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FALKENBACH - Tiurida cover
3.72 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2011

Filed under Viking Metal


1. Intro (1:38)
2. ...Where His Ravens Fly... (7:25)
3. Time Between Dog and Wolf (6:01)
4. Tanfana (5:32)
5. Runes Shall You Know (5:59)
6. In Flames (7:53)
7. Sunnavend (5:51)
8. Asaland (4:06)*

Total playing time 44:25


About this release

Bonus track marked with *

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Time Signature
Metal shall you know...

Genre: folk / black metal

The tracks on this album may be divided into two categories: folk metal and black metal, and it seems like the overall source of inspiration is Bathory - the legend of viking metal.

The tracks in the first category, some examples of which are "...Where His Ravens Fly...", the instrumental "Tanfana", and "Runes Shall You Know", are dominated by the folk music influence. The vocals are clean and melancholic, and all melody is folk-derived. Moreover, these track include folk instrumentation (some is keyboard-based), which performs most melodies such that the classic rock instrumentation becomes more of a background to the folk melodies. In some cases, though, the guitar is allowed to play a lead melody.

The black metal tracks are still very much under the influence of folk music, but here the vocals are snarled or growled in the typical black metal fashion, and the electric guitar is moved to the foreground. Some examples are "Time Between Dog and Wold" and "In Flames". I should reiterate that even these tracks are still anchored in folk metal, and they are kept in the same 3/4 midtempo as the other tracks, and they are melodic with no brutality or aggression to them at all.

In terns of atmosphere, this album is quite good. The viking folk nature of the music and the nature of both lead and vocal melodies contribute a very melancholic and dark atmosphere to the album, and it certainly is worth listening to several times because of the atmosphere. However, I do think that all the tracks on this album tend to become monotonous and, characterized by repetition, some are even on the verge of becoming boring.

Then again, repetition is considered a quality according to traditional black metal standards, and it is possible that the use of repetition is a deliberate import from the black metal genre, in which case, I am sure that black metal fans with enjoy and appreciate the monotony of this album. I do think, though, that "Tiurida" will appeal more to folk metal fans than to black metal fans.
Tiurida (meaning ’Glory’) is the fifth full-length album by Germany’s Falkenbach, released in 2011, a little over five years since the previous output, Heralding - The Fireblade, which was released in late 2005.

The music of Tiurida falls into two distinct categories – folk metal and black metal. Most of the album is a folk metal release but there are a few tracks where things take a turn into the more extreme black metal territory. The group, who actually only consists of the one constant member in Vratyas Vakyas (though he has collaborated with the same three session musicians on the last three albums, with the addition of a session bass player on Tiurida), pull off both styles particularly well, making Tiurida a really glorious release (see what I did there?).

Tiurida begins with a short intro, dubbed with the unimaginative name of just Intro and not really adding anything to the record (it’s one of those pointless intros), before we get the first of six actual songs, ...Where His Ravens Fly...This track is a staple of the real folksy side of Falkenbach, which is quite the atmospheric experience with clean vocals delivered in an almost chant like fashion, melodic lead guitar and plenty of acoustics. The guitar riffs here are the only real black metal elements to songs such as this, in complete contrast to the next track, Time Between Dog and Wolf, which focuses on black metal and sees the lead vocals taken over by session member Tyrann, with Vratyas Vakyas performing some chants which add in folk edge again.

It’s then back to a more folk metal driven sound for the instrumental Tanfana. I really like this track’s folk melody and atmosphere and I could listen to this a lot just for those atmospherics, but from a neutral standpoint I have to confess that at times this track doesn’t seem to really go anywhere and I think that even though I love it, that it may be too long for some at five and a half minutes. Sunnavend can also be considered an instrumental because the vocals seem to only be used to add to the atmosphere. Falkenbach does the style of folk metal really well, and the melody used here is brilliant.

Runes Shall You Know is another song like ...Where His Ravens Fly..., delivered in the same sort of style. A nice track, but it seems kind of lacking when put up next to ...Where His Ravens Fly... In Flames follows this one, and sees a return of the growled vocals but with more a focus on folk instrumentation again, making it feel like less of a black metal piece than Time Between Dog and Wolf. For its length there aren’t actually made vocals in the song though. Like much of Tiurida there’s a lot of instrumental work going on here. I do think that there is perhaps too much of a focus on instrumental on the album, but at the same time I do find that the instrumentation is really well done, and I saw again, very atmospheric.

If this sounds like the sort of music you’re looking for then I say go right ahead a get yourself a copy of Tiurida, because this is a really great solid release. It doesn’t exactly feel like a masterpiece to me, at times it seems formulated even, but what it does sound like is music made by a guy who knows what he does and does it extremely well. I think that next time though I’d like a bit more balance between instrumentals and vocal pieces, because I feel that the vocal talents are the most underused element in the Falkenbach sound here, and as always, dropping the useless intro piece would be a great idea. But all in all, nothing really to dislike here for the folk metal fan.

Some versions contain the bonus track, Asaland, which is an old track redone from Falkenbach’s demo days. I don’t know the original, but I have to say this track features some of the more intense guitar riffs on the whole album, while keeping true to the atmosphere felt in the main tracks. An instrumental, it’s a good edition to the collection of songs on offer, but for me doesn’t quite stand up to the main album’s instrumental offerings.

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