Falkenbach - Tiurida

7 songs
44:25 minutes
***** ***


Falkenbach is a mysterious project led by Vratyas Vakyas who’s been musically active for over twenty years. He always takes a lot of time between records, with Tiurida being only his fifth album so far. Its predecessor Heralding – The Fireblade lies already six years in the past. The artist from Düsseldorf is mostly joined by session musicians, many of whom having a Luxembourgish background (Le Grand Guignol, Dreams Of Nabid, Vindsval and Abstract Rapture).

The new CD comes with only seven songs (the limited edition features a bonus track) but still makes it to a three quarters of an hour running time. The folky intro with horn immediately sets the right mood for Viking metal. The first regular track Where His Ravens Fly might remind strongly of Bathory, but nonetheless Falkenbach managed to put a pleasant piece right at the beginning of the album. The following Between Dog And Wolf continues in that same moderate vein, but the clear vocals are met now with some growls that have been integrated rather well into the overall melancholic music. It is rather unusual to continue with the instrumental Tanfana, but the blending of folk melodies with heavy instrumentation works perfectly. Runes Shall You Know has a more solemn mood that reminds of Swedish band Falconer who also play excellent folk metal. In Flames is much rawer than everything preceding it and is, despite some acoustic moments, the album’s heaviest track. Sunnavent sees Falkenbach once again in a quieter and more melancholic mood, giving the CD a dignified conclusion.

Tiurida is by itself not really a surprise, because time has taught us to expect quality from Falkenbach. The band once again fulfils the expectations and should still be considered one of the major bands in the Viking and folk metal pantheon. The not very inviting cover artwork shouldn’t scare you away from enjoying Falkenbach’s grandiose music.

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