Time I has been in various stages of creation since 2006 and though that doesn't rival a chasm like Chinese Democracy's 14 year interval between albums, six years is still an absurd amount of, err, time to create what amounts to a five-song record, one of which is an intro track. To be fair to WINTERSUN, a band clearly made up of individuals obsessed with the meticulous, two of Time I's pieces are over 10 minutes long and the six year delay, apparently, was as a result of an ultra-complex mixing process that involved details none of us understand. One can report, however, that even after the initial listen, the mix does indeed sound like every: (i) opera-esque cymbal crash; (ii) epic-as-a-mountain-summit guitar lead; and, (iii) Made In Finland synth line, was analyzed, re-analyzed and then stressfully re-evaluated again to ensure extreme perfection for the extreme perfectionists in Wintersun. Problem is, and this is going to be blunt, all that time and effort may not have been worth it, as Time I treads away from the beloved BODOM-on-speed of the 2004 debut and instead ventures off into epic rock opera lands that were mined and re-mined by labels who shall remain nameless from 2003 to about 2006 or so, a trend that mercifully came to an end and doesn't seem to be on its way back, at all, despite Time I's existence. It's difficult to take this record seriously precisely because it takes itself so seriously, but I imagine that the average Wintersun fan doesn't really care about these types of concerns, especially since prog/power people tend to revel in the bombastic and appreciate their musical surreality as hyperbolic as possible, which inevitably leads to scarily overwrought results. That said, let's agree that Time I is very obviously well-constructed with immaculate and exacto-knife precise attention to detail, something that is particularly taken to heart by those who will buy, and flourish with, this record. It's difficult not to miss a lot of the unbridled energy of the debut, however.