|Review: Wintersun - Wintersun|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2004
Genre: Viking Metal
Review online: December 27, 2004
Reviewed by: ShadowsFall
Rated 4.8/5 (96.04%) (91 Votes)
Wintersun, the new band of former Ensiferum vocalist/guitarist Jari Mäenpää is now apparently his full time band after his departure from Ensiferum. It's a shame Ensiferum couldn't keep it together because they most definitely had something going for them. It will be interesting to see how Ensiferum's next album sounds with Petri Lindroos (Norther) on vocals/guitar and Sami Hinkka on bass. Luckily with the loss that Ensiferum suffered it wasn't the end for fans of Jari and his excellent viking/folk mastermind. I didn't have to wait long because I am a pretty new fan of Ensiferum and by the time I had both of their albums Wintersun came out. When I heard this was Jari's new band I just had to get this to hear if it was as good or better than Ensiferum. Well I wasn't disappointed, in fact, I was pretty impressed.
Wintersun play the same style of metal as Ensiferum, and in fact actually sound almost the same (the only difference probably being Wintersun doesn't use all the different folk instruments). I will not say this album is better than the Ensiferum albums because it's not, but it is pretty much flawless just like Ensiferum. Jari uses more clean vocals on Wintersun and that I like more. I think Wintersun could easily get away with putting out an album with all clean vocals and it would still be as good as any top viking metal band. I love the fast folk riffs and the ass kicking guitar solos. My favorite song on the album Battle Against Time has two of the best guitar solos I have ever heard, the first one starting at 4:16, and the second one starting at 6:12, both have an amazing amount of power and really show the talent of Jari. Not to be missed is the outstanding double bass drumming done by Kai Hahto. Wintersun is a little faster than Ensiferum (at least most of the time) and it gives them a little bit more aggression. I do not want to do a track by track analysis because I like every song on this album, so I don't see the point in going through every one. One thing that separates this album from a lot of albums I've heard is I never get bored no matter how many times I listen to it.
This is a really fine album inspired by a really fine musician, and although we will probably never hear Ensiferum sound as good as they could have (I think their next album would have been even better without the line-up changes) fans of good ass kicking viking metal have something to look forward to in Wintersun; get this now!
Honorably mentionable tracks: Winter Madness, Sleeping Stars, Battle Against Time, Starchild.
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