Germany is a stunning country. From the odd, historically juxtaposed vistas of Berlin, to the mist-covered streets of Hamburg, or the lush solitude of Burgstadt, it is a beautiful tapestry of rich and horrifying history, amazing beer, and incredible architecture. With such a fantastic backdrop it is somewhat surprising, unfortunately, that Germany is not particularly known for its homegrown metal scene. While the country is not without its fair share of well-known bands of the heavy variety (Kreator, Rammstein, Caliban, and The Ruins of Beverast to name a few), the nation’s black metal scene has never been an especially notable one. Der Weg einer Freiheit (DWEF from here on out) set out to change that with their own distinct flavor of post-/atmoblack, flying surprisingly mostly under the radar as their first few records received marginal amounts of buzz. However, in 2014 their third full-length album, Stellar, made waves in the scene with an absolutely stunning assault of black metal ambition that landed them on many a metal year-end list (including that of yours truly). It was a panoramic, emotionally invigorating record that catapulted the band’s already solid reputation into the stratosphere. With the release of their fourth record¸ this year’s Finisterre, the band are posed with the challenge of following up their best record with something equally impactful. On every count, they have succeeded. If you have been sleeping on this band, awake. We are witnessing the rise of a group that is sure to become the bedrock of German metal for years to come.
Sure, metal can certainly terrify listeners with occult imagery and sheer gore, but delving deep into one’s own personal neuroses can often take someone down a much darker path. Inexplicable sadness is often a much more relatable and ubiquitous demon than anything you'd see smeared across a Cannibal Corpse cover (not that there's anything wrong with that). For that reason alone, it's become a much more prevalent topic amongst death metal’s most notorious and now unjustly-reviled subgenre. You couldn't have picked a better title for deathcore’s most anticipated EP of the year, and you probably couldn't have picked a better batch of current bands to tackle the theme of depression either. Thy Art Is Murder, The Acacia Strain and Fit For An Autopsy are collectively as soul-bearing as they've ever been, and they're still churning out brain-melting breakdowns in the process.