Two years after their last masterpiece “Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty“ a new FALKENBACH album reaches me, titled „Heralding – The Fireblade“. Of course the hope was for a completely new album, but this CD is a journey into the past of FALKENBACH, for it contains a few tracks that were conceived even before “…en their medh riki fara…“ and therefore this disc breathes the spirit of the debut, which had shook the foundations of the scene nine years ago.
This means that the Black Metal elements are a bit stronger and everything sounded a bit rawer, but never forgetting the basic essentials of the FALKENBACH sound, the incomparable melodies and the so characteristic (mostly clear) vocals and choirs, which are such strong factors in FALKENBACH’s music. And the new songs fit in almost seamlessly, creating a very good symbiosis with the rest. What I definitely have to point out as well is the fact that for the first time Vratyas Vakyas brought in reinforcements, meaning that he has real musicians, which leads to an a lot more organic sound which the already great songs benefit from greatly.
And of course the fact that everything was newly recorded as well, because the modern recording technology puts an even better emphasis on the epic character of the songs and in the past few years Vratyas also has greatly improved his voice, just listen to “Heathen Foray”, which as “The Heathenish Foray” had been featured on the second album “…magni blandinn ok megintiri…”, one minute shorter, but sounding better than ever! “Of Forests Unknown“ is one of the new songs and surprises with a quite strong Black Metal list, but it would not be FALKENBACH, if there was not this epic, a bit folky atmosphere, before “Havamal” crosses our path, completely with clean vocals and a true hymn. “Heralder” once had been a bonus track on the debut’s vinyl version, while “Laeknishendr“ originally was taken from the debut.
Just like the previous albums “Heralding-The Fireblade“, too, has turned out to be an absolutely outstanding album, which I can only recommend to all fans of the epic and at times folky direction of Black Metal and Viking Metal, Vratyas Vakyas is a true master of his trade! (Online November 28, 2005)