Origin: Germany
Genre: Epic Black Metal Viking Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Year: 2011

Falkenbach is one of the founders of Viking folk black metal and one of the basic influences of most bands of the genre. They were formed back in 1989 by Vratyas Vakyas, who has always been their mastermind, gathering session musicians for the recordings. He has also lived in Iceland in the past, so he got a real taste of the northern lands he sings about. After the first limited demo “Havamal” in 1989 the band released 3 more demos in 1995. It was 1996 when the amazing debut “...En Their Medh Riki Fara…” was out, receiving more than praising reviews and 1998 when their masterpiece “...Magni Blandinn Ok Megintiri…” was released! These two albums were a real landmark for the genre. After that the band took one big break, returning in 2003 with “Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty”, a great album, with a much more calm and acoustic approach. Two years later “Heralding – The Fireblade” was out, an album much closer to their earlier works, something expected, since it was actually re-recordings of their first demos. The next 6 years, total silence…

Until now, where Napalm Records (who also released all of their works, except for the first) announces their glorious come-back. After various hearings I have only to say that “Tiurida” is a 100% Falkenbach album. Everything we loved in this band is here. The unique epic Viking atmosphere they build with their brilliant mix of raw rhythmic viking black metal and epic melodic metal. There are songs where they use brutal vocals and others with Vratyas’ wonderful clean vocals. Acoustic guitars and some folk instruments are discretely used in the background, enriching their orchestrations, adding a bigger “depth” to their enchanting melodies. Their sound is closer to “Fireblade” and definitely improved since their earlier works. What is most important though, is their amazing compositions. I really can’t find any flaw in this album. I’ve read some reviews accusing them for repetition… It is true that they haven’t changed a lot (except for the production), but I don’t see it as a problem when they manage to compose such a great album. After all, they have only 5 albums in 22 years! Other bands released an album each year with the same riff, and made a career… Anyway, in “Tiurida” you will find 45 minutes of best quality epic viking metal, with 6 brilliant songs and two instrumental tracks (one of them, “Asaland” is only in some limited versions).

I am sure that with the passage of time “Tiurida” will become another classic of the band. Falkenbach fans don’t need this review to buy this album. If you are not familiar with this great band, this is a nice way to learn them. I believe it’s one very characteristic album of their sound, maybe their most balanced and mature. It is released in many formats, jewel case, digipak, deluxe box, gatefold LP… So make your choice and get a copy! You won’t regret it.


Rating:  (9,5/10)

Falkenbach @ Facebook

Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos


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