Germany’s Finsterforst return with their patented “Black Forest Metal” on the epic, ass kicking RASTLOS (“Restless”). This band is for any pagan metal loving music fan. Their sound is sure to stir wanderlust in the heart and appeals to anyone who has an overactive imagination. Dark and vast yet soaring in scope, these songs cover a wide terrain. Corny as it sounds, it’s really like a dream journey into a lost forest of yesterdays.
Harsh black metal vocals collide with melodic choral sections, accordion, chugging metal rhythms and ambient sections. It all combines into a hypnotic and fully engrossing experience that will appeal to metal fans worldwide. Hopefully this band gets a big bump from this excellent Napalm Records release, because they clearly put a lot of work into RASTLOS and deserve it. When “Ein Lichtschein” finally explodes into black metal fury and then accordion somehow works on top of the established darkness, you will swear this band is a bunch of geniuses. This is bold music that takes risks yet they pay off and also the band are very true to form in maintaining a bedrock of traditional metal influences as well.
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RASTLOS is one of the best epic metal odysseys I have heard in a long time. It is up there in scope with Leaves’ Eyes great and recent MEREDEAD (though very different in sound). The gorgeous beginning section of “Fremd” is worth the price of the album alone, lush acoustics and thrilling mystical power heralding a surge of metal might. “Rast” transports you to a calm, meditative grove with nature sounds while “Stirbt zuletzt” marches through numerous thrilling and very moving passages. The guitar work and general musicianship on display is bad ass and professional. Much respect to the band as well for their ability to keep these lengthy songs interesting. Before you know it you are totally caught up in the picture they are painting. I am sure this would be quite an experience in a live setting. This is Viking/folk in the best way.
It is very cool how this band can make you reflect on times spent in nature, and yet in a different way than a band like Wolves In The Throne room. It is great to hear a record and, even with cultural barriers, know that the band is expressing a lot of their heritage and passion in the universal language of music. And even better…METAL!