By Dr. Abner Mality

In recent conversations Wormwood has had with Negura Bunget and Finsterforst, the name of Der Weg Einer Freiheit has come up as a force to be reckoned with. The name is German and translates as "The Way to Freedom". After hearing "Stellar", I can understand why the band is highly regarded and although their style is not really my cup of tea, I can endorse them.

This band uses a very wide palette of colors to construct their lengthy tunes. At the most basic, DWEF is a black metal band and they feature many of the trademarks of modern black metal, including harsh vocals and blazing speed. When this band kicks into high gear, they are as fast as any band out there. But their music is more than just the usual BM grimness. There are feelings of melancholy as well as something soaring and positive. The opening song "Repulsion" goes against the grain because it has a slower, more solemn feel...the ending tune "Unendlich" again does the unexpected because it is fairly short and ends in a very restrained manner. DWEF also gives plenty of time to extremely relaxed and melodic sounds. The song "Idyll" is a subdued acoustic instrumental that one might hear in a garden on a warm summer night. In contrast, "Verbund" is a screaming black metal assault with throat-ripping vocals that would give Gorgoroth a run for their money.

In short, "Stellar" is an album of contrasts, executed with precision. The really long songs like "Eiswanderer" and "Letzte Sonne" tried my patience as most epics do. Every song here, though, has at least one moment that really grabs your attention. Fans of fast and biting black metal who don't mind melody are heartily recommended to check out "Stellar".