Wintersun - The Forest Seasons review



Reviewer:
6.7

303 users:
8.04
Band: Wintersun
Album: The Forest Seasons
Release date: July 2017


01. Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring)
02. The Forest That Weeps (Summer)
03. Eternal Darkness (Autumn)
04. Loneliness (Winter)
05. Loneliness (Winter) [acoustic version] [Digibook bonus]


I can't believe I nearly missed one of the biggest releases of 2017. I totally lost track of time. Here I am, three whole months late, and I'm only just getting to the new Wintersun. Oh, man. How embarrassing, right, guys?

Time II this is not. The Forest Seasons still contains unwieldy amounts of orchestration, but the many tracks blur together into a flat, repressed miasma wholly unlike the dazzling blizzard of melodies that festooned Time I. I had certainly expected a different approach from the last album, but I thought that that would mean something closer in spirit to the debut. This lackluster mélange of symphony and metal is hardly the same band whose impeccable timing, stunningly crisp performance, and intimate knowledge of epic craftsmanship forged songs like "Winter Madness," "Battle Against Time," and "Starchild." "Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring)" pursues a sense of scale that's just out of reach, and certain points throughout the album wander into some cheap, ersatz black metal with guitars so thin and colorless that the continuity with Wintersun's older material is completely lost. The confusing change in atmosphere sounds at first blush like a misguided attempt to rebrand Wintersun as a darker, heavier band, but soon The Forest Seasons shows its hand and it becomes apparent that the album's mystifying gloom has more to do with a lack of inspiration than an overabundance of it.

Nearly ten minutes pass before the advent of the first crowded chorus finally suggests something of the old Wintersun, but with nothing substantial to hold onto, that chorus passes as if it had never arrived. It's 22 minutes, halfway into "The Forest That Weeps (Summer)," before a remarkably Wintersun-like riff muscles its way into the center aisle and illuminates the album with the brand of powerful, melodic leads that I had expected to hear from the first minute. This is the first point when the album truly feels alive. All too soon the heroic riff gives way to canned symphony. The chorus goes down smoothly the first time, thanks to Jari's still-mighty clean vocals, but when translated into a group chorus, it does nothing other than sluggishly compel the song to die. Jari gathered a phenomenal posse of backing vocalists - members of Turisas, Ensiferum, Týr, Moonsorrow, and others - and didn't give them anything to sing. Gone are the stirring, anthemic hooks and rippling blazes of instrumental prowess; gone are the vibrance and vivacity that once pushed Wintersun to the forefront of the metal scene and defined their own genre.

All the energy and profundity that defined Wintersun have evaporated, leaving only a run-of-the-mill heavy metal band trying to be progressive, heroic, and sinister and coming off tedious, passe, and compressed. The album has its merits; some of the soloing in "Loneliness (Winter)" is fabulous, Jari remains in pretty good voice, and every song contains a few moments where I perk up and think, "Yes, that's Wintersun." I must confess that I will probably find myself singing the chorus to "Summer" six months from now - but getting to those standout moments requires patience, and if there's one thing that most Wintersun fans have long since run out of, it's patience. More often than not I find myself waiting for the real song to start and lamenting how muddy and enervating the production is.

Had I no exposure to the years-long soap opera As the World Turns Around Jari, had I no external information to indicate that I was listening to a stopgap measure implemented to prop up another promised new album, I could nonetheless believe that this was Wintersun's B-material, a repository created to drain the runoff from Time II; I could believe that this production was Jari's way of saying, "See how badly I need a better studio?" and that this album got pushed out purely to stack up the big bucks for more Time. Wintersun has so many textures, such depth of feeling, such explosive energy; Time I bristles with melody and momentum, building up to monumental choruses. The Forest Seasons opens awkwardly, contains far too much filler, and ends in disappointment. Wintersun is more than this dreary melodrama.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 6


 



Written on 30.10.2017 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 333 users
31.10.2017 - 01:47
AndreMarcos
Great review man! The album does has its moments but in general just drags on and kind of feels like a shore to listen to.
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31.10.2017 - 02:46
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by AndreMarcos on 31.10.2017 at 01:47

Great review man! The album does has its moments but in general just drags on and kind of feels like a shore to listen to.

Thank you.
----
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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31.10.2017 - 02:50
MétalNoir
Fils du Lys
" the years-long soap opera As the World Turns Around Jari "

I agree with everything you write. Excellent review.
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Notre destinée n'est pas encore tracée....
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31.10.2017 - 09:56
nikarg
Old Nick
I agree, very good review. The guitars are nowhere to be found in the mix and the symphonic wankery is indeed enervating. I did find a few nice parts here and there though and "Loneliness" is awesome, I've played it a lot on its own skipping the other three tracks.
----
on and on south of heaven

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31.10.2017 - 11:08
Stunning Cactus
Very well written. You have a talent, man.
----
"I always knew metal would live on. I was right."
~Me, 2013
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31.10.2017 - 21:59
VIG
Eraserhead
I'm happy to see so many positive comments for the review

Great job again, mate!
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31.10.2017 - 23:09
Bad English
Masterchief
Amazing review, a bit my style review even not 100%. I will reject and regret years in my 20's when I liked grind, BDM, extreme music and any non sense extreme metal subgenre. This is better, fits in landscapes I mourn live and maybe will die. Mussicalöly its better as previos onebut nots o good as 1th bands album. Its lost in time somewhere between
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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01.11.2017 - 04:29
Kvothe
Yes, maybe it was very little, for so many years of waiting. Even so the best point of this album are the lyrics. They are not worthy of a 6. Meanwhile, we will continue waiting for Time 2 to bring back the old wintersun and hopefully it will be a step towards a better wintersun.
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Winter Is Here...
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01.11.2017 - 10:02
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Kvothe on 01.11.2017 at 04:29

Yes, maybe it was very little, for so many years of waiting. Even so the best point of this album are the lyrics. They are not worthy of a 6. Meanwhile, we will continue waiting for Time 2 to bring back the old wintersun and hopefully it will be a step towards a better wintersun.


Such bands specially Nordic always has best lyrics when it comes nature, seasons, mountains, folklore, stories, not st. ann
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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01.11.2017 - 16:13
Windrider
Raureif
I think the one thing Jari wants most is also the one thing bringing his band down: the best production. Already on Time I, which is songwriting-like a great album, the guitars were so small and thin and it all sounded more like a totally digitally-made album entirely based on Midi samples... I do understand that the music is very complex but there must be a better way than just to compress everything to death until it's a clean but monotonous rubbish.
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01.11.2017 - 16:33
Urizen367
I love Wintersun.

I really wanted to enjoy this album.

At least it's better than Ensiferum's new album.
----
I will not reason and compare, my business is to create.
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02.11.2017 - 21:47
Kvothe
Written by Bad English on 01.11.2017 at 10:02

Written by Kvothe on 01.11.2017 at 04:29

Yes, maybe it was very little, for so many years of waiting. Even so the best point of this album are the lyrics. They are not worthy of a 6. Meanwhile, we will continue waiting for Time 2 to bring back the old wintersun and hopefully it will be a step towards a better wintersun.


Such bands specially Nordic always has best lyrics when it comes nature, seasons, mountains, folklore, stories, not st. ann


If you only listen to the lyrics of Loneliless you understand the quality and the other songs also have incredible lyrics. Although in the musical aspect the seasons are not seen so well, and it lacks the essence of Wintersun, in the lyric it is the same perfection.
----
Winter Is Here...
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02.11.2017 - 22:39
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Kvothe on 02.11.2017 at 21:47

Written by Bad English on 01.11.2017 at 10:02

Written by Kvothe on 01.11.2017 at 04:29

Yes, maybe it was very little, for so many years of waiting. Even so the best point of this album are the lyrics. They are not worthy of a 6. Meanwhile, we will continue waiting for Time 2 to bring back the old wintersun and hopefully it will be a step towards a better wintersun.


Such bands specially Nordic always has best lyrics when it comes nature, seasons, mountains, folklore, stories, not st. ann


If you only listen to the lyrics of Loneliless you understand the quality and the other songs also have incredible lyrics. Although in the musical aspect the seasons are not seen so well, and it lacks the essence of Wintersun, in the lyric it is the same perfection.


that's all what bands from north is all about.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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