Jan 242014

Today we reach the 10th part of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here. I’m still not positive how many more parts remain, but I have resolved to finish before this month ends.

If you’re not familiar with today’s two additions to the list, you’ll soon understand why I grouped them together. They’re the least “extreme” of the songs featured so far, and I suppose some folks might argue they don’t belong on this list at all. But as different as both songs are from what I usually pass my days hearing and writing about, both of them lodged firmly in my head and have meant a lot to me since I first heard them. So they’re here, and so are you, and on we go…


Falkenbach is the German one-man project of Vratyas Vakyas. Since 1996 he has released six albums on an irregular and unpredictable schedule, the most recent being 2013’s Asa. By coincidence, it appeared on a late-breaking year-end list we published this morning, with these words:

“With multiple styles present, Asa sounds atmospheric and epic, Vratyas Vakyas putting forth excellent performances in everything he’s done with this album. The contrasting vocal styles are well done and may rival some of the best bipolar voices in metal, but the use of acoustic guitar may actually be the highlight of the album. I can envision Asa being what campfire stories at night would sound like with backing guitars and drums as others go forward to to do the deeds being sung about back home…. Falkenbach remains one of folk metal’s standard bearers, Asa showing exactly why.” Continue reading »

May 272013

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. Continue reading »