bY Lord Randall

Never having come across Bavaria’s DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT before "Finisterre", I wasn’t sure what to expect, and was pleased because of this. As much utter swill and pompous sow’s ears made up as silk purses as come across my desk, I’ve sometimes taken to reading very little on bands prior to first listen for review, in order to approach without preconceived notions. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I get arse-bitten. 

Strangely, the spoken intro to ‘Aufbruch’ draws me in in exactly the same way 99.9% of intro tracks don’t. Once the opener gets going, melodic guitars join mayhem-conjuring rhythms, striding onto the field of battle as one, yet make no mistake. The blackened metal brought by DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT is not of the bowel-obliterating Ross Bay Cult, nor the avante gard transcendence of NARGAROTH. Think "Eulogy IV" NACHTMYSTIUM lain alongside the much-missed NAGELFAR, and you wouldn’t be too far from what’s happening here. ‘Skepsis (Part I)’ acts as an instrumental fulcrum to" Finisterre", succeeding as one of the few full-on instrumental black metal songs I’ve come across to hold interest, and leads into ‘Skepsis (Part II)’, sole original member, guitarist/vocalist Nikita Kamprad carving sigils in his esophagus with razored scream as Tobias Schuler sets himself apart as a drummer of the Hoglan/Lombardo school, and a high point of the album as a whole. 

Culminating with the title track, DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT has, with album number four, achieved the ever more rare feat of making these old, withered ears perk up for a black metal band I hadn’t heard before. As it stands, Finisterre is a solid introduction who knows its strengths and plays to them well.