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Falkenbach is a one-man, viking metal project from Germany, masterminded by one Markus Tummers, or, to use his pseudonym, Vratyas Vakyas. On his second full-length '...Magni Blandinn Ok Megintiri... ', Vakyas develops and refines the drawn-out, epic and folk-tinged sound of its predecessor, dealing once more with historical scandinavian history and culture, specifically with reference to the Icelandic sagas of the Eddas (Vakyas spent his childhood in Iceland).
The songs are for the most part mid-paced, with repetitive use of sweeping riffs that remind of the crashing of waves against a ship's bow, accentuated too by a heavy reliance of uplifting keyboards and occasional folky bridges. Its atmospheric and enjoyable, and the production is clean and professional sounding, but whilst this is beneficial in its facilitation of an atmosphere of numbing sea winds and the fresh salty tang of rolling oceans, the arrangements themselves can sound a little too too slick and inorganic, giving the album a somewhat artificial air that is at odds with its heathenish subject matter.
There are some excellent passages present, doing a great job on occasion of depicting the urgency and rush of navigating the seas by wind alone, but overall the album feels a little too 'safe', always sounding like a painstakingly constructed one-man project and losing some of its power in the process. The vocals are a mix of rasped growls and melodic, norse-style singing, and though technically well-executed these can sound a little underwhelming at times as well.
Overall ''...Magni Blandinn Ok Megintiri... ' is a decent excercise in epic viking metal, but it feels a little too stilted and synthetic to be a true classic.
1. ...When Gjallarhorn Will Sound 08:29
2. ...Where Blood Will Soon Be Shed 07:15
3. Towards the Hall of Bronzen Shields 06:02
4. The Heathenish Foray 08:00
5. Walhall 05:29
6. Baldurs Tod 05:54
Total playing time 41:09
The second album of Vratyas Vakyas' Falkenbach project takes the Viking metal sound of its predecessor to the extreme, abandoning some of the black metal but at the same time introducing new, jarring elements that upset the finished article. These songs are longer on the whole, though not necessarily more 'epic,' and are all quite slow, lacking the thunderous energy of the previous album, and although the nostalgic atmosphere is created very well in songs like 'Baldurs Tod' and the introduction of '...When Gjallarhorn Will Sound' particularly, the reliance on keyboards keeps it disappointingly in the present-day.
My largest issue with this album is Vratyas' alternation between a clean, chanting style of vocals and black metal rasps, the latter of which tends to sound out of place. Even worse is the frequent use of vocal distortion that delivers passages as if Vratyas was some sort of robot from a 1970s version of the future, sounding more like the kind of dumb gimmick Dimmu Borgir might do, and counting as a significantly failed experiment in an otherwise impressive album of Viking metal.
1. ...When Gjallarhorn Will Sound
2. ...Where Blood Will Soon Be Shed
3. Towards the Hall of Bronzen Shields
4. The Heathenish Foray
6. Baldurs Tod
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 When Gjallarhorn Will Sound
2 Where Blood Will Soon Be Shed
3 Towards The Hall Of Bronzen Shields
4 Heathenish Foray
5 Wall Hall
6 Baldours Tod