Fir­tan

OKEANOS

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Subterranea - TOM O’BOYLE

AOP GER­MAN BLACK MET­ALLERS GET LOST BE­TWEEN TWO STOOLS

It’s of­ten easy to split black metal bands into two cat­e­gories: the pro­gres­sive, the­atri­cally grandiose and the fer­ally sim­plis­tic. On their sec­ond al­bum, Ger­many’s Fir­tan do an ef­fec­tive job of blur­ring the line, un­leash­ing six elab­o­rate tracks that re­tain an im­pres­sive aura of men­ace de­spite their pro­gres­sive am­bi­tion. See­gang is an­guished, open­ing with one of sev­eral Love­craftian spo­ken-word pas­sages be­fore gui­tarist/vo­cal­ist Phillip Thienger un­leashes pained howls over riffs some­how as pompous as they are gnash­ing. Tag Ver­weil and Nacht Ver­weil fol­low, mak­ing for an epic twoparter. Af­ter Pur­pur’s del­i­cate in­ter­lude, the rous­ing solo­ing of Ufer­los de­gen­er­ates into a bes­tial ram­page be­fore Siebente, Let­zte Ein­samkeit crams an al­bum’s worth of riffs into nine min­utes, clos­ing the record in a some­what ram­bling fash­ion. Fir­tan’s vigour and pro­fi­ciency are plain to see, but their songcraft needs re­fin­ing, as it of­ten al­lows at­ten­tion spans to wan­der.

FOR FANS OF: UADA, THE RUINS OF BEVERAST, IMPERIUM DEKADENZ

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