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