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WINTERSUN 'Wintersun' - 96%

HarleyAtMetalReview, June 27th, 2005

If you could only fathom how floored I was when I learned that members of Rhapsody and Ensiferum had joined forces with the one and only Yngwie J. Malmsteen, to bring forth the super group of all metal super groups. Later, it was brought to my attention that Children Of Bodom's very own Alexi Laiho had closed the books on his highly acclaimed band to hook up with none other than Finntroll. Such events will undoubtedly house some of the most spine-tingling music ever to be put on tape. Okay, so you caught me! Both of the previous statements were indeed falsified, but I meant well. At least now you have a pretty accurate understanding of what lies ahead when you listen to Wintersun's bewildering eight track debut album.

The self-titled disc is an unprecedented neo-folk shredfest from former Ensiferum main man, Jari Mäenpää. Revealing just how adept he is, Jari wrote, recorded, and produced the entire record with no more assistance than a session drummer (courtesy of Rotten Sound's Kai Hahto) and his own staggering talents. He sings, screams, plays guitar and keys; Who knew the man was capable of so much? Certainly not this kid. I would have to reluctantly presume this is what initially led to his departure from Ensiferum. He clearly needed to focus his efforts on a band that would allow him to fully showcase his potential and ability.

There really isn't a whole lot about Wintersun that my doctored description doesn't already convey. Just take my word for it when I tell you that this is one of the most breathtaking debut offerings to grace the scene in a very long time. Between the headlines over at Nuclear Blast reading 'The powerful and majestic rebirth of former Ensiferum vocalist, Jari Mäenpää!' and Norther vocalist Petri Lindroos joining Ensiferum to fill Jari's shoes as the momentary front man, this should garner up some much deserved attention for all three bands.