|Genres||Viking metal, pagan metal, black metal|
Falkenbach is a pagan black metal group from Germany that is signed to Prophecy Productions. The name means "Falconbrook" in German. The one permanent member is Vratyas Vakyas (real name Markus Tümmers). They are one of the very first Viking metal bands, starting in 1989, with their first release that same year.
The band was formed in Iceland in 1989, when it recorded the Hávamál demo, and has recorded a total of seven demos; however, only five are known. Three more were released by 1995: Skínn af sverði sól valtíva (Old Norse, "The Sun Shines on the Swords of Slaughter-Gods"), Læknishendr (Old Norse, "Healing Hands"), and Ásynja (Old Norse, "Goddess"). Of all of these except Læknishendr, only nine copies were released. The Hávamál demo is allegedly clean folk music, but since then the sound has become more raw and influenced by black metal influence and matured into an epic metal sound.
Most of Falkenbach lyrics are in English. They also write lyrics in Old Norse, Latin, and Old German. Most, if not all of the lyrics in Old Norse are actually taken from heathen literature: for example, the chorus lines in the song "Donar's Oak" are actually verses four and five of Grímnismál, a poem of the Elder Edda. (Hávamál, after which the first demo is named, is another such poem.)
In 1995, recording of the debut album Fireblade began, but due to equipment troubles, production was stopped shortly before mixing began. Fireblade was not released, and in December of the same year, recording began for ...En their medh ríki fara... (Old Norse, "...And in Glory Will They Go..."). The recording for this actual debut album was completed in March 1996.
After ...Magni blandinn ok megintiri... (Old Norse, "Mixed with Strength and Pride Glory") was released, Vratyas stopped recording music so he could focus more on his record label Skaldic Art Productions.
In 2003, Vratyas returned to the studio with three other musicians and close friends to record Ok nefna tysvar Ty (Old Norse, "And Name Twice Týr"). The next Falkenbach album, Heralding - The Fireblade, was recorded in August-September 2005, using the same session musicians he had used for Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty. It includes material originally intended for the never released Fireblade album and re-working of demo tracks.
In 2006 Skaldic Arts Productions released a tribute album called An Homage to Falkenbach. It consists of two parts, each limited to 500 units. The work contains 16 covers by various bands such as Eluveitie, Folkearth, and Bewitched.
Vratyas Vakyas (whose name roughly translates to "the searching wanderer"), the sole member of Falkenbach, lives in Düsseldorf, Germany.