Finsterforst
Jenseits EP

Unfortunately, I missed the last album, Zerfall, from these guys. So the last taste in my mouth from them was the strange tangent EP, #YOLO, a departure from the band’s epic, cinematic stylings. But from what I gather Zerfall was indeed a return form of prior albums like2 012s Rastlos and 2015s  Mach Dich Frei.

The band’s transition from Equilibrium rip-off ( albeit a really good one), into a more stirring and epic style of pagan black metal akin to latter Moonsorrow and Viking era Bathory has been a welcome transition and this EP (on a new label, AOP Records) certainly hammers those influences home with rousing, sweeping grandiosity.

Jenseits (‘Beyond’) is one 40-minute song broken up into 4 parts, ans was recorded in 3D (whatever that means), but what you get is an absolutely stunning, immersive 4o minutes that’s a joy to absorb in one sitting on good headphones.

Once again, the massive Hans Zimmer-esque Brass orchestration dominates the sprawling mid-paced black metal vistas along with choirs, keyboards, duduk and flutes making the EP the band’s most cinematic, bombastic and grandiose release to date. Guitarist/vocalist/composer Simon Schillinger should look into scoring movies and video games.

Right out of the gate, we get the rousing clean vocals and choirs that start “Kapitel I: Freiheit” and lead into a stern, mid-paced stomp which continues for “Kapitel II: Dualität”, but with a sterner militant gait and a super rousing, brass filled climax to finish the track.  The third track, “Kapitel III – Reflexionen” is a reflective 5-minute number that’s all acoustic and mellow before the EPs 15-minute closing track highlights what Finsterforst has been perfecting over the last few years; a sprawling epic with a stirring choral bridge and even some blast beats at the 10 and a half minute mark, that’s truly magnificent.

The track ends with a reprise from the choral introduction of the first track, tying everything together into one lengthy EP that’s well worth your money (longer than some albums) and shows Finsterforst, whatever label they are on, is a force to be reckoned with in the genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 1st, 2023

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