Finsterforst went from making one of the most interesting albums I've ever heard to, well... this. I'm scratching my head just as much as you are, I'm sure. But this is definitely the same band. I don't think we're in a time warp. In any case, there's definitely more of a folk vibe towards this one, possibly more like that of Tyr or Ensiferum, actually. The record sounds quite mighty at times, yet it can also have a bit of an Alestorm style kind of pirate vibe. What's more, is that there are two very interesting covers here, which you may not expect. There's also a cover here that I thought Tyr and Cruachan did much better, but I'm very particular on covers of classic folk songs, especially “The Wild Irish Rover” (here called “Wild Rover”) and very few covers really work for me. I'd love to hear them take on “Spancill Hill” though. Despite the record being a bit playful and full of ten thousand horns as well as happy world music, lyrically it's quite harsh. The music itself might appear a bit cheery, but the frontman seems to have just went right on with the ferocious snarls as if he was still performing experimental black/death. Now the first cover we have here that I'd like to talk about is Miley Cyrus's “Wrecking Ball” which I've heard covered online by various bands as it is (I'm a junkie for metal pop music covers) even though I'll say that Finsterforst really knocked it out of the park. It does carry on the electronic pop nature of the original, but with the combination of strong lead melodies and unexpectedly powerful symphonics. Yes, that sounds silly that I'm even suggesting such a thing, but if you haven't heard the original, you'll like it.
Now as for Michael Jackson's “Beat It” I actually love this song better than the original. Yes, but there's one thing. The band totally ruined it at the very beginning with some weird dub-electronic shit. I actually recommend fast-forwarding the piece a couple of seconds until you actually hear the first set of riffs, which begins the song. This is actually such a big deal to me that I'm going to carry the track over to a program I have and cut the whole beginning of it off. I've done this before with cuts that I add to my personal collection and if it makes me enjoy the song even more, than it's worth it. As for the cut, the clean vocals are awesome here. I didn't expect the horns, but that solo is actually better than Eddie Van Halen's. I wish it was a little longer. I told you guys, I'm a real stickler about metal pop covers, especially since “Beat it” got me into guitar based music around the age of five. I'll applaud their experimentation, but less is more here. We also have some rapping on the record in the form of “Der durch die Scheibeboxxxer” which is definitely not something I would have expected from this band. The rapping is in German, but will probably turn off fans of their previous works for sure. It almost seems like they went from a serious act to JBO territory. In any case, this short but sweet little experiment is going to come at fans like a punch in the nose and hopefully they'll recover after such a hefty blow. I can't say that I hated it, but it wasn't a terrible record either. Just a bit different than I would have ever expected from the act. Definitely listen to a few songs first if you're on the fence. I still have no idea what came over them to make this recording, but it's definitely strange.
(10 Tracks, 41:00)