Viva Hate Records, 2012
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
4. Zu Grunde
It is a rare occurence for bands to reach this level of epic in their writing. This year has led us to two immense creations between Der Weg einer Freiheit, Eis, and Mgla. All albums present a sort of turning point to the bands writing and show us what these musicians are truly capable of creating when they push themselves even further than before! "Unstille" is a monumental piece in the field of Melodic Black Metal and is one of the main reasons I will tell people that this is probably the best performing Melodic Black Metal band out there right now.
"Unstille" really gives us an incredible palette to partake of when it come to Der Weg einer Freiheit's abilities. The album starts off with the highly atmospheric "Zeichen", which is the song they shared first with the public to prepare the public for its imminent release. "Zeichen" is epic and clocks in at over twelve minutes. We are truly treated to Der Weg einer Freihet at their most beautiful with this song. When they open an album, they really set the bar quite high. After this "Lichtmensch" opens with an array of violent styled vicious Black Metal in vein of what we would expect from Dark Funeral, before it settles into a melancholic and beautiful passage that really brings us back into the atmosphere of "Zeichen". This varying approach of violence and melancholic atmosphere creates a very dynamic listen for us, while yet rooting us in a particular artistic space. I think these two tracks really bring us a good idea of what the entire journey feels like. There are other incredible moments as in parts of "Vergängnis" where the interplay between tremolo picked leads and rhythms creates a truly wondrous space for us to journey. We finally reach the end of this magnum opus with the incredible "Zerfall", which blends all the art from the prior songs into one massive epic farewell.
Sadly this is to be vocalist T.J.'s last recording with the band. I've since heard live recordings with the guitarist taking over vocals and he does the band justice. So, at the very least T.J.'s loss to the band won't be as detrimental as when some vocalists are lost, but I'm sure his voice will be missed and the differences in style will come out in future recordings. I just hope it won't be as drastic as when Iblis left the mighty Endstille, that was an immense vocal loss.
In the end, this is clearly a contender for album of the year and an absolute must buy. We could tell something big was being worked on with the release of "Agonie" and I am pleased to see it come to fruition with "Unstille". I'm not sure I was expecting something this grand in scope, but I am definitely not one to complain about having an album this good come across my desk. Now the real challenge... can they outdo this?
Viva Hate Records, 2012
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
2. In die Weiten
After the incredible release of "Agonie" I wanted even more from this project. Needless to say I started picking up the new material when it was first released. This 7" EP was released in conjunction with their latest full-length "Unstille". This features two songs that didn't make it onto the full-length, but the band probably saw them as deserving of release in their own right. As you can see from the image, this is limited to 250 copies and I own #114.
I can see how the songs didn't really fit with the overall new release. "Wacht" is an excellent song in its own right, but it feels more akin to their debut album than with their newer direction. Its still a very solid song and brings me back to older times of the band, which is a nice thing to hear. They close off this two track EP with a two minute instrumental "In die Weiten", which sounds just as epic as what you'd hear on the new album. It's almost like this serves as a transition from the old to new in some ways. I love that feel... but the really selfish part of me wanted an entirely new and full Der Weg einer Freiheit song. Definitely worth hearing... but at this limitation only very few will have these songs in their physical possession.
Viva Hate Records, 2011
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
1. Der Stille Fluss
4. Die Welt in Mir
Der Weg einer Freiheit return after a year of the official release of their self titled. Unfortunately, they've come back with only an Ep. This is unfortunate because their music is so good and having only five songs seems like an unfair teaser of sorts. Alas, I will take what I can get because the improvements they've made to this project actually turn out to be rather staggering.
The brilliant guitar work and arrangements from the first album are certainly well preserved for us here. So there is no real drastic change in the writing department. I feel the writing has simply gotten stronger and much more rounded out within their style. The brilliant interplay of melody and intensity is superb this time around, just when you thought improvement was unnecessary This is one thing I greatly appreciate about Der Weg einer Freiheit, they manage to write such beautiful music, yet still be utterly vicious and intense at the same time. Just listen to the opening of "Die Welt in Mir" which sounds akin to bands like Dark Funeral or Naglfar, but somehow different. The aspect that has really stood out a lot more this time around is the drumming. Christian is simply a machine behind the kit. Perhaps on the self titled the drum arrangements were a little typical because that album didn't seem to be written as a full band. "Agonie" surely was and the creative display through the drumming makes a massive difference. Despite having large portions of blast beats it seems to me that Christian changes things up at very key points. This gives the songs a much more dynamic feel while listening to guitar lines that are very atmospheric and can be quite hypnotic. I really like this level of tension where I want to just get lost in the rhythms, yet get pulled back by some other element in the band.
The production quality has improved immensely here. Hammer Studios has certainly done their sound justice. It has a very wonderful organic tone, as if there was very few elements of digital recording at all. I don't know if that's the case, but if they did primarily use digital that studio is a genius in sound engineering. The drums have a nice thick organic tone, just the way I like drums to sound. The mix is done very well also. The vocals never overwhelm any section and are blended perfectly into the songs.
"Agonie" is surely a shining moment for Der Weg einer Freiheit and I certainly a hope a full length will be on the rise very soon! "Posthum" is by far the most beautiful track and a superb closer to this short release. They've managed to generate a spectacular atmosphere in this song and I would like to hear more of that from this band.
Viva Hate Records, 2010
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
5. Zum Abschied
8. Ruhe (Bonus)
Today I present to you one of the greatest Melodic Black Metal bands performing today. I may have to go as far as to say they are probably one of the best to ever grace the genre. Their music is so vicious, yet at the same time they write riffs that are incredibly beautiful. Very few bands can pull this off very effectively in my opinion. When faced with this choice, Melodic Black Metal is usually not one of my first, but Der Weg einer Freiheit have truly put together a masterful opus.
This is really a re-release of the debut album from 2009. I've missed out on the original demo, which is probably just as well. They didn't have a real drummer or anything for that recording, but for the re-release they've re-done a lot of the aspects of the original debut. Real drums always sound better than programmed, so you can imagine how much I think this was a good decision on their behalf. This album is pretty much flawlessly recorded in my opinion. Everything is mixed so well that nothing really overpowers any of the recordings. The vocals, which I find get turned up louder than they should, sit nicely in the middle of the mix, so when they vocals kick in they don't overwhelm any of the other instruments. The re-release also comes with a bonus track only available on this re-release and it is by far one of the best songs on the album.
This music is so hard to describe because it has a lot going on at once. It's majestic, epic, vicious, hateful, and beautiful all at once. Most bands out there can't accomplish this very well. Dissection certainly did in the early days, and while I'm sure Der Weg einer Freiheit are influenced by such a masterful band, I feel they are offering a slightly different feel. A lot of bands try to do what Der Weg einer Freiheit do by adding keyboards, so it was refreshing to see that there is no need for keyboards to be used here. It's simply masterful guitar compositions keeping this album interesting. That being said, you can certainly hear the early Emperor influence in this music and it is probably along the lines of Emperor without keyboards. I don't really think Emperor needed the keyboards, they were just there to enhance elements and their albums would have been fine with just the guitars. This is an aspect that Der Weg einer Freiheit brings to us.
On of the more surprising aspects of the self titled are the instrumentals. Frankly, I didn't even know they were instrumentals until I listened to this album so closely. In fact this albums collection of songs flows so well that each track seems to flow into the other quite seamlessly. It is certainly the type of album a listener can easily get lost in. I can see why they felt there were no need for vocals on the instrumental tracks because "Aurora" simply stands well enough on it's own. The whole ending part of the song is some of the most compelling guitar compositions I've ever heard. The atmosphere they manage to generate is simply spectacular.
The only complaint I could think of is that the booklet is a very basic. I love the cover of the album, but there is no other art when you open up the album. Granted this is probably a lot more than the original demo. I imagine the artistic elements get better as their releases progress.
In the end I wish this band was recognized more, especially in the U.S. But I feel very few people have been exposed to this group. I'm not entirely sure why though, this is a must hear band. Their music is also a definite buy!
It was tough to choose a track to share, so I went with "Welk" which is one of the better tracks on the album. I wanted something with vocals so everyone could hear what most of the music sounded like, even though composition wise I think I like "Aurora" the most. "Ruhe" is also an extremely good song and I am glad they included it on this release.