...zum Tode hin

Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2014
Background information
OriginSchwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
GenresFolk metal, pagan metal, black metal[1][2]
Years active2004-present
LabelsNapalm Records
Associated actsCryptic Forest
MembersOliver Berlin
Tobias Weinreich
Cornelius "Wombo" Heck
Sebastian "AlleyJazz" Scherrer
David Schuldis
Simon Schillinger
Peter Hamm (live)
Past membersJohannes Joseph
Marco Schomas
Stephan Stahl (live)

Finsterforst is a German folk metal band from Schwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg, whose lyrical themes deal with nature, German myths, and fantasy worlds. Formed in 2004, the group has released three studio albums, one extended play and one compilation album.

Finsterforst means "dark forest" and it is a reference to "Schwarzwald" ("black forest"), a wooded mountain range in the band's home state.

Besides the usual line-up of instruments used in metal (electric guitars, bass, drums), the band's sound relies heavily on accordion melodies, with the occasional use of instruments, such as the tin whistle and the oboe. The band's genre is often dubbed pagan metal because of its use of harsh vocals.

Several Finsterforst members also play in Cryptic Forest, a black-metal band from Schwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg .[3]


Formation and Wiege Der Finsternis (2004–2006)[]

The band was formed at the end of the year 2004 by Tobias Weinreich, Sebastian "AlleyJazz" Scherrer, Simon Schillinger and Marco Schomas. Because the line-up was not complete, the group decided to focus on songwriting.

Since the band felt it needed a real accordion-player, Johannes Joseph joined the line-up in the spring of 2005, followed by rhythm guitarist David Schuldis in October the same year.

In spite of missing a drummer, the band booked Iguana Studios in Buchheim, Baden-Württemberg, and, at the end of December 2005, three songs were recorded with the help of a drum machine. The songs were released as the Wiege der Finsternis EP in March 2006.

New drummer and Weltenkraft (2006–2008)[]

In October 2006, drummer Cornelius "Wombo" Heck joined the line-up, enabling the band to prepare for live shows.

In February and March 2007, the band re-entered Iguana Studios to record its début album, Weltenkraft, which was released in July through World Chaos Productions.

...zum Tode hin, new vocalist and Urwerk (2008–2011)[]

The band's second album, ...zum Tode hin was recorded in July 2008 at Iguana Studios and was released through the German label Einheit Produktionen on 27 February 2009.

At the end of November 2009, the band announced the departure of Schomas, and that it was searching for a new singer, a position which was filled by Oliver Berlin in 2010.

In May 2010, the band released Urwerk, a two-disc re-release of its first EP (with a bonus track) and its début album.

Rastlos and record deal with Napalm Records (2012-2015)[]

On 28 September 2012, it was confirmed that the band had signed a new record deal with the Austrian record label Napalm Records.[4] On 26 November 2012, the album Rastlos was released worldwide to positive reviews and it received various "album of the month" awards. For 2014, there's an announcement for a European Tour called "Trolls in the Forest bring Kaos over Europe", together with Trollfest and Cryptic Forest.[5]

Mach Dich Frei, #YØLØ and Zerfall (2015-present)[]

In early 2015 Finsterforst released their new studio album Mach Dich Frei. It was released on January 23 in Germany/Austria/Switzerland, January 30 in the rest of Europe and on February 10 in North America.[6] Also in 2015, vocalist and accordionist Johannes Joseph left the band.[7]

In 2016, they released #YØLØ, which they refer to as an EP although they reckognise some would call it an album.[7]

In 2 August 2019, they released the album Zerfall. It has only five songs, ranging from 8 to 36 minutes - the latter being their longest track to date, "Ecce Homo". A lyric video for a shortened version of it was released in July 2019.[8][9][1]

Band members[]

Johannes Joseph and David Schuldis





#YØLØ (2016)[10][]

The effort is intended to be a humorous approach to the pagan metal genre and its title is the name of a Nordic deity that vocalist Oliver Berlin envisioned. The EP has four covers of songs originally by Miley Cyrus, Michael Jackson, K.I.Z. and Die Kassierer.[7]

Most songs discuss drinking, but some cover other topics, such as "Auf die Zwölf", which is about football. A video was shot for the latter, featuring vocalist Robse from Equilibrium.[7]

Track listing[]
1."Bottle Gods" 3:56
2."Auf die Zwölf"On the Twelve3:57
3."#YØLØ" 4:38
4."Hangover" 5:19
5."Wrecking Ball" (Miley Cyrus cover) 3:30
6."Beat It" (Michael Jackson cover) 4:37
7."Der durch die Scheibeboxxxer" 3:41
8."Flasche leer"Empty Bottle1:30
9."Das schlimmste ist, wenn das Bier alle ist"The Worst Thing Is, When the Beer Is Gone3:40
10."The Wild Rover" 5:35
Total length:40:23

Studio albums[]

...zum Tode hin track listing

2."Das große Erwachen"The Great Awakening12:14
3."Seines Glückes Schmied"His Lucky Blacksmith11:24
4."Sturmes Ernte"Harvest of the Storm13:36
Total length:70:36

Rastlos track listing

1."Nichts als Asche"Nothing but Ash13:19
3."Am Scheideweg"At a Crossroad1:28
4."Stirbt zuletzt"Die at Last10:19
5."Ein Lichtschein"A Flare13:40
7."Flammenrausch"Inebriation of Flames22:10
Total length:75:16

Mach Dich Frei track listing

2."Schicksals End'"Fate's End14:48
3."Zeit für Hass"Time for Hatred9:43
4."Im Auge des Sturms"In the Eye of the Storm1:38
5."Mach dich frei!"Set Yourself Free7:49
6."Mann gegen Mensch"Man vs. Mankind9:32
7."Reize zum..."Journey to the...5:32
8."Finsterforst"Dark Forest23:53
Total length:73:53

Compilation albums[]

Cryptic Forest[]

Cryptic Forest history (2003-2014)[]

In the beginning, in 2003, the band was only a one-man project by composer Simon Schillinger. A couple of songs came to life, but the project was later put "on ice" because Schillinger's writing focus was resting on his other band Finsterforst at the time.[11] Although Cryptic Forest was officially not active, from time to time he wrote some music unrelated to Finsterforst and shared it with a couple of his friends, who should later encourage him to found a band and to record a short EP. The EP called Dawn of the eclipse was released in 2011, which can be seen as the band's official founding. In August 2013, the debut album Ystyr was released on the German label Einheit Produktionen and a European Tour together with Trollfest and Finsterforst was announced for 2014.[5]

Cryptic Forest discography[]

Concert tours[]

Date Country/Region City Venue Guest
Zerfall China Tour 2019
14 November 2019 Beijing Mao Live House Beijing Frozen Moon
15 November 2019 Nanjing Ola Art Space None
16 November 2019 Shanghai YYT Live House
17 November 2019 Hangzhou Mao Live House Hangzhou
18 November 2019 Suzhou Hill House
20 November 2019 Shenzhen B10 Live
21 November 2019 Guangzhou Tu Space
23 November 2019 xi'an Aperture Club

See also[]


  1. ^ a b Gratzke, Lisa (2 August 2019). "Finsterforst ZERFALL". Metal Hammer (Germany) (in German). Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  2. ^ Rosenthal, Jon (26 July 2019). "Finsterforst Find New Pinnacles in Pagan Metal on "Zerfall"". Invisible Oranges. BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  3. ^ "CRYPTIC FOREST interview | | Metal SoundscapesMetal Soundscapes". Metalsoundscapes.com. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  4. ^ (28 September 2012). "Finsterforst signs with Napalm Records". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b "FINSTERFORST To Tour With TROLLFEST And CRYPTIC FOREST". Metalshockfinland.com. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  6. ^ ""Mach Dich Frei" with Finsterforst". Metalcallout.com. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Podzuweit, Eberhard (13 October 2016). "Finsterforst Über Fußball, Vorbilder und die schwierige Suche nach einem Akkordeonspieler - Olli im Interview mit metal.de". Metal.de (in German). Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  8. ^ Michels, Alexandra (10 July 2019). "FINSTERFORST - 'Ecce Homo'-Lyric-Video ist online". Rock Hard (in German). Rock Hard Verlags- und Handels- GmbH. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  9. ^ Gieseler, Björn (13 May 2019). "Finsterforst - Der "Zerfall" ist nah". Metal.de (in German). Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  10. ^ "#YØLØ, by Finsterforst". Finsterforst.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Metal-Temple.com :: Interview - Simon Schillinger (Cryptic Forest) (Interview)". Metal-temple.com. Retrieved 10 October 2020.

Other sources[]

External links[]