Tag Archives: Falkenbach

Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika

Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika

Moonsorrow [Finland]
Jumalten aika
Full Length
Century Media Records
Folk/Pagan/Black Metal

I’ve heard of Moonsorrow since their 2007 album, V: Hävitetty, but being young and impatient back then, the band’s brand of epic metal failed to capture my attention. So it was with little knowledge of the band’s sound that I chance upon this Finnish outfit’s seventh full length album, Jumalten aika. With all the band’s release up till 2011’s Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa drawing critical acclaim, it is with little surprise that fans of the band hold high hopes for the record, especially with the long 5-year wait.

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Album Review: Sons of Crom – Riddle of Steel

Sons of Crom - Riddle of Steel

Sons of Crom [Sweden]
Riddle of Steel
Full Length
Debemur Morti Productions
Heavy/Viking Metal

10 years on, Quorthon‘s legacy lives on in the many black and viking metal bands that have quoted him and his musical projects as an influence, with bands such as Bloodshed Walhalla even outright proclaiming themselves to be a Bathory tribute band. It is rather fitting then, that out of Quorthon‘s birth-land Sweden comes Sons of Crom, and less than a year after their formation, the band releases their debut full length album Riddle of Steel under the reputable Debemur Morti Productions.

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Album Review: Falkenbach – Asa

Falkenbach [Germany]
Full Length
Prophecy Productions
Black/Folk/Viking Metal

As a long time listener of Falkenbach, I was thrilled to hear the news of a new album – “Asa”, its answer to the 2011 studio effort “Tiurida”. Falkenbach is known for its consistently glorious and epic repertoire of songs, beginning from its 1996 inception with “…En Their Medh Riki Fara…”, the return with “Asa” was not an exception.

The album starts off with “Vaer Stjernar Vaerdan” on an almost trademark Falkenbach-esque grandiose note with the mainman – Vratyas Vakyas’ clean vocals heralding the rest of the album, which leads to the second song of “Wulfarweijd”. “Wulfarweijd” tosses the listener to the rougher edges of the Falkenbach experience. The hypnotic melodic riffs in “Wulfarweijd” hook the listener into the music-realms without the listener knowing. This sense of aural engagement was then again renewed in the rolling opus of “Mijn Larzt Wourd”, it is nearly impossible not to feel roused.  Vratyas Vakyas then led the listener to the more intense battle yet with “Bronzen Embrace” – – relentless brutality whilst still retaining dignified elegance. A delicate tightrope that I personally feel few bands could manage with the ease that Falkenbach seems to effortlessly elucidate on such a regular basis.

Speaking of dignified elegance, it is perhaps best exemplified by the song – “Eweroun”. In terms of metal music, this song could almost be considered as a ballad, a very rare and extremely satisfying sort of ballad; as the listener tries so hard to be stoic and detached but fails miserably, gives up defeated by the beauty of Falkenbach, in heathen swoon and forever smitten by such impossible grace. “Eweroun” glows.

As if in a second movement of the album, the listener is re-introduced and thrown back into chaotic dystrophy with the song – “I Nattens Stilta”. The listener swept with immaculate swiftness into action of the musical battle together with Vratyas Vakyas, as one is reminded of the Viking ethics of continual thrive and battle for honour, glory and legacy.  The momentum of the triad – “honour, glory and legacy” was brought to the eleven with “Bluot fuër Bluot” and “Stikke Wound”, the listener – a mere tourist in the harsh Falkenbach musical battleground, is left breathless and speechless.  Repose is still nowhere in sight, as there is still one more song to go.

“Asa” ends in accumulation with “Ufirstanan Folk”, a respite after the long drawn-out battles of the entire album. The triad of “honour, glory and legacy” is finally accumulated and accomplished, and there is simply nothing left to fight for except to relish and busk in the sweet paragon of victory. And that is what “Asa” has accomplished.

Falkenbach on the internet:
Prophecy Productions

Album Review: Falkenbach – Tiurida

Falkenbach [Germany]
Full Length
Napalm Records
Black/Folk Metal

After an excruciating and sometimes bleak wait of 5 to 6 long years for the new album of Falkenbach after Heralding The Fireblade, I finally got my hands on Tiurida.

I think it is ample enough to conclude why Falkenbach is still my favourite band (a tight close standing with Immortal, perhaps), considering as I gave the album my first listen and subconsciously the edges of my lips started to curve upwards and my head started to bob to the signature catchy-epic nature of Falkenbach’s music, with each passing song I found my mental and emotional aspects getting sucked into the feverish and glorious whirlpool that Falkenbach so effortlessly conjures.

It’s unstoppable with songs like “…Where His Ravens Fly…”, “Tanfana”, “Runes Shall You Know” and “Sunnavend” pushing the epic boundary linearly, with Vratyas Vakyas alternating between his majestic clean and gnashing harsh vocals expounding the usually beautifully written lyrics of ancient heroic tales, mixed with well placed guitar parts and occasional flute work. While tracks like “Time Between Dog And Wolf” reminded me of the more aggressive variation of Falkenbach that was reminiscent of a previous song like “Laeknishendr” and the bonus track in Tiurida – “Asaland” sounded with loose resemblance to the frenzied nature of “Baldurs Tod” or even “Gjallar”. It is undeniable that there is a certain magical alchemy in Falkenbach’s music. Even though, some scattered parts of the album does not resonate as profoundly and vividly as his previous works, I am sure with repeated listens, the album would grow on me.

That 5 to 6 years of wait was well worth it.

Falkenbach on the internet:
Official forum
Napalm Records

©2011 Heavy Metal Tribune | LingNemesis

What’s Spinning? (June 2010, Week 2)

Every week we will have our editors and some of our guest writers tell us about what they have been listening to and recommend it to our readers.

Band: Diablo Swing Orchestra
Album: Sing-Along Songs for the Damned and Delicious
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal
Year: 2009

This author is not pandering the term “avant garde” just to be more chichi, but there is simply is no better term to encapsulate the eclectic gaiety that is Diablo Swing Orchestra. A boisterous mix of big band swing jazz with nuances of flamenco, mixed into the soup of heavy metal, and the resulting brew are songs that makes you want to fight a bull or do the jitterbug. Replete with a female soprano and delightfully wicked lyrics, this album comes highly recommended for listeners who have got bored of run-of-the-mill heavy metal (already?). – JJ Yeo

Band: Falkenbach
Album: …Magni Blandinn Ok Megintiri…
Genre: Viking Metal
Year: 1998

As much as readers would have gathered that I have a proclivity towards one man bands in my recommendations, it is impossible to resist the immense musical journey Falkenbach could offer. Spawning from the genius of Vratyas Vakyas, Falkenbach elucidates a brand of viking metal that reeked of the heroic tales of the native Icelandic literature canon – most commonly, The Poetic Edda. Obviously, in perfect complement, the aural senses of the listener would be brought to sprawling epic proportions with Vratyas’ alternating guttural and clean vocals backed with apt amount of well placed guitars and keyboard work. If one didn’t check the progression of songs, this album could be taken as a seamless stream of musical adventure, with each climax superseding the previous. Signature tracks: …When Gjallarhorn Will Sound, The Heathenish Foray, Walhall. – LingNemesis

Band: Spearhead
Album: Decrowning the Irenarch
Genre: Black/Death Metal

Formed back in 2005, with merely five years since the formation of the band, they have put up two full-length albums, the first being “Deathless Steel Command”, and the second which is “Decrowning The Irenarch” containing 11 tracks of pure relentless & brutal black/death metal.  Lyrically the band deals with war & historical subjects. With a recent appearance at Norway’s Inferno Festival, Spearhead proves that they’re relentlessly paving their way to the very top. They are currently in Studio recording their third full-length which is expected to be released in summer of 2010! For fans of Angelcorpse , Blot Thrower , Revenge – Clarence

Band: Iron Maiden
Album: El Dorado (single)
Genre: Heavy Metal
Year: 2010

With a new album expected to be released this year, Iron Maiden has released a sneak preview in the form of a single, featuring a song that will be on this latest output – El Dorado. Music-wise, Iron Maiden has decided to take a more relaxed approach, featuring a more hard rock and radio-friendly tune to the song. Age is fast catching up with Bruce Dickinson, as he is unable to wail like before. This is nothing like their classic era (The Number of the Beast, Powerslave, etc.), but a good listen nonetheless. – Hong Rui

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune