Under the moniker Falkenbach, Markus Tümmers (aka Vratyas Vakyas) has been producing his own brand of Bathory-esque folk metal since 1989. In that time he's managed to release, on top of a handful of demos, a total of five studio albums. Tiurida, his fifth, came after an over-long period where fans had heard no new material. The previous album, Heralding- The Fireblade, was a re-recording of many of his early demo tracks and the album preceding it, Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty, was released eight years prior to Tiurida.
While eight years is a long time to wait for new material, the name Falkenbach stayed on the tongues of folk metal fans and Tiuridaquickly because the most anticipated album of this artist’s career. Unfortunately, I don't think too many fans will feel it lived up to their expectations....
Those that know of Falkenbach know he/they specialize in mid-tempo, epic folk metal ala the previously mentioned, Bathory. If you were looking for the extreme or the heavy, it'd be best if you looked elsewhere. Falkenbach's brand of folk is reliant on the sounds of nature, ancient melody, and acoustics to transport the listener to another time, perhaps for some another place. Look to Falkenbach for escape from the rat race, the city, paved roads, and landscaped lawns. But if this is to be your first helping of Falkenbach, perhaps look to his earlier releases then come back to this, the more lack-luster Tiurida.
Tiurida starts off with a brief intro track that neither adds too nor takes away from the album as a whole. Immediately following, and perhaps with out you even realizing, it transitions into the song Where His Ravens Fly... Fans will, without a doubt, recognize this off the bat as a Falkenbach album and old memories will flood back into their conciseness.
Formula is key. But formula might have sealed this album's sarcophagus because while it sounds unequivocally like a Falkenbach record, it falls just short in the 'catchy' department. Fans will know what I mean, while some of Tümmers earlier releases have hooks that sink their teeth into you and don't let go, this album simply comes and goes, perhaps a little too briefly, without as many stand-out moments. Songs like the aforementioned Where His Ravens Fly..., Tanfana, and In Flames are for me the high points on this album but, had this been my first Falkenbach record it may have eventually moved to the place where my CDs go to die to make room for something else.
That being said, a subpar Falkenback record is still better than twenty of the greatest 'cut-in-the-mold' albums from any one of the myriad of bands that seem to dominate the folk metal scene these days. I still own this record, and I'll still come back to it from time to time though I'll probably opt for ...Magni Blandinn Ok Megintirl... or records of it's ilk if I want to enjoy Falkenbach as anything more than background music.