The Forest Seasons is the new studio concept album from Helsinki based Wintersun. Scandinavian epic metal on a grand scale.
Wintersun are Jari Mäenpää (Vocals, Guitar), Teemu Mäntysaari (Guitar), Jukka Koskinen (Bass), Kai Hahto (Drums).
No one could ever accuse Wintersun of being prolific in their output having produced only three studio albums since 2004. Various reasons contributing to that pace of output which I will not dwell on here as this would distract from the actual music which of course is what we are all in the end interested in. However, what Wintersun do produce is grand scale metal and The Forest Seasons album is no exception.
With each song representing, not surprisingly, the four seasons we get songs ranging from 12 to 14 minutes. Now this album takes some dedication to see through to the end. It is not an easy listen and something that really cannot be taken lightly. However, it is worth the investment to pick out the small gems that are hidden within.
The first song Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring) has a fairly meandering start and doesn’t really kick in for real until a minute or so in and then Wintersun attempt Amon Amarth. In truth, this is really two songs combined into one. The first half doesn’t really hold your attention but after seven minutes we are treated to the real Wintersun with a more varied and classical undertone, chopping guitars and purposeful clean and unclean vocals. The 2nd half is definitely an album stand out.
The Forest That Weeps (Summer) is again another split song. The first half containing a simple but attention holding rhythm guitar progression. Seven minutes in and we are off into new territory with some more heavier chord progressions that just make the song so much more appealing. It does not last for long as we venture into musical score territory.
Eternal Darkness (Autumn) has another long wait before it is up and running and then drums, drums and more drums. This is almost relentless from start to finish and at over 14 minutes this is maybe just too much to take in all at once.
Loneliness (Winter) is another split song with the 2nd half another stand out in terms of quality with fantastic melodies and vocal performances. This half is symphonic metal as it should be.
This album whilst being a concept album has everything good and not so good that Wintersun has to offer. The scale and variation which has been attempted is likely too much for the one album and at just over 54 minutes it is a tough ask to take in at the one sitting.
It is clear Wintersun do have what it takes to produce great music. However, they struggle at times to convert their wonderful musicianship into consistent quality songs from start to finish.
The Forest Seasons by Wintersun has snippets of brilliance and it is because of this we can only ask for more.
- Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring) 14:41
- The Forest That Weeps (Summer) 12:18
- Eternal Darkness (Autumn) 14:08
- Loneliness (Winter) 12:54
Record Label: Nuclear Blast