Falkenbach: Tiurida

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Falkenbach: Tiurida
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Falkenbach: Tiurida
Black Metal, Folk Metal, Viking Metal
Napalm Records
February 8th, 2011
Release length: 44:25
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When it comes to Black/Folk Metal type bands, one act that has yet to actually fail the fans of the style is Falkenbach. Formed back in Germany back in 1989, and essentially was a one piece project that incorporated session musicians on various releases. It took a good while for Falkenbach to actually be signed to a record label, having spawned four demos between 1989 and 1996, shortly after signing to No Colours Records for their debut. Falkenbach then signed to Napalm Records, and since then the label has issued each following release, including the band’s fifth full-length release, Tiurida.

If you have heard a Falkenbach album before, then you essentially know what you are getting into. For the most part, the lyrical content and musical compositions typically stay close to the Folk roots and performances, often blending acoustic pieces with folk instruments, as well as a Blackened approach to the Folk genre. Tiurida starts right up with this concept, taking a nature-heavy Folk sound with ambience on “Intro” to bleed into “…Where His Ravens Fly…”, which continues the acoustic Folk music before picking up into the electric instruments, backed by Folk instruments, a Viking Metal-esque clean vocal performance in harmony with the guitars to set up a beautiful regional atmosphere to culturally rich Black/Folk Metal. This is how most of the album is. The music stays light, often having a glorious feel to them, such as with th esong “Tanfana”, but the material can also become light and joyous with a matching laid back nature-based Folk environment that sounds heavy through the guitar distortion, though have a more joyous and even fun atmosphere to the songs, such as the song “Tanfana”, feeling more like a song rooted in fantasical folk lore with upbeat music that would match mystical shenanigans. This is the only lighter track that really stands, as the rest, such as “Runes Shall You Know”, seem to have a more glorious feel to the performances.

But, then there is the other end of the spectrum with this effort, and it’s a bit disheartening that it takes so long for it to finally show on this release. While Falkenback is able to create some fantastic lighter Folk compositions, it’s the heavier, more Black Metal and Viking Metal influenced material that makes the band shine among the other Folk Metal acts. This side of the group scrapes through on “In Flames”, which goes in and out of heavier material as mentioned, as well as softer acoustic pieces that share the opening Folk performance on “…Where His Ravens Fly…”, leading to little of the heavier material to be found, but at least there is some, and those passages are well done, though a little slower then what you would hope. The vocals, however, are full of energy, giving off the feeling as if the vocalist himself were bogged down by the lighter material, unleashing all the pent of energy and adrenaline during this track with monstrous rhaspy Black Metal screams that roar with primal fury.

The only real down part to this release is that some of the slower songs seem to overstay their welcome a bit. “…Where His Ravens Fly…” and “Time Between Dog and Wolf” are both beautiful songs, there’s no denying that. However, the track length to these songs seems a little like overkill at times, as once you hit the four, maybe five minute mark on both of these, you pretty much get the idea. The music begins to repeat itself and, after a short while, will become dull and feel repetitive and boring, leaving nothing too fresh to keep your attention like “Sunnavend” manages to do with it’s medieval atmosphere in the music. Even “Tanfara”, one of the more stand out tracks, can feel a bit burdening with repetition, as it’s just an instrumental, and there’s not much else other then the few main passages in the song for the listener to hear.

Falkenbach don’t do a nice job of mixing up their material to keep the album a little diverse and interesting. Tiurida is an impressive, beautiful composition that manages to stay consistent throughout, but “In Flames” steals the show, even if it does seem to take a more Progressive performance approach of heavy and faster to slow and softer with no real transition between. While some songs may feel as though they have overstayed their welcome, they will still last a few spins before you start to tire of their longer track lengths and lack of material that varies the music. Tiurida by Falkenbach is definitely worth checking out, and does a decent job of making up for the nearly six year long gap between releases, but those who enjoy the band for their heavier moments should be advised that those elemtns are greatly lacking from the release.


01. Intro – 1:36
02. …Where His Ravens Fly… – 7:25
03. Time Between Dog and Wolf – 6:01
04. Tanfana – 5:32
05. Runes Shall You Know – 5:59
06. In Flames – 7:53
07. Sunnavend – 5:51
08. Asaland (Bonus Track) – 4:08
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Falkenbach
Falkenbach

Digital review copy of this release provided by Napalm Records.