Falkenbach is a project of distinct contrasts and in the music that sole member Vratyas Vakyas creates you will find songs of peaceful momentum sitting comfortably against those of a harsher dialect. Asa is Falkenbach’s sixth full-length and marks the German act’s most accomplished and coherent work to date.
Flitting between soothing folk tributes (Vaer Stjernar Vaerdan) to more aggressive black metal sounds (Wulfarweijd), Asa bridges the gaps between Falkenbach’s opposing elements and brings together the two sides in beautiful and moving odes to Norse legend and pagan lore, all while singing in a near-extinct West Germanic dialect – the one exception being Bronzen Embrace, which is rendered in rasped and furious English.
The gorgeous strains of Eweroun breathe with a staggering depth and it’s in the tiniest of inflections of sound that the song comes to life, while Vratyas Vakyas’s sweet and clear vocal lines open up new channels of wonder. Asa is truly a record of layered wonder and the calming folk-tinged moments that play off the more traditional elements of metal set it apart from the crowd with an enchanting elegance.