There’s a constant struggle going through my heart on whether I love riffs or atmosphere more in my metal. Some days it can vary; maybe I prefer Slayer over Burzum one day. It just depends on the day, but it’s a constant rivalry nevertheless. On this particular rainy day, however, my heart pushed me in the direction of atmosphere. And when I want atmosphere in my metal, I inevitably find my way towards black metal. Thus, I discovered Finisterre by Der Weg einer Freiheit.

I’ll start out by saying that I really enjoyed this album, but I don’t think my black metal purists out there will enjoy this. Finisterre does not adhere to the typical conventions of black metal; it takes the backbone of it, and stretches it out to fit the ambient, atmospheric environment they wanted to create and I think they succeeded in that regard. But if you go into this album expecting something along the lines of Transilvanian Hunger you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Germany’s Der Weg Einer Freiheit excels in building an atmosphere around the listener with discordant guitar tone. They don’t continually stay at a breakneck pace in a track; they’ll mix it up every now and then to fit the direction the track is heading in.

As with most black metal and most albums that I truly enjoy, no one track stands out on this release. This is a one-sitting album, meaning you need to experience the full album in one listening to truly absorb it. However, if pressed to choose a favorite track on this album, I have to go with the title track which closes out the album. The opening guitar riff is absolutely evil. The drums are doing exactly what the song demands while still remaining interesting. The vocalist has some of the better vocals I’ve heard in modern black metal. He’s controlled, evil-sounding, yet still intelligible; absolutely phenomenal.

Honestly, I’m not really sure what else to say about this album. It’s just a great listening experience. It’s certainly not an all-time great black metal release, and this year has been so stacked with great new music that I’m not sure if it will make it on my end of year list, but I recommend listening to Finisterre regardless. If you’re a black metal purist, you may not enjoy it as much, but don’t go in expecting Darkthrone and don’t go in expecting Deafheaven and you may just enjoy it.

All in all, I’ll give this album a 3.5/5; a very solid modern black metal album.

You can find the album on Bandcamp here

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