Originally reviewed here.
Folk metal has been one of the latest genres I have really gotten into. Finntroll was the first folk metal band I heard and I soon realized that not all folk metal sounded like that. While I still like the fun, beer-drinking music that Finntroll specializes in, I gravitate more towards darker and more serious-sounding folk metal. Finsterforst, whose name means "dark forest" in German, seemed like it would be likely to be up my alley in that respect.
I will admit this one was a little bit daunting when looking at the track lengths. This band writes some very long songs, including the 22 minute opus "Flammenrausch". But long songs can be very entertaining when they are well-written and variable enough to keep things interesting. Luckily, this is what Finsterforst does here. There are five tracks that break the ten minute barrier, but it does not feel like that.
The music is, in a word, epic. It is extremely dramatic with impressive guitar riffs and melodies. Even the accordion sounds great in this music. Finsterforst does a great job of molding the folk elements with the metallic elements. The vocals are typically delivered in a harsh snarl which is to be expected from this type of metal.
The only real issue I have with this album is that it does not do much to stand out from the pack. Other than the ridiculously long songs, there is not much to say that Finsterforst does that is appreciably better than most other folk metal bands. The music is certainly interesting, but that does not mean that I would be clamoring for Finsterforst over a group like Thyrfing or Moonsorrow.