5 Days of Penance – Day 1: Wintersun
  • Timeliness
  • Tease of multiple albums
  • Computer recording software in Finland
  • Live performances NOT in the United States
  • Prospect of there actually being multiple new Wintersun albums

Today marks my first day in a journey of penance, to earn my way back into the good graces of my quasi-loyal readership as well as the staff here at Progulator. In an effort to repent for my absence (and hopefully form some good habits for more consistent future posts — stay tuned), I’ve decided to publish an article on Progulator each day this week, ranging from news to reviews to an interview with a prominent progressive musician. I was even excited to discover that, when this article posts, it will still technically be Monday in Scandinavia, so pretty much everybody can revel and participate in this special Progulator event; Japan, not so much. So please check back every day this week for new and interesting content sprinkled (hopefully!) with a generous helping of entertainment. Also, keep an eye on that review to your right — I’ll explain later.

Now, you might be wondering, “what exactly prompted this lazy bastard to finally start being productive again?” The answer to that question is actually the topic I’d like to address today: Wintersun. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Wintersun is the extreme metal “solo” project of Jari Mäenpää, the former guitarist of Ensiferum. Wintersun released one, and only one, album in 2004, and the self-titled debut almost immediately became a cult favorite among metalheads. At first listen, the record sounds like fast, guttural speed metal that has been spruced up with some keyboards, but those who know and love the album have grown to appreciate the deep concept, progressive influences, and even the rare feat of managing to remain epic THROUGHOUT AN ENTIRE ALBUM!

And yet, there remained a gargantuan elephant in the proverbial room: the long-promised follow-up album has never materialized. “Time,” as it’s been titled, has been to the metal community what Starcraft II was to gamers for so many years: a revered idol, spoken of in whispers but seemingly never closer to actually materializing. We heard about delays in the recording, about hardware issues and computer problems, and then we heard nothing. When the band would finally make an announcement, it would be to announce a random festival gig somewhere in Europe and also to pontificate on further excuses as to why the album wasn’t out yet. Metalheads were pissed. I was pissed. Tyson was so pissed, he used a nice, thick paragraph in our Proggies™ nominations to vent about their ineptitude.

All that being said, several days ago Wintersun delivered their first statement in many years that has actually given me hope. Maybe they miraculously solved their hardware issues or maybe Tyson’s harsh rebuke made them break down and cry before picking themselves up and finishing the album. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. What I do know is that Wintersun has officially announced a new album by the end of the summer. As an added bonus, the band even extended an olive branch to their insanely loyal fans and hinted at multiple albums, the ultimate tease that will almost certainly end in the carpet bombing of Jari’s home if it turns out to be a lie (did I mention their fans are loyal and insane?).

And so, I feel happy, hopeful, confused and possibly a little turned on. Let’s just hope this doesn’t turn out to be another wild goose chase from the reclusive Finnish metallers. And about that review at the beginning? I decided to review Wintersun’s official statement. Take that, Jari!