"An epic journey from light to darkness and back." Wintersun finally confirm release date and details of Time II, the Chinese Democracy of extreme metal

Wintersun Press Pic 2024
(Image credit: Onni Wiljami Kinnunen)

Finnish extreme metallers Wintersun have finally announced the release date of their long-awaited new album Time II

A decades-long project, band leader Jari Mäenpää began writing Time all the way back in 2004, shortly after the release of their self titled debut album.  Although recording began in 2006, a series of misfortunes and delays meant Time I didn't actually arrive until 2012, when it was announced the band would be releasing it in two separate installments. 

It was initially expected that Time II would be released in 2014, but was ultimately shelved and the band instead released an entirely different record with The Forest Seasons in 2017. 

Speaking about the album, Jari described Time II as "an epic journey from light to darkness and back to light, exploring the universe and energy, contrasting dark stormy landscapes to calm and beautiful cherry blossom tree gardens with misty, snowy mountains that will leave you breathless." 

"It has songs with furious speed of drums, guitars, and bass and beautiful melodic slower songs with a magical exotic influence," he continues. "It has massive orchestrations and choirs spiced with ancient world instruments and glimmering synths. It has Jari's soaring, clean singing contrasted with his aggressive style. It is a highly detailed and complex album where you will find new things with every listen."

Comprised of six tracks, Time II will stylistically draw from a number of metallic subgenres including folk, melodeath and symphonic metal.

In his four-star review of the first installment, Tom Dare wrote, "There’s a staggering amount going on, and it all sounds absolutely spectacular, the guitars veering between half a dozen different metal styles while a level of symphonic widdle makes the whole thing sound vast, heroic and dense." 

In the run up to release, Wintersun launched a crowdfunding campaign that had over 10,000 backers. With the funds raised, the band suggested they had not only completed Time II, but also had "four future albums already in a good place". 

In April, the band released a thank you message on YouTube that included some snippets of music from the upcoming release.

Time II is available to pre-order now.

Wintersun - TIME PACKAGE - 10,000 Backers Reached - THANK YOU - YouTube Wintersun - TIME PACKAGE - 10,000 Backers Reached - THANK YOU - YouTube
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Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.