Over the years, the very landscape of black metal has become an unpredictable beast the likes of which no one can ever truly predict with bands regularly coming out of the woodwork to either exactly meet expectations or defy them completely altogether. A band that manages to mix both of those ideas successfully, however, is a truly rare treat that’s a breed of its own. As one band that has always achieved such a status, Firtan is one name that has been an anomaly as they have never left listeners in disappointment. They have been truly bountiful with the gift of time, and it’s with their newest creation that they’ve arguably crafted their finest work yet.
There is always something to be said for those who aren’t satisfied with going with the grain for their material while never once becoming pretentious enough to claim that their music is of another breed altogether with naught but a desperate attempt to bring many different outside elements together in order to have a large sound. To find yourself in that slim but ever so sweet middle ground is to know that you’re in the presence of real greatness, and I couldn’t help but get that very feeling for the utter entirety of what Firtan has brought forth for “Marter”. It’s in every way that this creation must be hailed as one of the more exquisite creations of black metal that we have seen for the very entirety of the year with the rest of it questionable as to whether or not it will bring forth a creation worthy of going toe-to-toe with this, and I highly doubt that given the undeniable mastery that’s at play here. Firtan truly has it all in these eight tracks. Each of them could effortlessly stand proudly on their own as individual grand works of the style that are still steeped in many of the ideals and concepts that we’ve come to associate with the sound as it’s evolved over the years, but it’s right alongside all of that which Firtan has never been bolder in the outside territory and influences that they bring to the table in order to morph “Marter” into something that simply cannot be denied by those who lose themselves in its depths. This is black metal the likes of which demands more than a single listen in order to really discover all that it holds within with everything about the record right from the very cover art poising “Marter” as a record that’s all but fitting in this band’s growing discography of grandeur.
Despite all that they have achieved, Firtan’s cult following is one that I find underwhelming. This is the kind of act that has always beat the competition at virtually every turn whilst constantly bettering themselves on a level that is all but wildly compelling, and it’s with every successive record that we’ve witnessed Firtan manage to accomplish something that can’t be considered anything less than supreme. For the very whole of “Marter”, I can’t help but feel that statement has never been truer.
“Marter” releases on September 30th via AOP Records!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “Marter” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Firtan on Facebook here.