Sweet Release: Wintersun – The Forest Seasons (2017)

I promise I won’t make any jokes about “time.”

‘Tis the season for the forest, if Jari Maenpaa has anything to say about it. Assuming the album doesn’t get delayed and comes out sometime this year, as the band asserts in their Facebook post, what the fuck will it sound like?

What do I want it to sound like?

Wintersun’s 2006 debut was a formative album for me. It helped me bridge the gap from soaring, melodic power metal to soaring, melodic power metal with death vocals and blast beats. But seriously, Wintersun helped get me acquainted with more extreme metal, which few other bands or albums had been able to do at the time. Time I was a step back in the extremity department for sure, but a leap forward for the kind of band I think Wintersun is currently becoming. Which is a band that doesn’t release albums for years and years (damn it, I blew it!!).

Wintersun's forthcoming 2017 album The Forest Seasons features folky album art, depicting a lush forest with a winding river in its center.

I think The Forest Seasons will be a blend of both Wintersun’s ferocity and Time I’s more cinematic soundscape. A name like “Forest Seasons” almost sounds like we could get some grampa’s guitars, yes? Not to mention the gnarled wood frame of the album art. That’s some Blind Guardian/Elvenking shit. If it were any other band, I’d expect this release to be folk as fuck, but I somehow think they’ll resist the temptation to go all slide whistles and washboard spoons on us. Maybe we’ll get that with Time II.

I don’t think Jari and Co. are writing an album “for the fans” by any means. But I’m guessing the album will be more or less a return to form, for better or worse. Believe me, I want bands to change their sound over time. I love it when they get fucking crazy. But frankly, I don’t think the time for that is right, not from Wintersun. I’m fully ready to embrace The Forest Seasons as a safe, comfortable album for fans and newcomers alike.

If anything, The Forest Seasons has my curiosity piqued. Lemme follow that breadcrumb trail, already.

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