Hailing from Leipzig, Germany’s FIRMAMENT are a new heavy rock quintet begun in early 2021 by ex-members of TENSION, Prisma, and Wayward. Despite three of the members having done time in TENSION – who released their critically acclaimed debut album, Tension, via DYING VICTIMS last year – the goal for FIRMAMENT from the start was to write moving and thus catchy hard rock songs that get stuck in your head immediately as well as stylistically/spiritually returning to an era before traditional heavy metal even existed. So, while it’s tempting to superficially think FIRMAMENT are an extension of where TENSION left off, the truth is that FIRMAMENT are indeed their own “firmament.”
FIRMAMENT’s first recording together was a two-song single, “The Void / Losing You,” which they recorded live in their rehearsal room. The single was first released digitally during the autumn of 2021, and then was released as a super-limited homemade tape sold exclusively at gigs. With such heartfelt and truly homemade passion, during March 2022 did FIRMAMENT enter the studio to record their debut album. Poignantly titled We Don’t Rise, We Just Fall, FIRMAMENT’s first full-length sees the five-piece steering the same ship – the unapologetically old-school vibes of the ‘70s and ‘80s and transferring them to the current time, without being stuck in specific genre boxes – but doing so more masterfully than before. Like those throwback eras (and particularly during the ‘70s), equal emphasis is placed on performance and songwriting, each one informing the other, resulting in an album-long experience where each of these nine songs retains its own identity and personality but come together to create a unified-yet-unique headspace. Just witness the deftly dynamic and era-authentic never-overdriven guitar work, where Tom Michalik and Philipp Meyer weave heartrending twin-guitar melodies; underneath that but actually taking center stage is the propulsive-yet-melodic bass work of Stefan Deutsch, which hooks just as effortlessly as those of his six-string partners. Of course, classic hard rock and proto-metal often lives or dies on the strength of its vocals, and in this department are FIRMAMENT no slouch: delivering his last performance with the band, frontman Maik Huber incites goosebumps with emotive, melancholic lines that sound as old as time and further add an air of mystery to We Don’t Rise, We Just Fall.
While FIRMAMENT are currently working on fresh material with new vocalist Marco Herrmann, We Don’t Rise, We Just Fall stands as a citadel of archaic melancholy – towering in its aura, yet approachable across its moss-covered landscape. Maniacs for ‘70s Scorpions, Blue Öyster Cult, Wishbone Ash, and Thin Lizzy, lay down your sword and stand before FIRMAMENT!