In the last month of 2021 the German band Rană made their recording debut with an EP named Armament co-released by Vita Detestabilis Records and Fiadh Productions. Nearly a half-hour long (you could call it an album without a lot of argument), that four-song release delivered both a musical and an emotional wrecking ball. Using corrosive riffs, ringing leads, bone-bruising percussion, and scalding howls, Rană veered from moods of ruinous, doom-drenched hopelessness and furious belligerence to sensations of agonizing despair, heartbreaking melancholy, and defiant resilience.
To do that Rană mainly harnessed elements of black metal, crust-punk, and hints of post-metal in strikingly dynamic fashion, but also stepped well outside those influences with the hauntingly beautiful reverence of the song “Pyres” in its clean-sung opening phase (before it becomes a conflagration), and the lonely, grief-stricken instrumental prelude of “Im Joch” (before the onrushing storm of rebellion at the gates).
The band also made very clear that melodies which would stir the soul, often in sweeping fashion, were just as important in their songwriting as crushing power and the ignition of adrenaline-fueled wildfires.
Now Rană are following Armament with their 40-minute album Richtfeuer, which will see release on June 16th via Breath Sun Bone Blood. Armament left expectations high. Richtfeuer abundantly fulfills them.
We’re told that Richtfeuer translates to “Leading Fire” or “Beacon”, and that is exactly what this album is intended to do — “Lead us into the burning down of this world with the hope of building a better one”. It too is a four-track release, and it begins with the one we’re premiering today. Rană introduce the song this way:
“With ‘Läutern’ you get a great introduction to our new album. Written right after our transition to a quintet it pathed the way for the direction of our new record. Showcasing not only relentless blast beats and sludgy breaks but also hymnal crescendos with a heavy nod to neocrust-like doubled guitar melodies and cascadian black metal.
Thematically ‘Läutern’ also picks up where Armament ended. In an endless cycle of pain and grief the only way out is to embrace our shared struggle as a fulfilling purpose and maybe finding peace among the hopeless seemingly futile uprising, again and again and again”.
“Läutern” asks for a bit more than 11 minutes of your time. It’s fair to say that it won’t leave you as it found you.
The song includes manifold ebbs and flows, like emotional tides whipped inland by gales and receding in defeat from broken rocks on the shore. Like the closing track on Armament, it begins with a hauntingly sorrowful instrumental, but that melody must soon fight to be heard (as if yearning) through explosive drums, towering chords, and raw screams.
Then comes the breathtaking storm — a tumult of blasting drums, raging riffage, and feverish bass lines. But don’t get too carried away by that typhoon of sound because Rană then make a brutish digression, inflicting the kind of ruthlessly methodical jackhammering that seems intent on fracturing vertebrae.
The emotional tide ebbs, and Rană remind us with a glittering guitar harmony of their ability to pull the mind into melancholy, even though the melody is backed by an attention-seizing performance by the rhythm section. Of course, the tide swells again, as a tremolo-ed guitar frenzy creates feelings of confusion and despair, the vocals scream, and the drums go off like cannon shots and explode in an overheating discharge of automatic weaponry.
In the song’s stunning finale, the music sounds like megaton detonations, coupled with an even more harrowing sonic portrayal of despair.
Like the album as a whole, “Läutern” is fueled by unmistakable passion. It also merits these words from the press materials about the record as a whole: “[D]eeply ingrained in the gut-wrenching grief of this album is a hopeless call to arms. A futile attempt to strive and rebel to find a crack in the circle…. And to find solace in potentially failing in the process, only to rise again, burning”.
Richtfeuer will be released in a CD packaged in oversized A5 offset print with metallic gold, recycled natural ultra matte stock, which will include a two-sided poster and printed canvas logo patch inside. It will also be available on cassette tape with a j-card also in offset print with metallic gold on recycled natural ultra matte stock. The poster and printed canvas logo patch will also be included with the tape.
For more info and ordering options, check the links below.
BREATH SUN BLOOD BONE: