Heralding the Fireblade: Falkenbach

Rating: 85%

Heraldingthefirebladedigipack.jpgI have been into Falkenbach ever since this album was released in 2005. This album was to originally be released in 1995, but was shelved. But fifteen years later, it was released. For the most part this is a one man band. Much of the vocals, guitars and keyboards are conducted by Vratyas Vakyas. Filling in for the guest session is Tyrann on vocals, Hagalaz on guitars and Boltthorn on drums.

Lyrically, songs are based around various themes including folklore, Germanic mythology and Heathenism. Much of the album is in English, but, there are several songs sang in German.

Vocally, the album is nicely done. There is a lot of harmony throughout the entire album. There is a mixture of clean and harsh vocals. Both styles of vocals seem to compliment one another. Adding to the clean vocals, Vakyas has a nice range.

Musically, this album has nice melodies. A great collection of instrumentation that does a good job of combining black and folk metal. I do like the acoustical guitar on “Havamal.” This gives the song a more folkish feel to it rather than straight on black metal. There are a considerable amount of nice riffs and leads. There is a considerable amount of harmony behind the music which one would often hear when you combine the folk elements into the black metal, as traditionally, black metal would not have. I do like some of the weirder offbeats on some of the songs and how Vakyas introduces more of the folk instruments such as a violin,”Heralder” is a good example. I also like the straight on black metal assault on “Læknishendr.”

Falkenbach has put out several albums and all of them I like. Their different from traditional black metal and folk metal bands. Vakyas has been a huge influence in the genre of heavy metal music. I am glad that this never released debut was finally released.

Track listing:

1. “Heathen Foray” 07:15
2. “…Of Forests Unknown…” 03:48
3. “Hávamál” 06:57
4. “Roman Land” 04:18
5. “Heralder” 05:12
6. “Læknishendr” (“Healing Hands”) 05:57
7. “Walkiesjar” 03:52
8. “Skirnir” 04:34
9. “Gjallar” (digipack edition bonus track) 08:10

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