REVIEW: The Forest Seasons by Wintersun

It has been a long time since we last heard of Wintersun, with their last album Time 1 in 2012. We’ve been given a great outing this time around with The Forest Seasons, its heavy articulation with orchestrations making this album feel alive and like the beast that it is.

With the amount of teasers that Jari has posted on Facebook, we were all excited to finally hear new material from Wintersun. What we got was something out of the ordinary, a unique masterful album from the mind of Jari and what the guys had to offer us.

The Forest Seasons is based off of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. Jari wanted to make an metal interpretation of it—which has executed marvellously.

The amount of time and hard work put in this album shows Wintersun is capable of evolving as a band—they shine so much on this record alone, with the orchestration done right as if a live orchestra is playing in the background, adding atmosphere and depth. It’s as if you’re on a journey as a lost soul in the forest wandering around. I have not felt so musically attached since Colors from Between the Buried and Me (which is a perfect album). It has that same level of epicness.

“Awaken the Dark Slumber” is the opening track to this four-piece album, and delivers the first blow of how much Wintersun has developed their production as if I heard this in the actual studio with 3D audio. With this album you hear every single detail imaginable, and that is rare for a metal album.

I really like the dynamics and themes in The Forest Seasons. There is a mysterious aura surrounding the song “The Forest That Weeps,” that sucks you in for the ride to get lost in, with aggressive guitars and killer riffs. The atmosphere sets the perfect mood for this song, as if you were fighting an inner demon or conquering a foe in battle.

“Eternal Darkness” is possibly one of the most evil-sounding tracks I have heard in my existence in terms for music—it still haunts me to this day ever since I first listened to it. Using dark themes of one being absorbed by darkness and unable to continue any longer, the song really affected me with its theme, where there is a struggle within the person who is trying to get out of a nightmare that seems impossible. Very much like Carach Angren’s music, there are elements of black metal that are heavily used in this song which adds to its unique characteristics and dynamics. It is very chilling and the orchestrations are very haunting; it is written from Death's point of view as a mistake in the universe. The last few minutes of the song make you feel like you’re being rushed down by monsters, with an evil diminished chord which is super bad ass. Near the end of the track, at the very last moment, Jari shouts, “THERE IS NO END, THERE IS NO BEGINNING, THERE IS ONLY DARKNESS; I AM ETERNAL, I AM DEATH!” Then, it cuts, giving you absolute goosebumps every time before transitioning to “Loneliness.”

The last track “Loneliness” showcases how the whole album is supposed to represent the four seasons as the other band members, each having their own season. “Loneliness” makes you feel alone, isolated, as if it was cold and you were almost at your last breath living the last minutes of your life; trying to forgive, regretting not being able to do things that should have been done. What was done is what was done, and you decay in the snow. This last song heavily focuses on the last minutes of your life; a slow ballad that showcases the emotional side of Wintersun. This is a great track and the best way to end the album, with epic harmonies and riffs and everything that the band has to offer.

Overall, The Forest Seasons is an adventurous landscape, which is something I have not felt in a VERY long time since Between the Buried and Me's Colors. It has that same epic, adventurous, wanderlust feeling, with heavy orchestrations and dramatic pieces that make you cry. I did quite tear up a bit during “The Forest That Weeps,” “Eternal Darkness” and “Loneliness,” and felt adventurous during “Awaken the Dark Slumber.”

On that note, The Forest Seasons is:

  • one of the greatest albums of all time;
  • one of the most amazing musical experiences;
  • one of the most ground-breaking records that will go down in history.