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Falkenbach - "Tiurida" (CD)

Falkenbach - "Tiurida" CD cover image

"Tiurida" track listing:

1. Intro (1:38)
2. ...Where His Ravens Fly... (7:25)
3. Time Between Dog and Wolf (6:01)
4. Tanfana (5:32)
5. Runes Shall You Know (5:59)
6. In Flames (7:53)
7. Sunnavend (5:51)
8. Asaland (4:06)

Reviewed by on September 11, 2011

"With 'Tiurida,' Vratyas Vakyas keeps his flawless record of penning another viking folk/black metal classic with its roots traced back to Bathory's 'Blood Fire Death' and 'Hammerheart.'"

In an age where old is new again, back comes Falkenbach after a six year slumber, ready to once again find its inner Quorthon. "Tiurida" (translation "Glory") is the fifth full length album from one of the originators of Viking folk/black metal. This release differs little from 2005's "Heralding - The Fire Blade," but still it represents the best in mid-tempo Bathory-esque style Viking metal.

Vratyas Vakyas (real name Markus Tümmers) has been writing pure traditional Viking folk/black since 1989, almost as long as the enigmatic Quorthon did. No longer a one man band, in recent times Vakyas has hired studio musicians to assist, yet he remains the only official member. With "Tiurida," he keeps up his flawless record of penning yet another Viking metal classic with its roots traced back to Bathory's "Blood Fire Death" and "Hammerheart." Like those black metal Vikings of old, Falkenbach create songs that drain you to submission for an average of 6-7 minutes at a clip. It isn't so much the brute force, but rather the repetitious mental beating that does some in for this genre.

On the whole, "Tiurida" leans more in the folk direction and less towards black metal. Vocally, it is almost a complete shift to the clean style. Only "In Flames" and "Time Between Dog and Wolf" feature the unholy screeches of black metal cries that we all know and love with Falkenbach. Traditionally, as it has been since the dawn of the band, the listener is lulled into the sounds of lapping water and cracking thunder with the distant Viking horns that create the all-too-expected earthy background audioscape, enveloping the brooding and repetitive "buried-in-the-mix" black metal style riffing.

In contrast, "Where His Ravens Fly...," "Runes Shall You Know," and "Sunnavend" are outstanding straight folk metal opuses with epic choirs and catchy melodies . Their order on the album creates a nice "on-black, off-black" balance. The addition of bonus track "Asaland" was a pleasant surprise. It is a newly arranged, newly recorded version of the dreaded demo track from 1995's "Læknishendr."

Quorthon may be gone, but his spirit lives on in Falkenbach. "Tiurida" represents another in a long history of consistently classic Viking black/folk metal albums that only Falkenbach can create. They really have only themselves to rip off.

Highs: Classic traditional pure viking folk/black metal.

Lows: Long songs and a bit repetitive.

Bottom line: Falkenbach rises from its six year slumber to find it's inner Quorthon.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)