Wintersun - The Forest Seasons album review

A controversial symphonic stopgap that exceeds expectations

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Long story short; Wintersun and Nuclear Blast fought over the band’s plans to crowdfund the sequel to Time I when the label understandably refused to pay for the band to build their studio (with a now-legendary sauna). Apparently a compromise, The Forest Seasons was initially crowdfunded and despite being priced at €50 and offering no physicals whatsoever, raised an incredible €464,000. Now comes the physical release, courtesy of the label – a win/win for both parties… possibly. So it seems this album is designed to extract money for the funding of a more important album… not an encouraging start. However, The Forest Seasons is actually an accomplished piece of work. The four songs (named after the seasons) average 13 minutes long, and each carries its own flavour. Interestingly, it’s a heavier and less flowery affair than, for example, Time I – indeed, The Forest That Weeps (Summer) even enters Primordial-esque territories. The blacker take arguably pushes the music closer to extreme territories, which strangely suits them.