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Review: Finsterforst - Rastlos

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2012
Duration: 1:17:50
Tracks: 7
Genre: Pagan Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: December 14, 2012
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.41/5 (88.29%) (41 Votes)

I had heard this band's previous album, and it had not impressed me. I hear so much folk "metal" that is just an excuse for ripping off old Ensiferum albums while playing a concertina that I am deeply skeptical of new albums I get for review. There is so much of it, and so much of it is nonsense. So I slapped this in and holy fucking shit.

Rather than wallow in the tootling BS of their old works, Finsterforst have gone ahead and ripped off Moonsorrow instead, and I mean that in a really good way. This is an amazing album of massive, folk-fueled riffage and epic songwriting that sounds so much like Moonsorrow you would swear it is - except Moonsorrow's last album wasn't this good, plus Finsterforst don't have that dark, brooding feel of Moonsorrow's recent works. Huge, rich guitar riffs wash over the music like sea-waves, with genuine folk instrumentation popping up here and there for emphasis. The vocals even sound like Ville Sorvali, and the clean singing is actually really good and well integrated.

None of this would work if Rastlos were not as well produced as it is. The sound is huge, deep and clear, with the mix putting everything in its proper place, allowing no sound to overwhelm and the compositions to shine through. These songs are big, (without counting the two short instrumentals) from the ten-minute "Stirbt Zuletzt" to the unbelievable twenty-two minutes of "Flammenrausch" - a song that is huge, but works as a real composition, not just something dragged out to be long for the sake of it.

Color me utterly impressed. I love it when a third-rate band turns around and puts out a first-rate album, and that is just what happened here. It could be a fluke, or we could be seeing the arrival of a major new force on the scene. This album is a complete triumph for everyone involved.

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