Wintersun – The Forest Seasons
Released: July 21st, 2017
Wintersun line up:
Jari Mäenpää − vocals, keyboards, guitar , bass
Kai Hahto − drums
Teemu Mäntysaari − guitar, backing vocals
Jukka Koskinen − bass, backing vocals
Every once and awhile in your life, you’re going to come across things so extraordinarily epic they will possible change the very person you are – they will defy description – they will blow every square inch of your feeble and thirsty mind.
Sometimes these things come in the form of the first new Wintersun album in five years called The Forest Seasons.
The album, split into four sprawling epics with the thematic motif of the changing of seasons is in many ways, the best thing this band has ever done and that’s including the masterpiece that is Time I.
The first song ‘Awaken from the Dark Slumber (Spring)’ begins with subtle synths before the drums give way to the song proper and warp you to the spacey instrumentation Wintersun have made their bread and butter over the past decade. The heavy vocals leave you spellbound as they weave a tale of untold wonder upon your ear drums and transport you to the land of every role-playing game you’ve ever played in your entire life. The twists and turns the song takes in the fourteen minute runtime will make your jaw drop to the floor.
Subsequent song ‘The Forest That Weeps (Summer)’ is an apt song title as it’s inclined to make you cry literal man tears from the sheer beauty it exudes. Complete with gang vocal sections that invoke images of a ship conquering the unhinged sea with your comrades or of being lost in lush green forests filled with elves (probably). Things take an even more epic turn at the halfway mark as the guitars and drums comes to the fore and blow whatever was left of your mind – leaving you reeling on the floor from the magnificence pummelling your ears.
Follow up song and easily the heaviest song on the album ‘Eternal Darkness (Autumn)’ is an oppressing exercise into the abyss with brutal drum patterns and riffs to die for as it leads you into the death metal void. Mostly losing the synth work that permeates the rest of this album – the harsh vocals reach towards the sky, as spoken whispers add a sense of dynamics to something that could have ended up sounding extremely banal in the hands of any other band. This is Wintersun at their most relentless, dark and extreme. It’s fucking glorious and confirms Wintersun must not like Autumn very much.
Final track ‘Loneliness (Winter)’ is Wintersun at their most grandeur, the slow ebbing, hypnotic riffing alongside the alluring synth work leads you into a whole new undiscovered world of wonder, as the exquisite vocal work leaves you begging to hear this in an open field surrounded by fire. Complete with a heavenly chorus that takes your hand and guides you throughout space and time before bringing you back down to Earth.
Honestly, The Forest Seasons is Jari Mäenpää at his absolute best. Five long years since Time I fade away into nothing as this album transports you to worlds you didn’t even know existed. The masterful level of songwriting alongside the magical production only add to the sense of depth and wonder this record excudes with every painstakingly thought out note. The only mistake you’ll ever make in your life is not purchasing this album.
Wintersun – The Forest Seasons track listing:
1. Awaken The Dark Slumber (Spring)
2. The Forest That Weeps (Summer)
3. Eternal Darkness (Autumn)
4. Loneliness (Winter)