Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Finsterforst - Zerfall

Finsterforst have long been one of my favorite bands in the folky black metal underground. It's been four years since their last release Mach Dich Frei. Now they are back with Zerfall the fifth full length from the Germans. This is a record that is consistently a head and shoulders above its peers, nicely straddling both the worlds of pagan black metal and a slightly more mainstream sound. Though some of us were thrown by their 2016 covers EP, #YOLO it feels like the band is back with something reflecting their grandiose roots.

What gets me about Zerfall is the overall quality of the arrangements. There is something simply poetic about the composition on a track like 'Ecce Homo' it really allows you to get lost in the soundscapes presented. Finsterforst consistently go above and beyond here pointing at bold sonic futures and angling towards something greater. In other words, it feels like exactly the sort of masterwork that we have come to expect from a band who built their name on black metal bombast and a deep understanding of the magic of the German forests. What more could a lover of dark and heavy music ask for?

As a general rule the quality of the performances here is once more a step forward from previous output of the band. In particular the clean vocals seem to have obtained a certain majesty that simply wasn't there on their previous output. Zerfall is a mesmerizing release through and through and there are some serious peaks here. I will be impressed if the band ocntinue to build on what they've done here - it's just an impressive record thorugh and through, it makes sense why it took them so long to put it together. Dig in, the forest is calling.

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