Thursday, April 17, 2008

Paysage D'Hiver (pt. 1)

No such thing as a "zero degree of winter" is possible. An objective, neutral, transparent, naked winter is impossible. No winter can be experienced without pathos, without color.

This is not only true for literary representations of winter, but also for musical representations of the coldest season. Even such a starkly minimal album as "Un peu de neige salie" by Bernhard Günter is still stained with meaning.

Winter landscapes are a symbol of Black Metal. They are one of the most important strands of Black Metal's cultural 'web of significance' (Geertz). Winter landscapes (snow) are to Black Metal what tropical landscapes (palm trees) are to Exotica. What is the context of winter in Black Metal? To which other signs is winter connected? What is the meaning of winter?

To answer these questions, I turn to Paysage D'Hiver, a Swiss Black Metal band. Paysage D'Hiver is a solo project; the man behind the moniker is thirty-year old Wintherr. Strongly influenced by Burzum, Paysage D'Hiver integrates Ambient, environment recordings (howling winds and wolves) and Black Metal. As evinced by the name of the band and the musician, winter and wintry landscapes are the band's central theme.



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