Finsterforst - Zerfall review

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Band: Finsterforst
Album: Zerfall
Release date: August 2019

01. Wut
02. Zerfall
03. Fluch Des Seins
04. Weltenbrand
05. Ecce Homo

A 36-minutes-long song! Take that, Moonsorrow!

Finsterforst used to be one of Moonsorrow's clones, and while they found their own sound in the meantime, it is still Moonsorrow who they are closest to with their long epic blackened folk songs. They did get more and more of a sense of identity which culminated with 2015's Mach Dich Frei. But after that, I was a bit worried that it would be hard to take them seriously anymore, with their music being so sober and all, after... you know... so I expected not be able to fully connect with the album's atmospheres after hearing this same band cover a Miley Cyrus song. Turns out I was wrong.

Zerfall pushed the boundaries of how long a Finsterforst album could be, but they've always been over 70 minutes in runtime, and Zerfall is only longer than the next longest one by like three minutes, it is the longest nonetheless. And similar to ...Zum Tode Hin, it is spread out across five tracks, but unlike it, it's not as evenly spread with the gargantuan closing track that I referenced in the intro, "Ecce Homo". And obviously with such a runtime, it's reasonable to question whether the material is spread too thin and forcefully elongated. Yes, some parts do feel like they drag on for a bit, but there really isn't much that I'd really wanna cut from it. Instead, the small number of tracks makes the album flow much better as a whole with track transitions not being very noticeable. This makes the immersion into the album's atmosphere much deeper, so much so that the runtime feels almost justified because of how immersive it is.

"Epic" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, which made it lose some of its meaning, but if it's fit anywhere, it is here. A lot of it is due to the choir-like vocals, but even without those and at its most straightforwardly metal, there's a lot of emphasis on creating a massive sound through the guitars and keyboards. The music being so intricate helps a lot, as it always feels like there is something important going on in the music, instead of just filler. There's plenty of variation in pace and in the melodies and between instruments that keeps the music from ever getting boring by focusing too much on just maintaining an atmosphere. Thus, Zerfall hits two birds with one stone. The music is both engaging due to how well it is arranged, and immersive due to it feeling like a cohesive piece with a lot of atmosphere.

Sure, not much has changed in the sound from the last album, and the accordion still feels underused, but despite the lack of difference Zerfall feels like it has such a greater scope, as if it amplified everything that made them great before. They may have bit a bit more than they could chew at points, but moments like that are rare in between some of the best music that they've written.


Written on 28.08.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 3   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 135 users
28.08.2019 - 17:32
I too was afraid I could never connect with them again after #YOLO .. Especially because my first opportunity to see them live was a couple weeks after that release in one of the worse venues in Berlin .. Hated that show!

But that review made me want to give it a try, thanks!
28.08.2019 - 17:48
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
This is maybe best band, even they were better in the past, you have written a review. More bands like This, this what i call tm... Sarcasm
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
30.08.2019 - 22:27
Magere Tijn
I don't get all the hate on YOLO. It's clearly just the band having fun and just making the music they want to make, whether it's like what they made before or not.

Having said that, this album is so much better. I still like Rastlos better, but man, this is some solid stuff.

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