Falkenbach - Tiurida
Napalm Records
Viking/Folk Metal
7 songs (40:22)
Release year: 2011
Falkenbach, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Goat

German one-man-project Falkenbach have been around for an astonishing twenty-two years now, sole member Vratyas Vakyas doing his best to channel the spirit of Bathory into new flesh. To his credit he has largely succeeded, albums like 2005’s Heralding – The Fireblade being impressively epic slabs of Viking-flavoured goodness. There are always long periods of inactivity between albums, also to his credit – it would have been easy to crank out a few tunes a year or so ago when folk metal was in its renaissance and Alestorm were getting kudos. Clearly, however, this project means more to Vratyas (real name Markus Tümmers) than mere easy money, a real passion evident in his songwriting that gives the music an authenticity missing from many bands that actually come from Viking lands! Sadly, that passion doesn’t always cover up the lack of actual solid songwriting ability, something easily notable from Tiurida...

Perhaps that six year break wasn’t long enough. What’s on offer here? More of the same, is the easiest answer, after an ominous Intro piece Vratyas and hired hands breaking into Where His Ravens Fly, a folk rock jig with chanted male vocals that gradually builds the grandiosity up into a pleasant singalong – a bit too long at over seven minutes long, but enjoyable enough. Falkenbach seem a little too eager to fall into repetitive song patterns – Time Between Dog And Wolf, for example – yet when the songs are actually allowed to do something they’re quite fantastic, as Tafana’s flute-imbued catchiness shows. The major weakness of Falkenbach’s sound is that it gets boring pretty easily. Still, the likes of Runes Shall You Know are easy to appreciate, nicely epic and tuneful, quite pleasant to listen to –only two songs have harsh vocals, but even they avoid any pagan/black metal heaviness and focuses on the melodic swing of the rest of the album. This must be the lightest Viking Metal album I’ve ever heard – Amon Amarth fans should most definitely look elsewhere for heaviness.

To be honest, I’ve always been somewhat surprised at Falkenbach’s high standing amongst folk-inclined metalheads, the band never delivering on their promise from what I’ve heard. It’s probably a good job that Tiurida is only forty minutes long, as more would really expose the weaknesses at the band’s heart, melodies getting recycled to a real level of obnoxiousness. Tiurida is pleasant enough and will be much appreciated by those who enjoy acoustic plucking in their folk metal, but lacks that killer ‘voice of the people’ vibe that makes bands such as Arkona genuinely brilliant. Good, but easily skippable.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
Where His Ravens Fly, Tafana, Runes Shall You Know
Goat quoted 66 / 100
Charles quoted 55 / 100
Other albums by Falkenbach that we have reviewed:
Falkenbach - Asa reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Falkenbach - Heralding - The Fireblade reviewed by Kayla and quoted 88 / 100
Falkenbach - Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty reviewed by Jack and quoted 95 / 100
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