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Firtan – Marter

Firtan
Marter
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 September 2022, 1:49 PM

From Bandcamp, “Since 2010, FIRTAN are dedicated to Extreme Metal and can look back upon a long list of numerous shows in their home country Germany and abroad. Their sound is mainly inspired by the 90’s Black Metal scene. Over the years, FIRTAN was able to create a sound beyond any eclecticism that has become more self-contained and unique. With their third studio album “Marter” the group will continue their journey crafting their own interpretation of Black Metal. Regarding the theme, the songs deal with the isolation of the modern individual who finds himself torn between spiritual hope and existential failure.” The album contains eight songs.

“Faðir” is the first. The sound is pretty loaded up with guitars, drums and vocals, but not that “wall” of sound that you typically hear from the genre. There are also other elements peppered in here and there. “Amor Fati” is a longer song, so the sound has more time to develop. Clean guitars open the song, with a solemn and melodic jaunt. Harsh tones return fairly quickly, but they are powerful and brutal. Listen to the intricacies of the guitar work in particular, combined with the keyboards. Both the pacing and the vocal delivery vary as well. “Labsal” is another punishing and brutal assault with a burning pace that leaves smoke in its trail. The vocals in the chorus are raging and powerful, especially when combined with brief backing tracks. The acoustic interlude is quite charming, and shows another side of the band’s songwriting skills.

“Lethe” is a mid-tempo rocker with plenty of balls. The meaty song sounds like all of the ingredients are in the pot for a wicked stew that is probably dark in color and takes hours to cook. “Parhelia” is the first song where you can hear that elusive violin. Depressive spoken words open the song, followed by a horrendous sound. The ambient moments at the half-way mark offer a pause, with sweet violin notes. You can hear it building, like a caged snake ready to strike, but it holds back and retreats. “Odem” is a slower and more somber sounding song, like your crush just ran away with your best friend, and you are left along to lick your wounds. Anger also sprouts his head…a deep and pervasive anger. “Mentekel” is another aggressive number with a powerful marching sound. Each note that hits the ground reverberates into your soul. Some leads sprinkle in along the way through this torturous song. “Peraht” closes the album. It’s a vile affair for much of the song, complete with hasty guitar and the feeling that the world is crashing around you, until after the half-way mark, when clean guitars and violin take over.

The band might be inspired by the 90’s Black Metal scene, but they are no clones. Indeed, this album is the soundtrack to your nightmares. Everything that frightens you, and everything that you are afraid of comes to life on the album with vivid images of vile beasts, tortured souls, and the inner snippets of Hell itself. I would have loved to have heard more violin notes in the final mix, but this is still an undeniable winner.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Faðir
2. Amor Fati
3. Labsal
4. Lethe
5. Parhelia
6. Odem
7. Menetekel
8. Peraht
Lineup:
Oliver König – Bass
Phillip Thienger – Vocals, Guitars
David Kempf – Drums
C.S. – Guitars
Klara Bachmair – Violin
Record Label: AOP Records
     


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