Finsterforst
...Zum Tode Hin

I could be lazy and simply tell you if you like Equilibrium, then you will like Finsterforst (Dark Forest) and be done with it. After all, they also hail from Germany, play lavishly produced, epic, bombastic synth laden folk metal that culls heavily from Finntroll, Turisas and Ensiferum and they are fuckin’ awesome. However, I’ll go into a little more detail.

2007s Weltenkraft (which I immediately recommend to any fan of Equilibrium) would have been one of my albums of the year had I heard it back in 2007 and it’s one of the best blind purchases I have ever made, so when I heard the follow album was released, I scoured the internet to find it (thanks to Red Stream Inc Mail Order) and it was well worth the significant hunt.

…Zum Tode Hin (…Towards Death) basically follows where Weltenkraft left off with an almost pure Equilibrium worship but the band has made a subtle changes. First off, the length of the songs has increased greatly from the already considerable length displayed on Weltenkraft …Zum Tode Hin is comprised of only 5 songs and they range from 11 to 21 minutes and 70 minutes of music.  And second, while listening to the slightly more somber, but still utterly epic, accordion/flute/synth drenched builds and peaks, I could not help thinking of Moonsorrow’s Voimasta Ja Kunniasta and Kivenkantaja as comparisons to the sheer scope and delivery of the songs. While Weltenkraft was generally more direct and to the point in its up beat, galloping folkiness, the songs on…Zum Tode Hin often take their time to reach their majestic, stirring peak, but it’s more than worth it.

The more melancholy builds of lengthy tracks like opener “Urquell”, “Das große Erwachen” the 21 minute, super epic, closer “Untertang”  and favorite “Sturmes Ernte” are almost always rewarded with some sort of rousing, bouncy mid song peak or rollicking humpa/blast beat/gallop that will bring a grin to all fans of any bands mentioned so far though I do miss the immediate canter of “Die Suche nach dem Licht” and “Rauschende Nächte” from Weltenkraft (though “Sienes Glueckes Schmied” does get right to it, it quickly returns to a more melancholy trot). Still, the bulk of the material is as good as anything on Sagas and in fact the track “Mana” from Sagas is a good measuring stick for a lot of the tempered material on …Zun Tode Hin. However, there less going on vocally as Marco Schomas only delivers a black rasp for the whole album except for a few somber choirs here and there.

Folk metal looks to be downright exploding in 2009 with this very under the radar release as well as the likes of Blackguard, Crimfall, Tyr, Fejd, Glittertind, Alestorm, Thyrfing and Hammer Horde.

Hold your Heathen Hammer High!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 28th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Grimulfr

    great band. I picked up Wiege der Finsternis back in January 07 based only on the write up on Metal Archives (and because they are German). They have yet to disappoint.

    Mana is my favorite Equilibrium song.


  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I know you’d say that Grim.


  3. Commented by: Stiffy

    Sounds like my thing


  4. Commented by: Alveus Lacuna

    Thanks for the ‘heads-up’ on Red Stream carrying it. I’m ordering it now. The samples sound outstanding.


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