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Falkenbach is another intriguing one-man black metal project, as German musician Vratyas Vakyas performs all the instruments and vocals himself. This lends a certain amateurish quality to the lo-fi sound, which only makes it all the more appealing to me.
Filled with apocalyptic, Wagneresque black metal riffs saturated with polished keyboards and folk-influenced lead guitar melodies, this is great Viking metal for fans of Bathory, Månegarm, Tyr and the rest, and still possesses its own unique sound, though not one that can ultimately live up to the genre leaders. Vratyas includes some slightly gimmicky but still effective samples, opening the powerful 'Galdralag' with distinctly Bathory-style galloping hooves and the slower 'Heathenpride' with a hooting owl, and as expected there's the occasional switch to acoustic guitar and folk instruments.
Perhaps the album's most interesting experiment is the wood pipes played over the warbling black metal of 'Asum Ok Alfum Naer...,' which is a sound I've never heard before.
4. Ultima Thule
5. Asum Ok Alfum Naer...
7. ...Into the Ardent Awaited Land