...En Their Medh Riki Fara

Falkenbach - ...En Their Medh Riki Fara ©1996 No Colours
1. Galdralag
2. Heathenpride
3. Laeknishendr
4. Ultima Thule
5. Asum Ok Alfum Naer
6. Winternight
7. Into The Ardent Awaited Land

It's such a lovely feeling to discover a new musical act that completely engulfs you. Based on a record store recommendation, I picked up this mysterious Falkenbach disc and was promptly reminded why digging through the underground's morass of relatively unknown acts. This is quite a goldmine! Apparently Falkenbach is the work of one man, though it hardly contains the trappings of a bottle project. Starting out with very Viking-esque horses, "Galdralag" is a stunning example of black metal's best elements mixed with the best of epic-flavored Viking metal ala` Bathory and Enslaved. Falkenbach wisely uses very sweeping passages that retain a symphonic and extremely moving flair, while layering over simple lead guitar playing as well as furious black metal assault. There are also folk-ish tracks with clean, dramatic singing, such as "Into the Ardent Waited Land" or "Heathenpride". The result is a wonderfully varied and powerful affair that deserves much more attention than Falkenbach has received.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1998

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...magni blandinn ok megintri...

Falkenbach - ...magni blandinn ok megintri... ©1998 Napalm Records
1. ..When Gjallarhorn Will Sound
2. ..Where Blood Will Soon Be Shed
3. Towards the Hall of Bronzen Shields
4. The Heathenish Foray
5. Walhall
6. Baldurs Tod

The second opus from Falkenbach finds the band (which is a one-man project featuring a certain Vratyas Vakyas) moving away from the black metal tinge of the debut to fully embrace the folk-metal angle. ...magni blandinn ok megintri... contains six songs, all of which stick to the mid-paced loping folk style that was first explored on ...En Their Medh Riki Fara. The album could also fall into the nebulous "Viking Metal" category, but over time I've come to realize it's doubtful the Vikings of centuries past would have played metal music, mostly because the electric guitar hadn't been invented. But that's neither here nor there.

...magni blandinn ok megintri... is not a spectacular record, but it's competently done in all phases. The production is good, the performances are perfunctory, and the songs are all above average in quality. But I guess I am wavering a bit on fully endorsing album because compared to Falkenbach's debut, there is something missing. Perhaps I just miss the faster paced material that rampaged through my speakers like a plundering Erik the Red. That said, this release sticks to one thing and does it well. As a follow-up, it is worthy and should be tracked down as a solid contender in the folk influenced metal realm.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2008

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Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty

Falkenbach - Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty ©2003 Napalm Records
1. Vanadis
2. ...as Long as Winds Will Blow...
3. Aduatuza
4. Donar's Oak
5. ...the Ardent Awaited Land
6. Homeward Shore
7. Farewell

By album number three, Falkenbach had settled into a little niche style that mostly draws upon the folkier element of underground metal. Much like its predecessor, ...magni blandinn ok megintri..., Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty spends its time being loping, mid tempo and softer than Falkenbach's debut release. Softer is not necessarily a bad thing (unless you're the type of person who consumes raw glass to impress girls and picks fights with anyone at least twice your size...if that is the case, I would recommend music that resembles jackhammer blows to the head) as Falkenbach does excel at this sort of music. There is a bit of the atmosphere captured by Bathory on Twilight of the Gods, which is a positive in my book. Check out "Homeward Shore" for the most obvious example of that comparison.

This album, like the one before it, find most of the vocals performed in a clean style. Vratyas Vakyas' sense of melody is much stronger and his voice sounds considerably more confident in projecting melodies and feeling. That alone makes this album a bit more enjoyable than ...magni blandinn ok megintri... Compared to some of the other folk-metal bands out there, Falkenbach tends to sound considerably more genuine and uncontrived.

Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty is an improvement from the last Falkenbach record and although not the barnburner of the debut, yet another worthy pickup in this band's catalogue.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2008

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