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The Accordion Steals the Show - 60%

hailmarduk666, April 2nd, 2013

Finsterforst's first full length came out and it was a behemoth. There's 10 tracks here, and 75+ minutes of music. For the math whizzes that's about 7 and a half minutes of music a song. This fact leaves the album with two ultimate outcomes. Either it will maintain freshness and not stagnate over the course of the hour and a quarter, or it will become irritating and leave the listener tapping their foot in impatience. While the album has some good points, the resounding conclusion I have, is that I was bored to death after the first two tracks.

Musically, the accordion here is a standout performance. The folky melodies the musician puts out are extremely intricate and impressive. Similar to how the fiddler in Korpiklaani adds some flair to the songs, so does the accordion player in Finsterforst, contributing some excitement to an overall boring album. The accordion is both an upside and the ultimate downfall of the album. This is namely due to the fact that the accordion and drums are pretty much the loudest instruments in the mix. Every once in a while the listener will hear some flute melodies and synths. It's even more rare that the guitars take center stage, and even though there's ample time for them to show their proverbial face, they are relegated mainly to the sidelines. The only times that the bass, guitars, or other instrumentalists are heard substantially are during accordion-less passages. This is a shame because there's some good stuff going on behind the scenes, such as the acoustic introduction to the last track "Verlorene Seelen", but they are heard very seldom and for that reason the album becomes pretty damn boring about 30 minutes in.

Overall, there's some good ideas being bounced around, with lots of melody changes, good drumming, nice atmosphere (when not drowned out by the accordion), decent singing, and guitars that are performed well when heard. Despite the goods, the accordion detracts more than it adds, because it's too loud and overbearing. If only there was a little more restraint regarding this one element, because this album could have been pretty damn good.