Wintersun
The Forest Seasons


2.0
poor

Review

by AngelofDeath EMERITUS
July 21st, 2017 | 410 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Losing the forest through the trees.

At the beginning of the year, Jari Mäenpää announced to the shock of many that it would not, in fact, be another decade before a new Wintersun album was unleashed upon the world. No, a new full-length was coming in July. Though, not the much-anticipated Time II, as many had expected, there was, at least, a guarantee for fresh material with no delays or setbacks. The announcement for this entirely new and different release, The Forest Seasons, came with a crowdsourcing platform to help the band fund their own personal studio (complete with sauna, naturally) so that future projects might be undertaken more smoothly and efficiently. Despite much outside criticism, the campaign went better than expected, raising hundreds of thousands of Euros, proving just how loyal and dedicated a fanbase the group had amassed. The reward for their patience and loyalty, however, is less than remarkable.

Those expecting Mäenpää to answer their pleas of abating some of Time I's orchestral-plugin-centered composition with The Forest Seasons are in for a sore disappointment. Gone completely are the rich guitar melodies of the Ensiferum days and the eponymous Wintersun debut and with them the dynamic and succinct songwriting that accompanied them. And while the release does boast some solid riffs, they often overstay their welcome and get lost in a forest of programmed over-indulgence. Time I, at least, in all its over-the-top cheesiness, did much to supplant that focus on guitar with strong and memorable vocal melodies. Plodding, predictable major chord progressions, however lushly layered and accompanied, are not suitable replacements. When fans are finally treated to some guitar wizardry some thirty-five minutes in, it only serves to prove that this is Jari's strongest suit in both writing and execution.

The one element that has been retained from the first two records, however, are the trite and cliche lyrics revolving around the same four or five themes those familiar with the band might expect, finding themselves much harder to overlook and forgive this time. Competently delivered as they may be, one can only take so many lines about "winter" and "wasting away" and such, especially when the music does so little to distract.

The addition of another guitarist in the live lineup speaks volumes: The Wintersun of 2004 that captivated so many as an original voice in the realm of melodic metal is now little more than a vanity live karaoke outlet for Jari, with heavy backing tracks rendering his extremely talented lineup as little more than an afterthought. Drummer Kai Hahto's playing does so much to bring Wintersun the album to life, but now, with the drums just another punched into the computer like so much of the rest, they're just another soulless cog in the overblown, overwrought ProTools affair. And while credits explicitly name bass guitar, there may as well not be any.

The most devout fans of Time I may find a bit more here to relish in in The Forest Seasons, but devotees of the debut will surely find themselves with little to rejoice over in this new effort. In an attempt to deliver an epic metal symphony, the end result is little more than generic, forgettable symphonic metal. But, hey, maybe with that much needed personal recording space and steam room, Time II or whatever Wintersun tackles next will be a much-needed return to form.



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user ratings (209)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Dizchu (2)
Jari has truly outdone himself...

Brendan Schroer (2)
The sound of hype and expectations being butchered by delusional arrogance and empty promises....

related reviews

Time I

Wintersun

Comments:Add a Comment 
hansoloshotfirst
July 21st 2017


1417 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

and outta nowhere an AngelofDeath appears. truly apocalyptic times.

AngelofDeath
Emeritus
July 21st 2017


16223 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Guess someone needed to step up and do this.

AngelofDeath
Emeritus
July 21st 2017


16223 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

DISCLAIMER: I like Time I a lot.

EvoHavok
July 21st 2017


7692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Angel of Death returning to tear Wintersun apart.

Sinternet
July 21st 2017


19985 Comments


moar liek winterDUMB amirite?

Dizchu
July 21st 2017


284 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

There's some good ideas here but the production is absolute balls. I'm a bedroom producer and even I can notice the rookie mistakes Jari is making, and people paid 50 euros for this. In all honesty, it's an insult.



I can only assume that the self-titled album had an actual engineer and mixer involved.

zaruyache
July 21st 2017


21211 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

And lo, the angel from on high to cleanse the world of its wickedness.

hansoloshotfirst
July 21st 2017


1417 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

he probably would need a studio in a sauna to release a perfect album. then his genius could transpire directly/unfiltered into his recordings.

DarkNoctus
July 21st 2017


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

loved time i too



i'd say this is a letdown but it's exactly as i expected it to be - a half-assed stopgap recording

zaruyache
July 21st 2017


21211 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Ah I see you bumped it down P:

Crysis
Emeritus
July 21st 2017


17390 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Gone completely are the rich guitar melodies of the Ensiferum days and the eponymous Wintersun debut




i mean that right there says all you really have to know about this record

BookoftheFallen
July 21st 2017


217 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This new Wintersauna album is pretty good.

XingKing
July 21st 2017


14765 Comments


It always makes me smile when these guys get shit on.

XfingTheSullen
July 21st 2017


4395 Comments


^ totally

Stargazer777
July 21st 2017


84 Comments


Very harsh rating imo

DarkNoctus
July 21st 2017


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

warranted

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2017


11724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"There's some good ideas here but the production is absolute balls. I'm a bedroom producer and even I can notice the rookie mistakes Jari is making, and people paid 50 euros for this. In all honesty, it's an insult"



To be fair Jari has stated that he was bloated with so much moisture that his fingers couldn't hit the keyboard or click the mouse correctly.

Digging: Stahlmann - Bastard

Ebola
July 21st 2017


3630 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

back in my day, we had guitar in our metal albums

mifzal
July 21st 2017


3289 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

ya'll too generous

Ovrot
July 21st 2017


13304 Comments


whoa it's angel



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