Here are two more recent songs I heard over the weekend. They seemed like a fitting pair, and (as you’ll discover) not only because the band” names both begin with F.
Falkenbach is the German one-man project of Vratyas Vakyas. Since 1996 he has released five albums on an irregular and unpredictable schedule, the last being 2011’s Tiurida. Apparently, a new one named Asa is now in the works, and about 10 days ago Falkenbach released a lyric video for the first single from the album, a song named “Eweroun”. It has hypnotized me in short order.
From the beginning introductory passage, which features acoustic strumming and a somber folk melody voiced in a clean baritone, straight through the balance of the song, with heavier instrumentation joining the acoustic guitar and the vocals rising in range, it’s extremely memorable. It makes a virtue of simplicity, though it’s far from simplistic. If that makes any sense. Which it probably doesn’t.
Asa will be released by Prophecy Productions later this year, and some vinyl copies of “Eweroun” are still left at the Prophecy site.
By the way, I think it’s awesome that the video displays stylized lyrics that you won’t understand unless you happen to read Icelandic. At least I assume that’s what the words are; I’ve read that Falkenbach also writes some of his lyrics in Norræna (old Icelandic). But really, I have no idea . . . except I like what I see, and the photographic imagery suits the song as well.
FrostSeele is a German musician who early last year released a debut album named PrækΩsmium and is now planning for the release of its follow-up, Saat Der Sterne. I was unfamiliar with FrostSeele until I saw that the new album’s opening track, “(Gebär)Mutter Erde” had appeared for streaming on Bandcamp, and curiosity got the best of me.
The music begins with the building of layers: first, slow acoustic guitar chords; then thumping hand drums; then dissonant, distorted, electric guitar, and finally, a lead electric guitar melody. And once this folk-influenced edifice (which reminds me of Burzum) has been built, the song changes, with a wash of tremolo’d guitar, blast-beat drumming, and the strangled, harsh cries of the vocalist.
It’s a long song, and still more variation comes before the end, with more acoustic guitar (performing what sounds to me like a Spanish-style melody) as well as some infectious riffing, and a rising melody that’s easy to embrace. I’ve listened to the song a half-dozen times, and I’m still entranced by it.
Saat Der Sterne is set for release on June 1. It will be made available digitally on Bandcamp, and physical copies can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp as well; the link is below. Here’s that opening song, plus links: