In a word, Rană‘s debut album Richtfeuer is immense. It’s immense not just in terms of production, which turns a frenetic landscape of black metal, crust, doom, and more into an oncoming and inescapable storm, but in every sense of the word. Only one of the album’s four tracks is under ten minutes long, and they all pack in cataclysmic amounts of pathos-fueled metal, propelling listeners off colossal emotional cliffs. The German group set out an early iteration of this with 2021’s Armament EP, itself a massive offering, and now refines it into an album-length mission statement. em>Richtfeuer is best listened to as an engrossing whole, and you can do that now – we’re streaming it early below.

Though the album narratively tackles humanity’s struggles and eventual failures, it plays out like a force of nature. Rană’s black metal and punk chops lend themselves to completely overwhelming barrages, but they then temper these with powerfully reserved post-metal sections. The next, inevitable crescendo hangs above listeners like a Sword of Damocles, although in this case it’s more of an enjoyable surprise than a lethal one. Richtfeuer still creates an aura of reverence and demands respect, however, and perhaps the natural response to it is summed up in these lyrics from the title track: “I am made to tremble / and I fear.”

The band comments:

With the release of Richtfeuer you are now able to experience our new album in its entirety. From the very first thunderous notes this album represents everything we introduced with our EP Armament but expanding it even further in terms of intensity. Weaving together a kaleidoscope of genres, including black metal, doom, post-rock, and neo-crust, this album transcends all boundaries, forging a sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. Richtfeuer delves into the very nature of struggle, the relentless fight against a world drowning in injustice and absurdity. It becomes a manifesto, a call to arms, igniting the flame of rebellion against a life that seeks to extinguish our spirit. Through this unyielding confrontation and affirmation of our shared humanity, we rise against the tides of futility, only to be consumed by its all-encompassing darkness once more. These contemplations are backed by a never ending barrage of blast beats, sludgy breaks and melodic dbeats that over the course of its 44-minute runtime, builds towards a monumental crescendo, a hymn to accompany our relentless pursuit of fire amidst the howling abyss.

Richtfeuer releases June 16th via Breath Sun Bone Blood.