November 20, 2014

Falkenbach - Asa

Written by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

The sixth full-length release from German Viking metal project Falkenbach is a misty, mysterious atmospheric adventure that, for all its subtlety and filmy texture, certainly doesn't lack drive or energy. While many blackened folk metal projects are defined by large and diverse line-ups to cope with the demands of various folk instrumentation and the complex compositions, Falkenbach is a one-man effort — the work of Vratyas Vakyas. His work possesses focus and fire — there's deadly precision to his compositions and an almost preternatural perceptiveness that set Falkenbach apart in an oversaturated genre.

While the black metal riffs swarm like circling carrion birds and the sepulchral coughs of the harsh vocals seem to carry corpse dust with them, it's the trembling vulnerability of the clean singing and urgent, compelling melodies that give Asa its strength. "Stikke Wound" has a stirring, hard driving heathen power behind it, while "Eweroun" is steeped in a deep, restless yearning, drenched in silver moonlight and strings. Asa is not quite as exquisite as 2005's Heralding - The Fireblade, but it most definitely ranks amongst Falkenbach's best.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

This Bandcamp link is for the regular version of Asa. There's also a (more expensive) version with 4 bonus tracks. And you can check out the Prophecy Productions Bandcamp here.

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