On September 30th internationally, AOP Records is proud to present Firtan‘s highly anticipated third album, Marter, on CD and vinyl LP formats.
Since their fortuitous formation in 2010, Firtan has been dedicated to a unique strain of extreme metal and has steadily built an enraptured audience across countless shows in their native Germany and abroad. Granted, the band’s roots lay in black metal, particularly those pivotal days of the 1990s, but over the course of two acclaimed albums – 2014’s Niedergang and especially 2018’s Okeanos – Firtan have effortlessly integrated an eclecticism that has become more self-contained and increasingly kaleidoscopic. Now, they arguably deliver their masterwork: Marter.
Immediately, the trademark Firtan sound is felt – riffing that’s raging yet gorgeous, an atmosphere that’s autumnal yet cliche-free, compositions that span epic lengths yet remain judiciously compact – and Marter stuns after first listen. However, delve deeper and you’ll find that Firtan have become more daring in their soundfield, incorporating more acoustics, synths, and strings to flesh out that always-poignant atmosphere. Amazingly, the band never busy up that soundfield; everything sounds rich and robust but in its proper place, every tone resounding endlessly through the soul. That Firtan take Marter in sometimes diametrically opposed directions – violent vs. restrained, explosive vs. placid, righteously black metal vs. something approaching neoclassical – often all during the course of a song, speaks to the band’s masterful approach to songwriting. Some might even liken Marter to “post-black metal,” which is okay with them: Firtan are simply performing their own interpretation of black metal.
Fittingly, the theme of Marter deals with the isolation of the modern individual who finds himself torn between spiritual hope and existential failure – and Firtan vividly paint this panorama in their most dazzling hues yet. And just like its massive predecessor, Marter was recorded at the esteemed studio Klangschmiede E with Markus Stock of The Vision Bleak/Empyrium. Completed by grandiose cover art courtesy of Władysław Podkowiński, Marter is a milestone of the dynamic German black metal scene – and Firtan has arrived as reigning kings.
Photo credit: Oliver König
2. Amor Fati
9. Medomai (bonus track*)
*available on vinyl and CD boxset
Oliver König: bass
Phillip Thienger: vocals, guitars
David Kempf: drums
Chris S.: guitars
Klara Bachmair: violin
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.