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I hate their lyrics but I love their choruses... FUCK - 79%

Forever Underground, August 26th, 2023

If Finist's second album was closer to a power/folk style with some (few) black metal elements mainly referred to some vocal performances, the debut is much more focused towards a more speed/power perspective where the black metal elements are found not only in the vocals but also in their guitar leads and their rawer production. From the opening notes, "Masters of Our Land" rises with a thrashy start into a shrieked vocal performance, until the track is enhanced by a fully anthemic chorus with cleaner and clearer vocals of epic proportions, likewise preceded by a melodic and fast solo that marks the power metal tendencies. This is the mix mash that is "Crosses Shall Burn", in almost every song you will find elements of different genres in a rarely seen way.

Most elements of the album work surprisingly well, the leads vary between being melodic and uplifting to epic and fast, often accompanied with riffage with clear black/folk metal influences, combined with fierce and powerful solos give an unexpected depth and quality to a record that stands out for its poor production and sound, and although such sharp yet clean guitars would clash with such a dirty production, the effect achieved is quite the opposite, giving the album a quite unique dynamism, as if Moonblood were playing speed/power metal, and it works because the riffs and leads are fantastic.

Unlike the sophomore, here there are not so many folk elements, the presence of Saturious is much less in that kind of instruments, however his presence in the keyboards is still vital in the compositions, being in numerous occasions the main force of certain segments, the keyboards have a peculiar presence in this release, because by sound and aesthetics they are much closer to the work of Saturious himself in Nokturnal Mortum, having a more symphonic approach as can be seen in the intro of "Victory" or in certain leads of "Wolves Are Alive". Again, this symphonic factor, although at first it should seem discordant, ends up fitting in, and even more thanks to the rawness of the production, where that kind of keyboard works very well.

Speaking of Saturious, their vocals are bad, but you can get used to them as I did, the use of the shrieks is much more pronounced than on "Awakening" and you can tell that he's more comfortable there, but also with the black metal riffage on this album it doesn't sound as discordant as on their next album, leaving the clean vocals almost exclusively for the choruses. And damn, what choruses, they are rampantly epic, direct and totally anthemic, it's a shame that the lyrics are pure Nazi bullshit, because as far as these sections are concerned the album is of the absolute highest quality, with more epic, memorable and catchy choruses than many absolute power metal classics. Plus they fit perfectly whatever musical style accompanies them. This aspect together with their epic leads will be the reason why I want to come back again and again to this work, a surprisingly good fusion between black and power metal as rarely seen before.

Even so, there are thorns in this rose, the production is poor, but even if it is not a problem most of the time, it is really bad in the percussion section, with a blatant and weak drum machine, but the truth is that being the compositions very focused on other instruments in a very concrete way, in the final mix the drums have little relevance so the overall work doesn't suffer much from the consequences. The real horrible act happens with the power folk ballad that is "Winter Will End", which completely cuts the dynamic of the album and breaks all the pace that the album had up to that point, the song is the unpleasant proof that they take themselves too seriously and ruin what could have been a great album.

The fact that this work has so many positive things makes me hate it in part, Finist could have been a band with a unique power metal style that fused different tones and aesthetics while performing an exaggerated style of power/black metal that could have developed as a new and important trend in a more aggressive power metal in the new millennium with atheist and anti-Christian themes. But like everything good in this life, the nazis always ruin it, because of those hateful and terrible lyrics I'm unable to enjoy those brilliantly constructed choruses, I'm unable to get excited with the epic aspects of the compositions, I'm unable to let myself be totally carried away by those fantastic riffs and leads. Finist was a big "what if" that will be vaguely remembered as a distinctive project that could have been more if Saturious wasn't a terrible person with a brain full of rubbish. As much as I respect him as a musician I loathe him as a person, and that pains me greatly, because he really is one of the most talented musicians I've ever heard. And in the same way that the album has an uplifting and positive tone, I end up wishing that hopefully one day he'll stop being on the wrong side of history.

Ahahaha how fucking awesome - 83%

Spawnhorde, July 30th, 2004

National Socialist...POWER METAL? I'VE SEEN AND HEARD EVERYTHING NOW!

This is so awesome, it hurts. I'm pretty sure it's at least HALF-joking, but at least it doesn't blow at the same time. This is solid blackened power metal. The clean vocals aren't good...at all, but there are some great solos and riffs and crazy fast epic parts. Actually, this is epic as heck.

The album starts with Masters of Our Land, an Aryan war march, of sorts, with awesome chorus parts like "WE WILL FIGHT TOGETHER" and "STAND TALL FOR OUR COUNTRY, LET OUR CHILDREN SING THEIR FATHER'S SOOONGSSS!" It's all so incredibly goddamn cheesy, but you just have to get this to hear some guys shout "ARYAN BLOOD IS RUNNING THROUGH OUR WEINS, WE'RE THE MAAASTERRSS OF OURR LAAAND!"

Next track is Victory. Starts with a little keyboard/organ interlude that reminds me a lot of Shining Force I, from the glory days of the Sega Genesis (!!!). A slower part then ensues. "THE DAY OF VICTORY IS HERE, I SEE IT CLEAR! WHEN WE WON'T BE AFRAID TO SHOW OUR PRIDE AND MIGHT!" Oh god, epic as motherfucking hell. Good riffs throughout and a cool synth backing. Then the chorus comes in, and the vocals are a bit better than the first track. "WE WILL CELEBRATE THE DAAAY OFFF VICTORRRYYY!" This song has a lot of blackened vocals/harsh vocals, which are very good and actually understandable.

Ah, I can't review this song for song, it would be too tedious. But, rest assured, if you love some good ol' epic Aryan metal, GET THIS NOW. Cheesy as hell but also pretty good. Recommended.