FINSTERFORST
Folk Metal • Germany

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Finsterforst is a folk metal band from Freiburg/Emmendingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, formed in 2004. The group formed as a four-piece band which consisted of Marco Schomas (vocals), Simon Schillinger (guitar), Tobias Weinreich (bass) and Sebastian "AlleyJazz" Scherrer (keyboards).

Gradually the group expanded into a seven-piece band. Johannes Joseph (accordian) and David Schuldis (guitar) both joined in 2005 and Cornelius "Wombo" Heck (drums) completed the line-up in 2006.

Original vocalist Marco Schomas parted ways with the band in 2009. He was replaced by Oliver Berlin in 2010.
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Rastlos Finsterforst Audio CD Rastlos Finsterforst Audio CD USD $25.65 Buy It Now 2 days
Finsterforst - Mach Dich Frei CD 2015 limited digipack folk metal Napalm Records Finsterforst - Mach Dich Frei CD 2015 limited digipack folk metal Napalm Records USD $14.95 Buy It Now 4 days
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Mach Dich FreiMach Dich Frei
Napalm Records 2015
Audio CD$8.98
$8.97 (used)
RastlosRastlos
Limited Edition
Napalm Records 2012
Audio CD$7.99
$8.83 (used)
UrwerkUrwerk
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$13.44
$25.69 (used)
Zum Tode HinZum Tode Hin
Caroline 2009
Audio CD$16.70
$30.60 (used)
WeltenkraftWeltenkraft
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$49.95
$38.86 (used)
Mach Dich Frei by FinsterforstMach Dich Frei by Finsterforst
Napalm Records
Audio CD$41.88
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FINSTERFORST Discography

FINSTERFORST albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Weltenkraft
Folk Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
...zum Tode hin
Folk Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 5 ratings
Rastlos
Folk Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Mach Dich Frei
Folk Metal 2015

FINSTERFORST EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Wiege der Finsternis
Folk Metal 2006

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.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Urwerk
Folk Metal 2010

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FINSTERFORST Reviews

FINSTERFORST Mach Dich Frei

Album · 2015 · Folk Metal
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adg211288
Mach Dich Frei (2015) is the fourth full-length album by German folk metal act Finsterforst. I first heard these guys with their previous album Rastlos (2012) and was left with mixed feelings: here was an album made up of mostly long epic length tracks but rarely felt as if the band were justifying such durations even though they had plenty of good ideas scattered throughout the album and the end result was that it dragged on for me. You can understand therefore why I approached Mach Dich Frei with a bit of caution, as here was another album from Finsterforst made up of mostly long tracks, including the near twenty-four minute band titled track closing the album.

Fortunately whatever went wrong on Rastlos has been ironed out of the Finsterforst formula and I've found myself treated not only to an album which doesn't drag in the slightest but one which improves on everything its predecessor did on every level. Idealistically this is much the same as last time but the execution is very much improved. This music instantly shows itself to be really quite powerful stuff, conveying blackened intensity mixed with both atmospheric and epic moods. The symphonic metal elements that the band use in some songs are loud and dramatic while the folk elements sound much more tastefully done than they did on Rastlos. Like with that album you won't be hearing folk sounds all of the time, Finsterforst aren't going to be letting you forget they're a metal band anytime soon (though they do serve up the pure folk instrumental Reise zum.. on here), but I'd still call this a folk metal release overall. Some may prefer to say it has a so called viking metal sound but I never liked that term all that much, though this does certainly fit the description of it I have to grudgingly admit. Fans of either should be lapping Mach Dich Frei up though.

One thing that Mach Dich Frei really does have in common with Rastlos though is that Finsterforst save the best track for last which again is a twenty plus minute epic. Sharing it's name with the band, Finsterforst conveys even more varied ideas within the album's already quite varied style to the point that one could even call it a more progressive take on what the band does. The album is excellent up until this point but the band really pulled out all the stops here. It's quite fitting that the track and band share a name, as I can't name any better song from Mach Dich Frei that really puts across everything good about Finsterforst.

To cut a long story short Finsterforst may have frustrated me with their last album but they've more than made up for it with the release of Mach Dich Frei. Consider this reviewer 100% won over. 4.5 stars.

FINSTERFORST Rastlos

Album · 2012 · Folk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Rastlos is the third full-length album by German folk metal act Finsterforst. It’s been a few years since the release of their prior album ...zum Tode hin (2009) but with the exception of a couple of shorter interlude type tracks which appear on Rastlos, Finsterforst returns with another album comprised of long drawn out tracks, this time ranging from 10:20 to 22:10 minutes in length. With seven songs including the interludes Rastlos is a truly mammoth album.

The pity here is that Rastlos generally doesn’t feel as if each tracks uses those epic durations to the full extent of their potential. Musically speaking Rastlos is the sort of folk metal album which builds upon a black metal base through the lead vocals and instrumentation and then introduces folk elements through instruments such as tin whistles and accordions to provide the more melodic sections, while keyboards and clean vocals also play a role to create this side of the sound. You aren’t going to specifically hear an obvious folk element all the time in an album like Rastlos but you don’t necessarily need to have it for every second of a release for it to still be folk metal, so Rastlos is best described as the sort of folk metal release which favours its metal side over its folk side, which ultimately makes it end up sounding like a true black/folk metal hybrid than some other albums which have combined the styles. The thing is it seems that most of the songs just plod along, utilising some good ideas here and there but ultimately overstaying their welcome.

It’s the sort of album where, while listening to it its very enjoyable for a couple of tracks but by the time we’re getting towards midway through it starts becoming something of an ‘I’ve heard this before experience’. The clean vocals have a nice tone to them which works with the folk side of the band well but they also lack variation, sounding the same pretty much every time they are used while the album is general feels quite formulaic. All the main songs carry the same kind of melancholic approach to making folk metal and while this works for the band it would be nice if they threw a few surprises into the mix. If you think the long songs mean you’ll get something progressive on Rastlos then think again, as the album is decidedly un-progressive. If it had been, it may have worked better than it does. Additionally the interlude tracks come across as somewhat useless.

Ironically by the time we get to the end of the album and the 22:10 minute track Flammenrausch, things seem to suddenly go right for Finsterforst and they produced not only the best song on the album, but also proved that they can use such long running times to their full potential. I’m just rather flummoxed as to why it took until the final song for everything to come together for them. I still wouldn’t call the track top tier material, but it comes a lot closer than everything that comes before it.

Rastlos is one of those albums which is truly frustrating as with a bit of trimming I may have come away from this one feeling a lot more positive. Although they featured shorter songs on their debut album Weltenkraft (2007) the whole long songs thing seems to have become a Finsterforst thing over the last couple of albums and while I can’t say how well it may have worked on ...zum Tode hin, as I haven’t heard that album, I’m quite disappointed by the ultimate execution of Rastlos, where all the songs have some great stuff to offer but the album as a whole just doesn’t quite manage to sit right with me. Still, Rastlos is a satisfying album in small doses, so a good album tier rating is deserved.

73/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

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