FALKENBACH - OK NEFNA TYSVAR TY
Falkenbach was created back in 1989 by Vratyas Vakyas. After releasing numerous limited demos which are as good as impossible to get mp3s of nowadays he decided to release the first full length in 1996. It was released so late after the bands formation since he had been having trouble recording and getting the right sound in the studio where he wished to record the Fireblade, which was released 2005. On this album he also has a few session musicians helping him out with drums and such.
The album includes guitars drums bass and keys (like almost every other "folk/viking/pagan" band nowadays). The guitars are mixed well and are very distinct, in contrast to the earlier cds. The bass is hard to hear sometimes but is definitely there. Drumwise I have no complaints either, drums usually sound good to me when everything is clearly heard as is the case here. They also sometimes play folk patterns/beats with tambourines and such. The keys are also very audible and mixed very well into the rest of music. They often play strings or folksy instruments like flutes. And finally, the vocals. They are what makes Falkenbach one of the best Viking/Folk bands in todays scene. Both harsh and clean vocals appear, though there are a lot more clean vocals then on the previous albums. The harsh vocals are excellent, they are kinda raspy and growly but they are still possible to make out (as far as what is being said). The clean vocals are also excellent. Many words are held very long and the vocals are very drawn out and somewhat monotonous, but in the best way possible.
Score - 5/5
The songs are all in the verse/chorus structure. It should be noted that there are not many riffs/melodies in the songs. Vakyas decides that quality > quantity and I have to wholeheartedly agree with him here. The riffs that do make the songs are all very excellent, some even catchy, and some that make for good sing alongs. The songs are all mid paced, there really is no fast tremelo style guitars on here. Instead they are more like the trudging power chords a la Burzum's "Lost Wisdom" and "Key to the Gate". The keys add epic feelings to the songs in the right places, and are not overused or cheesy. There are also lots of acoustic guitars, and while they are mainly strumming in the back of the mix, they also dominate songs like "Donar's Oak". On "Vanadis" the only harsh vocals (I think) can be found during the second part. I think "Vanadis" is very easy to compare to "When Gjallarhorn will sound" (from the previous cd). It is the opener, contains two sections (one with harsh vocals, one with clean) and is Aaround 9 minutes long. The drums features little double kick, rather there is more cymbol work, but always also a 4/4 feel with snare hits on beats 2 and 4 or 1 and 3 (no syncopation).
Score - 4.5/5
-Won't give your parents a headache
-Somewhat repetitive (seems like every review I do this is the main con)
SCORE - 4.5/5