Released on: 2017-07-21
Founded back in 2004 by front man Jari Mäenpää, Finnish epic metallers WINTERSUN released their outstanding, highly-acclaimed debut album »Wintersun« in the same year. From the first sound of 'Beyond The Dark Sun' until the last note of 'Sadness And Hate', the band took the listener to a Nordic land filled with both, soaring and frosty guitar lines and relentless drums played by Kai Hahto. 8 years in the making, their sophomore record, »Time I«, easily met the high expectations of their fan base. Songs like 'Sons Of Winter And Stars' and the title track, 'Time', became live favorites immediately, aired on tours around the globe with their label mates KORPIKLAANI, ELUVEITIE, and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE amongst others.
Now - after another 5 years - WINTERSUN return with their 3rd studio album entitled »The Forest Seasons«. Its release is accompanied by a massive crowdfunding campaign the band set up to finance their planned WINTERSUN headquarters. The campaign offered “The Forest Package”, featuring not only the new studio album, its separate isolated tracks, and a 5k digital booklet, but also remixes from WINTERSUN’s previous records. Additionally there is a live album, recorded at Tuska Open Air 2013. After finishing this Indiegogo campaign with an impressive amount of several hundreds of thousands euros, the band also confirmed their new guitar player Asim Searah, who will play his live debut at this year’s summer festivals.
Mixed and mastered by the band themselves, »The Forest Seasons« invites the audience to embark on a musical journey through a mystical forest with its 4 colossal tracks and a total running time of 54 minutes.
The first track of this new sonic adventure, 'Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring)', begins with a mysterious, dreamy melody, accompanied by subdued forest animal sounds. With driving guitars and pounding drums, the song snakes through an unstoppable 15-minute course. Massive choirs, beautiful and furious Asian-influenced guitar and orchestral sounds - all things WINTERSUN are loved for - come together in this monumental opening track and let the listener experience the awakening of the forest.
Second up is 'The Forest That Weeps (Summer)', which also starts with a calm and gloomy acoustic intro until you get woken up by haunting low guitars, continuing the previous lead melody. Even more tiny sonic details rise up all around and lead through the harsh verses to the track’s majestic clean vocal-choruses, followed by a heavily grooving and increasing instrumental interlude. In the end, after reaching its pinnacle in the form of the final chorus including an even more massive choir (feat. members of ENSIFERUM, TURISAS, MOONSORROW, TÝR etc.), 'The Forest That Weeps (Summer)' abruptly returns to its original theme and fades away slowly…
Silence is reigning… A foreboding wind is drawing near…'Eternal Darkness (Autumn)', the 3rd track, catches you by surprise and keeps what its title promises with its black metallic elements- devastating blast beats and harsh vocals await! The threatening orchestral sounds evoke the depressive and sad atmosphere that captures the listener and then leaves you behind with a soundscape filled with wonderful melancholic melodies until the song comes to a relentless and ominous end, recapturing its brutal beginning.
Traditional folkish tunes lead into the most emotional, saddest and also concluding part of »The Forest Seasons«, 'Loneliness (Winter)'. One of, if not THE most impressive and varied vocal performance by Jari, supported by the bittersweet lead guitar tones, guides you through a walk full of sorrow and hopelessness, before this almost 1-hour rollercoaster ride comes to an end…
This album is definitely WINTERSUN’s most varied opus to date and cements their status as a one of a kind group! Its intricacies mean it needs some time to get into, but then you will be rewarded with a fantastic journey for your mind. With »The Forest Seasons«, Jari Mäenpää has once more proven to have the magic touch for building musical works of art.
|Track list||Total runtime|
|1||- Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring) - Part I The Dark Slumber - Part II The Awakening||14:40|
|2||- The Forest That Weeps (Summer)||12:18|
|3||- Eternal Darkness (Autumn) - Part I Haunting Darkness - Part II The Call of the Dark Dream - Part III Beyond the Infinite Universe - Part IV Death||14:08|
|4||- Loneliness (Winter)||12:54|