Germany is home to many, many great black metal bands. For example, Sarkrista, Schrat, Thorn, and Nemesis Sopor and their fourth full album, titled “Firmament”, belong on that list of great German black metal bands as well. The band consists of four members and is based in Dresden. I enjoyed their previous album, “MMXL”, which is a concept album about an AI taking control over humankind. Now, almost six years later, it’s time for a review of “Firmament.”
6 tracks with a run time of almost 50 minutes is a quite the length for someone with an attention span of a mosquito, but they flew by quickly.
If I had to describe the album in one word, ‘journey’ would be the one I’d choose. The entire album feels like a journey, with different paces to walk or run. It has quiet moments, but also blast beats that keep the momentum going. The atmosphere just oozes out of this album, and all the elements, including the vocals, drums, guitars, and arrangements, work together to create it.
Bonus points (not that we grade albums here) for providing the lyrics on their Bandcamp page. The lyrics are also well-written, and I’m glad that my German is proficient enough to understand them. I tried to translate them using several services, but the translations were only decent. I do think that a lot of the meaning is lost in translation.
Before we dive into my highlights of some of the tracks on this album, I want to point out that all the tracks are highlights on their own, but some of them appeal to me more than others.
With that being said, let’s start with the first highlight, which is the second track of the album, “Argus”. As I mentioned, this album feels like a journey, and this track captures that feeling the most. It begins with a slow-paced section featuring some nice guitar work that builds up the atmosphere. Then, the drums kick in with the same low pace. At its peak, the buildup transitions into a faster pace when the vocals kick in. The singer’s vocals are great and right up my alley – I love that style. The vocals that do the folk part are also excellent, making for a great mix and an exciting journey.
So glows the gleam of your eyes
So thy probing breath brushes my neck
So has thy bitter arm and rebuke
Yet every purpose in me determined
The second highlight is the track “Monument,” which is the fifth track on the album. The track starts off with some nice riffs, immediately followed by blast beats that just keep going. The drummer is doing a marvelous job. The lyrics of the song read like a poem and are very well-written. Around the four-minute mark, there is an interlude with spoken word vocals that sound very exciting and really enhance the vibe of the song.
Wo Mutter, Vater Tadel stoßen
Dass ich den Geist achtlos verhauchte
Muss ich nie wieder rastlos wandeln
Und heiter Miene inszenieren
Let me ask you a question: are you a fan of atmospheric/melodic black metal? If your answer is yes, then you need to give this album a spin (preferably with headphones). I loved the album, and for me, it’s also on the list for album of the year.
You can listen to the album by watching the video below, and if you like it, don’t hesitate to buy it and support the artist.