Back in 2015, Germany’s Der Weg Einer Freiheit proved to the black metal world that they were a force to be reckoned with thanks to the outstanding musicianship on Stellar. An album which never overstayed its welcome, but also didn’t skimp on the delivery, Stellar featured a fresh, exciting new direction that the band had been working on and progressing since day one. Two years later, Der Weg Einer Freiheit have released a new album which both builds on this musical direction and takes it into new realms. Finisterre is one hell of a way to follow-up a record as already breathtaking as Stellar was.
Finisterre, like its predecessor, doesn’t overstay its welcome at a relatively short running time of 45 minutes. Five tracks however renders an average song length of 9 minutes, and it never seems to dwell in filler territory. Instead, the constant twists and turns of musical focus render the likes of opener “Aufbruch” and the two-part epic “Skepsis” completely fresh and exciting from start to finish. In the former, the band utilize softly spoken narratives and an acoustic intro and turn it into a whirlwind of emotive, fast-paced black metal which is far from the monotonous nature of the sub-genre’s more traditional stance. “Skepsis” on the other hand, jumps straight into a frenzied, aggressive assault from the get-go, and that’s with both parts. However, the first part is wholly instrumental, deviating from any gritty, raw soundscapes and instead opting for an epic, almost orchestral flourish as the ever precise guitar work spirals upwards into celestial power. The second part retains the band’s beginnings as black metal in its most feral form seems to be held at the forefront. Alas, it isn’t a bad thing, because the band hone this style and turn it into their own sound, one which is virtually unmatched.
Finisterre also touches on more progressive territory, particularly because of the way in which the album’s lengthier tracks-“Ein Letzter Tanz” and the title track (both over ten colossal minutes each)-change form without featuring any undue hesitation. The former features arguably the most precisely delivered albeit progressive intro of all five tracks, with a strong, confident build-up of acoustic harmony and ethereal surrounding atmosphere. From then on, the band embark on an epic, blastbeat-ridden sound which, alike its neighbouring songs, delivers uplifting emotional passion. The title track is excellent in the sense that it feels like a closer, because of the dramatic tones and soulful musicianship throughout. The usage of violins, cleaner guitar sound and clean vocal territory all work together to produce a fitting finale to an already excellent black metal release. As said before, it never quite feels like the closing title track is really over-reaching in order to spread the song’s length out to unnecessary running times. Instead, it flies by in what seems virtually not time at all, enticing the listener to listen further and enjoy a more thorough, in-depth experience.
With Finisterre, Der Weg Einer Freiheit have absolutely outdone themselves. Stellar was excellent enough, but Finisterre seems to have built on virtually all of the band’s finest aspects, and in the process created one of of 2017’s most precise albeit emotional black metal releases. Der Weg Einer Freiheit are thus in a field of their own.
Released: 25th August, 2017
- Ein Letzter Tans
- Skepsis I
- Skepsis II