With this fourth album, Nikita Kamprad and his unholy followers of Der Weg Einer Freiheit are ever more clearly continuing their way to the absolute acme of German melancholic black metal. Finisterre combines the raging energy of bands like Endstille with the atrabilious reveries of acts such as Imperium Dekadenz, Helrunar, Heimdalls Wacht and by times even a little bit of Totalselfhatred. The result is a varied, enthralling album alternating very serene melodic parts with scourging blast beats and sensitive post-black metal elements. And all of this in five deliciously lingering songs!
Aufbruch opens the album. In a spoken intro, we contemplate the difference between humans and animals. Then we are immediately thrown head over heels into a fast, uncompromising sequence, only to be released in a very atmospheric melody dripping with nostalgia. Towards the end, a fantastic musical and emotional crescendo is to be heard: from one to two guitars, later accompanied by a somberly booming drum. One could just as well have chosen for a climax of raging brutal energy, but this result is much better: an intense, contemplative and emotional finale.
Ein Letzter Tanz is a showpiece of the alternation between clean and distorted guitars and the intense emotionally expressive capabilities of both. The music nicely builds up into a blast beat, however the tone remains somber, gloomy and compelling. The drums keep you under and drown you right up to the point when can barely hold it. Ultimately, liberation follows in the shape of more interchanging drum patterns, riffs and paces. This song is another example of the traditional German black metal, with rhythms like an unstoppable train and cymbals all over the place. The music is very enthralling and, on stage (like on Summer Breeze, this August) has the same effect as the better stoner and doom acts: you simply get merged into it. This gets all the more confirmed by the long outro of a slow, splendid riff at the end of the song.
Skepsis I starts agitatedly, panicky. Two simple guitar notes alternate each other like a lugubrious bomb alert. The pace remains high and variation increases throughout the song, while the bomb alert theme remains. After that, we all jump on the unstoppable German black metal train. We have a short stop in a very calm clean piece, which feels a little Mediterranean thanks to the fast strumming on the snares. A booming, oppressive drum seamlessly pushes the song into Skepsis II. This is a whole other story: we are dropped in the middle of a piece of brutal black metal in the likes of Endstille, the atmosphere is completely different. After about a minute, the melancholy finds its way back in, with guitars tormented to the point that they got a flute-like sound. Both elements (brutal and melancholic) keep interchanging. The end of the song is once more very lingering, with a slow drum nicely supporting the sad guitar howls. The notes take forever but reach the wanted effect, only proving that simplicity is sometimes golden.
The album is concluded by Finisterre itself, a great threatening and naughty song with a lot more groove to it than the other tracks. Feistier, more uncompromising old school black metal. Halfway through the song, this energy is abruptly broken by a modest, jazzy bass line and a somber violin. An explosion of raging intensity follows, but the violin keeps haunting us. We continue slowly, devastating all around us, until the German train disappears into the distance. With only the violin to comfort us after this experience, we have to say goodbye…
Lyrically, too, the album is top notch, mere poetry. Aufbruch is a metaphorical last walk through nature before your appointment with Death. Ein Letzter Tanz is a memory to a departed daughter. Skepsis I and II are one big existential crisis and Finisterre screams a rather nihilistic worldhatred.
In conclusion, we can say that Finisterre from Der Weg Einer Freiheit is a triumph of traditional German style, melancholic black metal at its best. The album juggles slow, lingering pieces and murderous fast parts in a good balance between power and emotion. Label Season Of Mist delivers once more! A must have for every fan of the genre.
Release Date: August 25th, 2017
Record Label: Season Of Mist
2. Ein Letzter Tanz
3. Skepsis pt. 1
4. Skepsis pt. 2