Atmospheric Black Metal / Non-Metal / Metal Related • Switzerland — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of
The project Paysage d'Hiver formed in 1997 means "Winter Landscape". The man behind the name that doesn't hide musical directions is Wintherr (real name Tobias Möckl), from Schwarzenburg, Berne, Switzerland. He also runs the label "Kunsthall Produktionen", and is a member of the ambient black metal group Darkspace. His music varies from synth-based dark ambient to atmospheric black metal.
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PAYSAGE D'HIVER albums / top albums

PAYSAGE D'HIVER Steineiche album cover 4.33 | 2 ratings
Atmospheric Black Metal 1998
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Schattengang album cover 4.43 | 3 ratings
Atmospheric Black Metal 1998
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Die Festung album cover 4.45 | 2 ratings
Die Festung
Non-Metal 1999
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Paysage d'Hiver album cover 4.22 | 8 ratings
Paysage d'Hiver
Atmospheric Black Metal 1999
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Kerker album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Atmospheric Black Metal 1999
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Kristall & Isa album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Kristall & Isa
Atmospheric Black Metal 2000
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Winterkälte album cover 4.33 | 2 ratings
Atmospheric Black Metal 2001
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Nacht album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Atmospheric Black Metal 2004
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Einsamkeit album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Metal Related 2007
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Das Tor album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Das Tor
Atmospheric Black Metal 2013
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Im Wald album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Im Wald
Atmospheric Black Metal 2020


PAYSAGE D'HIVER Paysage d'Hiver / Lunar Aurora album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Paysage d'Hiver / Lunar Aurora
Atmospheric Black Metal 2002
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Paysage d'Hiver / Vinterriket album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Paysage d'Hiver / Vinterriket
Atmospheric Black Metal 2003
PAYSAGE D'HIVER Десь блукає журба (Somewhere Sadness Wanders) / Schnee (IV) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Десь блукає журба (Somewhere Sadness Wanders) / Schnee (IV)
Atmospheric Black Metal 2017

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Album · 2001 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Another winter, another Paysage d'Hiver album/demo to analyze. Today, we have Winterkälte from 2001. Like the rest of the band's releases, Winterkälte is very unique in its delivery of winter themed black metal. However, one thing to note is that there's a few bits of material that sound like a precursor to Tobias Mockl's group project Darkspace, whose debut demo was released just a year later. This foreshadowing is really shown off on "Ich Schreite", "Eintritt in die Sphaeren", and "Finsternis". The music throughout the album though still retains the raw winter production Paysage d'HIver is known for and is also more minimalistic than Darkspace by not having as nearly as much variations in the riffs. The biggest comparison though comes from the lower tuning which makes the music sound even darker and colder as if the blizzard was happening at night, further supported by the excess of wind samples throughout the album.

Like the rest of the Paysage d'Hiver discography, the songs on Winterkälte all have their own style. The track list starts out strong with "Ich Schreite", a fast tempo track that eventually winds down to acoustic guitar strumming in the outer 9 minutes. "Ich Starre" starts out with the same opening notes, but is much slower and works as a nice outro of sorts for the previous song; a dreary calm after the storm if you will. Unfortunately, these two tracks are the high point of this release.

"Einsamkeit" is only wind samples and choral "oh"s, which would be fine if it was seven minutes shorter. But those last 7 minutes have no choral "oh"s. Just wind. After that is "Winter", probably the biggest disappointment on the release. Despite being 20 minutes in length, it's primarily the same mid-tempo riff with very little variation. There is a pause with wind samples and flute along with some keyboard ambiance, but afterward it returns to the same riff. Some more keyboards are thrown in but they don't do much to save the song.

The remaining two tracks, "Eintritt in die Sphaeren" and "Finsternis", are both faster tracks with decent amounts of variation that help end the album on a positive note. The album as a whole though falls among Paysage d'Hiver's weaker releases. The biggest problem is that it's fucking long. In particular, the wind samples stick around longer than they need to. Wintherr, you're a black metal musician, not a person who does field recordings.

Despite its self-indulgence, Winterkälte is still worth a listen for people already into Paysage d'Hiver. It really needs to be shorter though; "Winter" should have been condensed and "Einsamkeit" needs to have the last several minutes cut off. "Die Baumfrau" from Steineiche was perfect and even "Welt aus Eis" from the self-titled release had a sense of movement so Wintherr is capable of making long tracks work, and in the future he does so in both Paysage d'Hiver and Darkspace. Winterkälte was re-released in 2010 with ten minutes taken off of the total release length though, so I advise you to get your hands on that version instead.



Album · 2007 · Metal Related
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Though known for a blend of synthesised ambient music, wintry sound effects and black metal, Paysage d'Hiver has been known from time to time to drop the black metal from the equation for a more "Winter Synth" style - it happened on Die Festung, and it happens again here on Einsamkeit. Here, the sound effects are even more prominent, and listening to this album becomes reminiscent of hearing a distant, siren-like call appealing to you from across a snowy wasteland. Fans of Tobias' use of synthesiser and ambient influences in Paysage's more metal works might want to try this on for size.


Album · 1999 · Non-Metal
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At least one blogger refers to this stuff as "Winter Synth" - by analogy to the Dungeon Synth works produced by artists such as Mortiis (during Era I) and Wongraven - a comparison which is rather apt. The material is somewhat analagous to Dungeon Synth stuff since in both cases you are dealing with a musician with a background in black metal (not that all dungeon synth artists are black metallers, but the first wave generally were) dipping into dark ambient material produced on electronic instruments, but there's also stylistic differences. Dungeon synth stuff, for instance, tends to want to try and establish a quasi-medieval atmosphere and mimic medieval instrumentation, and doesn't show much influence from the wider world of ambient music.

Conversely, on Die Festung Paysage d'Hiver show the influence of electronic predecessors such as Klaus Schulze or early Tangerine Dream. The synthesisers are not afraid to sound like synthesisers here, but they're still channelled towards evoking a particular wintery atmosphere. Cold, almost unearthly - like a familiar landscape transformed by a fall of snow - the album is a fine piece of atmospheric background music.


Album · 2004 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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With its cover depicting Wintherr (AKA Tobias Möckl) bearing a torch in the moony twilight - reminiscent of such classic black metal cover art as that of Darkthrone's run from A Blaze In the Northern Sky to Transilvanian Hunger, or Mayhem's Live In Leipzig - you might expect Nacht to be a back-to-basics album for Paysage d'Hiver, returning to a sound focused on classic black metal. Whilst the black metal side of Paysage's sound is more prominent and more vicious here than it's been for a while, and there's a lo-fi aesthetic reminiscent of the kvltest of black metal to the recording, at the same time this is still the melange of ambient winter moods and black metal eruptions from Paysage we know and love, this time built around long, epic compositions. Great stuff, as usual.


Album · 2001 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Offering the usual mixture of ambient and black metal sections melded together into an atmospheric whole, Paysage d'Hiver's Winterkaelte is a concept album based on the idea of a hike through a frostbitten landscape being a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Correspondingly, hidden deep within the passages of the extended compositions on here are surprising moments of beauty, particularly a recurring synthesised tone a little like astral pan pipes that suggests an unexpected discovery within the apparently barren landscape the music confronts us with. Another solid release, with the music supporting the thematic concept sufficiently to add an additional level of coherence and mystery to affairs. It's always worth wandering around in Paysage d'Hiver's albums, but the treasures hidden here are particularly notable.

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