Were it not for everyone’s anticipation of ‘Time II’, or the fact that Wintersun signed to Nuclear Blast to release ‘The Forest Seasons’ as a sort of cash-grab to fund the completion of ‘Time II’, or even the fact that Wintersun crowdfunded half a million dollars towards the completion of ‘Time II’, ‘The Forest Seasons’ would stand alone quite nicely. Unfortunately but predictably, it’s had some bad press.
Wintersun was in trouble with the elitists, either way: if ‘The Forest Seasons’ would have sounded more similar to ‘Time I’, they would have been pissed by lack of creativity. Instead, since it departs a bit from ‘Time I’, they’re calling it lazy and uninspired. Lose-lose. I wonder what we’d be saying if they just punted and named this record ‘Time II’ instead? My point is, if you are struggling with it, get over the ‘Time II’ thing. You have the chance to enjoy a decent record, here.
Album reviews are worse than sports commentary, but the bottom line is that I thought ‘The Forest Seasons’ was fantastic. By default, it is always necessary to compare records to records, but- even then, I’m still not disappointed. ‘The Forest Seasons’ is full of insane melodies. Vivaldi? Maybe not, but very melodic, nonetheless. Bold, epic, and Wintersun-melodic. Folky, black, and dynamic, this album takes you places the way I believe Jari intended.
‘Eternal Darkness (Autumn)’ is black metal through and through. Grim vocals and blast beats are interrupted by picking and choir a time or two, but this song still beats your brains out. ‘Awaken From the Dark Slumber (Spring)’ is what I’d consider the focal point of the album. It’s also the piece they released as a single (video below)-so call me a fanboy. Wispy keys, clean and grim vocals, lots of movement, length, and chemistry fill this song. There is plenty of technical musicianship in this song-and throughout the record, as well. Guitar and drum meld as well as they have in any other Wintersun work. Summer and Winter aren’t without their praises, but I think you’ll find the better work on the two I listed. But, again, what do I know.
The record is worth it. There are eight tracks, but really it’s just the four seasons with and without vocals, so….four tracks. When it happens, wouldn’t it be nice to treat ‘Time II’ like an old friend who looked you up for a beer, rather than an old friend you got pissed at and punched in the face-and now have to apologize the next time you see them? I thought so. Happy listening, Mofos.
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