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Finsterforst - Rastlos
23 November 2012

01. Nichts Als Asche
02. Fremd
03. Am Scheideweg
04. Stirbt Zuletzt
05. Ein Lichtschein
06. Rast
07. Flammenrausch

The remnants of what used to be one of the largest forests in Europe still conceal its share of mysticism and magic. Many a creepy tale originated from the German Black Forest and from the very same Black Forest hails the pagan folk metal band aptly named Finsterforst [Dark Forest in English]. For their upbeat display of pagan mastery on their previous album, they have garnered much deserved attention across the folk scene. Yet they have been criticized for sounding like Moonsorrow. Some people you can never satisfy. Somewhere along the road, people have seemed to forget that folk metal has its deepest roots in Germany. Well before the Vikings revived the flame, a few occult bands were throwing caution to the wind by reinventing the tried-and-true music from medieval time. Finsterforst are the proud descendants of those bands and their third studio album Rastlos [Restless in English] is here to consolidate their status.

Gone is singer Marco Schomas replaced by Oliver Berlin, other than that the core of the band remains unchanged. The special Finsterforst musical approach brings an eerie dimension to the opening track. Far from being festive, the oddly out-of-place accordion melodies seem to add a layer of mystery to the whole thing. Early on the epic-o-meter is reaching high levels without plagiarizing anyone. Extra room is being provided for chants and generally the band sounds like they are trying to emphasize the atmospheres even if it means taking down the guitars down a notch. Not unlike their previous efforts there is a lot going on during the first few listens and it takes a while to decode the brilliance of the album. Acoustic guitars sprout out of nowhere, bridges multiply with no end in sight and song structures are quasi-impossible to define, which gratifies the progressive aspect of yours truly. In typical folk metal fashion, most tracks are over ten minutes yet none seem to overstay its welcome. As for "Flammenrausch", the amazing closing track, it keeps on giving all along its almost 23 minute-clocking time.

If Tolkien had been German, this could have been the soundtrack of the Lord of the Rings it's so epically grand. While ...Zum Tode Hin focused on power riffs and strong rhythms, Rastlos accentuates spellbinding atmospheres without losing the magic touch that brought Finsterforst into the fold of the pagan forefront. The promo kit touts "Ein majestätisches und episches Meisterwerk! A majestic and epic masterpiece!" I could not agree more. This is folk metal at its finest as far as I am concerned.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Band profile: Finsterforst
Album: Rastlos


Written on 20.11.2012 by
Demonic Tutor
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Comments: 15  
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Greg L. - 20.11.2012 at 06:05  
Havent heard a good folk metal album in a while, I'll have to check this out!
tuerda - 20.11.2012 at 06:15  
The first album was a run of the mill half baked thing, the second album showed a lot of growth, and even a few hints of true greatness. I have been looking forward to see what they came up with this time. I would not be surprised if it turned out to be the best folk metal album of the last half decade, but I have also been bracing myself for a disappointment. This review makes me very hopeful.
R'Vannith - 20.11.2012 at 06:47  
Consider me very interested. Their previous album was decent from what I recall.
Grody2themax - 20.11.2012 at 07:35  
!!! I didn't know they were even coming out with a new album. This is amazing news. They're one of the only modern folk influenced bands out there right now that is worth listening to. (They're an essential imo)

I can't wait to check this out, and by the review it sounds like its at least as worthwhile as the previous.
Fredd - 20.11.2012 at 16:09  
Extremely interested in this. Great review also.
Andrew_Deer - 20.11.2012 at 18:27  
Glad to hear it's still great! Thanks for review.
ƒenrisúlfr - 21.11.2012 at 23:11  
Will definitely have to check this one out
MetalManic - 22.11.2012 at 02:21  
"Acoustic guitars sprout out of nowhere"

Love the choice of words here
Greg L. - 24.11.2012 at 08:08  
Written by Pitwulf93 on 20.11.2012 at 11:54

Written by Greg L. on 20.11.2012 at 06:05

Havent heard a good folk metal album in a while, I'll have to check this out!

Eluveitie-Helvetios? Elvenking-Era? Ensiferum-Unsung Heroes? Heidevolk-Batavi? Korpiklaani-Manala? Krampus-Survival of the Fittest? Trollfest-Brumlebassen? Hammer Horde-Vinlander?
I think this has been a great year for folk metal so far!

I don't care for most of those bands to be honest lol xD
Requiem. - 25.11.2012 at 01:23  
Hmm... For some reason I've gotten tired of most folk metal bands. Finsterforst being one of the few exceptions for me to still care about. Deff picking this one up someday. Accordion powerrrrr
Maxx666 - 27.11.2012 at 20:33  
This is an album worth dying for. Always have been a huge fan of Finterforst and this gem is just jaw-dropping. Meets my expectation in every way an much more.10/10
Daniell - 27.11.2012 at 20:42  
For want of a new Moonsorrow album, this will suffice. But the mere fact that the band is ripping off Moonsorrow almost all the time, the rating can't be too high.
FeskarN - 27.11.2012 at 21:04  
Thanks to this review I have re-discovered this band. This album sounds really like Moonsorrow. The atmosphere is impressive. Will check out their previous albums
Folkbill - 28.02.2013 at 12:06  
Nice album and they really sound like Moonsorrow , anyway Finsterforst has become like the union of Moonsorrow and Equilibrium
Magere Tijn - 01.02.2015 at 22:37  
In what universe is sounding like Moonsorrow a bad thing? Both are awesome bands and great at what they do. Indeed, Rastlos reminds me of Moonsorrow, but it's still cleary Finsterforst. Nicht Als Asche is one hell of an opening track.

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