Review 1395 : Firtan – Marter – English

Firtan is back.

Formed in 2010 in Germany, the band composed of Phillip Thienger (vocals/guitar/keyboards, ex-Anwar), Oliver König (bass/vocals, Finsther Thron, Maersung, Finsterforst live), David Kempf (drums, Profanity, Algetic, ex-Zerfall) and Chris S. (guitar, ex-Ichorid) announce the release of Marter, their third album, on AOP Records.

The album begins with the abrasive melancholy of Fadir, quickly complemented by massive and raw screams. The frantic tempo makes the track aggressive and very straightforward, notably with those Pagan-inspired vocal parts followed by blasts, heady harmonics and intense visceral screams, but we also notice some softer parts like the break or the melodic final which leads us to Amor Fati and its bewitching introduction, overtaken by saturation and furious screams. The bewitching keyboards and clean guitars bring this contrast with raw rage, creating a striking duality within this long track that also knows how to leave the reins to devastating blast before calming down for the final, but Labsal will make the rhythmic blaze again. The vocalist lets the rawest fury of the German poet Hugo Ball express itself before the saturated riffs disappear in favor of a soft melodic and bewitching break, then the rhythmic finally explodes before giving way to Lethe, a darker-sounding track. We also feel this darkness in this dissonant song’s vocal interventions, sometimes haunting or heady but always oppressive which will give way to Parhelia and its mysterious introduction followed by a vocal sample in German, then by mystical melodies. The song will let the dark and visceral rage speak, but it remains anchored in these airy and melancholic sonorities before the atmosphere calms down with Odem, a melodious composition topped by wild screams. The ambience remains anchored in this duality between softness and violence before giving way to silence which guides us to Menetekel and its Old School roots. The track will take advantage of a raw dissonance, but also of soothing orchestrations to let the different vocal parts create an interesting diversity while keeping epic Pagan influences before the sweet outro which will be broken by Peraht, the last composition, which stays in the dissonant Old School sounds while creating a wave of raw and unexpected fury. Choirs strengthen this imposing and aggressive atmosphere which will end up dying in the softness of this soothing final.

Firtan‘s universe is made of an amazing contrast between Old School Black Metal, majestic Pagan influences and raw screams, creating a real visceral, melodic, intense and aggressive storm which is channeled in one hour on Marter, their latest work. Impossible not to be conquered.


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