|Review: Falkenbach - Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty|
|Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Viking Metal
Review online: May 2, 2004
Reviewed by: Chaossphere
for:Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty
Rated 4.22/5 (84.44%) (18 Votes)
While Falkenbach's first two albums - the more blackened approach of the debut In Their Med Riki Fara and the subsequent shift to a pure viking/folk sound on Magni Blandinn Ok Megintiri - were both quite excellent works in their own right, nothing on those discs was quite enough to prepare me for the genius that surfaced on album number three. Rumours of mastermind Vratyas Vakyas being badly injured in a car accident were among the reasons offered for the five year silence which preceded this album - but whatever the case, Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty has distilled the purest essence of Nordic pride and the heathen spirit into 40 minutes of the most brilliant music i've ever heard. This has easily been my most frequently-spun CD since I got it in late January, and it's only now that I can listen to it objectively enough to put its genius into words.
This disc kicks off with a soaring nine-minute epic, "Vanadis". Amalgamating pounding drums (real this time, as opposed to the programmed sterility of the drums on the older material), soaring choral chants and subtle, restrained guitar work into an amazing whole, the song literally sounds like a battle-march of crushing proportions. Of course, rather than frontloading the album with the best song, this disc truly hits its peak on the next few tracks. "...As Long As Winds Will Blow..." contains some of the most beautiful acoustic guitar playing I have ever heard on a metal album, while the vocals soar to previously unimagined heights. I'm guessing VV took some singing lessons in the last five years, because his vocal performance here completely annihilates his somewhat flat, timid singing on the previous album. In fact, most vocals here are of the clean sung variety, with the second verse in "Vanadis" being the only standout section utilizing a harsh rasping approach. "Donar's Oak", meanwhile, contains a stunningly brilliant chorus (with lyrics in Icelandic, recited from the Viking tome Griminsmal) and more killer acoustic work. That's followed by "...The Ardent Awaited Land" which is something of a sequel to the song "Into The Ardent Awaited Lands" from the debut. This one, though, is a mellow folk-ballad with subtle percussive drive behind acoustic strumming and restrained vocal murmurs. Then the album picks up again, with "Homeward Shore" returning to majestic bombast, before another 9-minute crescendo appears in the form of "Farewell", and thus the story is told.
There is really no way to describe the greatness of Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty in words. As someone once said, writing about music is like dancing about architecture - well, I usually do a decent job of shaking my booty in a certain way to express an opinion, but reviewing this album is like using a shaky, basic line-dance move to describe the Pyramids of Egypt. All I can really do is unconditionally recommend that everyone see them with their own eyes, rather than take my half-baked running around at face value.
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