(Art of Propaganda, 2018)
#FOR FANS OF: Pagan/Black
Due to the line-up changes, it has taken some time to compose the sophomore album entitled 'Okeanos'. The second effort is always a pivotal release for any band, because it can confirm the potential of the debut, but it also demands a step forward in the band’s evolution. 'Okeanos' is thankfully a move forward for the band and it should confirm Firtan’s potential in this genre. The album opener “Seegang” is a truly powerful and long track, which sums up Firtan’s characteristics. As it is traditional with many German black metal bands, the vocals are truly powerful, very high pitched and full of hate. Philip makes a great job on vocals with polyvalent and strong screams which fit perfectly well the music. Musically speaking, the band sounds more progressive than ever, adding many tweaks to the compositions. The song flows easily from the heaviest and more straightforward sections to the instrumental and calmer ones, which act as a bridge to the next vigorous section. In those calm sections, acoustic guitars are a commonly used resource which works quite well. Other tracks follow a similar pattern, which is not bad at all, because it means that each track of the album is highly dynamic and brings a wide range of riffs and a progressive touch which make the compositions quite interesting. Though the album is clearly a guitar driven work, it contains some atmospheric touches in the form of occasional keys and the addition of some violins in “Nacht Verweil” and the beautiful and melancholic instrumental “Purpur”. Moreover, the band adds some interesting choirs which shine specially in “Uferlos”. They do sound solemn and dark making this track the most atmospheric one. It´s difficult to choose a favourite track but the closing epic song “Siebente, Letzte Einsamkeit” is indeed a serious contender. In its nine minutes, the composition contains all the characteristics that define this album. The background keys play a good role, while the guitars sound as strong and varied as ever. This is indeed a good way to close this second effort.
In conclusion, Firtan has achieved their target with 'Okeanos' which is supposed to happen with a sophomore album. 'Okeanos' sounds like a step forward reinforcing Firtan’s strong points and being a more mature release, with a stronger progressive nature. A band to follow.