I’m really glad, that the re-release of Snowland finally arrived. The 2012 edition of the debut record of the Sorcier des Glaces is really worth listening to, but so was The Puressence of Primitive Forests. Read on, to read about the great improvements the re-release brought with it.
There are many different opinions concerning re-releases, the main ones might be: They are quite useless, as they just feature stuff you could have had already, the other and constrasting one is, that the improved quality of the songs or simply the fact, that a record that was sold out can be purchased again. Some re-releases make more sense than others, like the one of Snowland, as they didn’t simply re-recorded their stuff, they changed it quite a bit as well. There are no more keyboards (well, at least according to the label) and the track lengthes changed a bit, which results in a total playing time of 40:18 minutes.
The record is preluded by an instrumental track, which creates a quite oppressive atmosphere. Although the label stated, that no keyboards were used to re-record the song, there is something that sounds like one in the background. This keyboard-like sound is in nearly every song that had keyboards before, but they are, according to the intro song, quite subtle. The main parts, which were played by the keyboard are now done by quite heavy rhythm guitars, which enhances the nineties feeling. I guess, as the keyboard sounds are quite subtle, you can say that it’s recorded without one.
Snowland MMXII offers, similiar to their latest release The Puressence of Primitive Forests, some fine nineties black metal, held in a quite moderate tempo. This tempo pends between some lower mid- to lower up-tempo although the focus is clearly on the mid-tempo region. I would like to turn your attention to the really improved production of the re-release, as it’s totally different than before. Although it still features some raw sounds, especially concerning the rhythm guitars (which are a bit blurred as well), it’s way clearer, more powerful and contemporary (although the original Snowland was nice when it was released). It enhances the listening experience of such brilliant songs as Onward Into the Crystal Snows.
This track is the best one to describe the qualities of the complete record: The song starts quite slow and majestic with a catchy, but warm/neutral, melody accompanied by some distorted, cold vocals. This song will cause you to dream of a journey through a snowscape at night. This journey is a quite volatile one, as it pends between those majestic feelings and some really harsh and stormy passages. The song features those slower passages I mentioned before and some faster ones, with blast beats which would resemble the stormy passages.
Snowland MMXII isn’t just for those of you, who didn’t knew Sorcier des Glaces since their beginning, as it even features new elements which surely are interesting for fans of the first Snowland as well. The re-recorded songs bridging between the past and glorious days of raw sounds and contemporary black metal compositions, although there are some minor flaws as well. The steelcase is just the icing on the cake! Buy this record.
Date of release: May, 25th 2012