing fast drums, there is definitely something sinister concealed behind the chaos - something that is not only sinister, but sorrowful as well; something longing for something better with it's life.

There are also many violin sections scattered throughout this 54 minute album, and goddamn, they are seriously beautiful. Not only did I almost cry upon first hearing the two sorrowful violin melodies in the track "Welt Aus Eis" it certainly conveys not only what Tobias set out for (that being winter), but also a sense of relief and yet, dread. It's a complicated, confused, cold mix of emotions.

Tobias' vocals, however, are among my favorite part of his music. At the risk of sounding like a stoner, I really dig them; hidden beneath the struggling, enraged screaming, it's more than just incoherent mumbling, the vocals are...strangely human. The vocalists of depressive/atmospheric black metal music always makes me think that the lyricists are constantly striving for something better with their lives; something better above depression, despair and anger. It makes me think.

Also, like many atmospheric BM bands (and atmospheric in general music, too) the songs here are long as fuck - three tracks totaling in 54 minutes. The longest is "Welt Aus Eis" (World/Land of Ice), which is a whopping 19 minutes in length. Even then, the shortest song here is "Der Weg", which in itself is over 17 minutes. (!)

This album/demo is essential to any type of black metal fan. Good luck findin' this shit, however - unfortunately such good BM bands are so overlooked these days. All in all, if there's any music to die in a blizzard to, it's this. 93% is a fair rating for this album.

Ratings only

  • MorniumGoatahl
  • Eria Tarka
  • IMPF2112
  • luanpedi

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