Falkenbach bundles enduring melodies, skillful songwriting and piercing metallic guitars—from a heartfelt perspective of heathenism; behind Falkenbach, the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Vratyas Vakyas sustains this charm by journeying back into era, where Norse tales and mythology meet. As it lyrically includes a nearly archaic Germanic dialect, Asa remembers folk and tradition. Each piece on Asa, careful and fulfilling, speaks from a majestically melancholic place and echoes of the Falkenbach that listeners find to be mysterious yet enticing.
“Vaer Stjernar Vaerdan” announces the album’s formula of acoustic and heaviness. While picking up speed, “Wulfarweijd” piles on enchantment. “Mijn Laezt Wourd” is a tad weighted but secures an edginess. “Bronzen Embrace” delivers a startling introduction of harsh vocals and blast beats, making halts to scrape with fierceness. Just seconds into the stirring “Eweroun,” and it is known why it had been a previously released single, gripping and captivating. Following that track, the riffs of “I Nattens Stilta” expose biting bitterness.
With the return of clean singing, “Bluot Fuër Bluot” enlivens the album’s latter half. A thunderous beginning kicks off “Stikke Wound,” and “Ufirstanan Folk” remains soft but durable, exposing “Beloved Feral Winter” in a declarative form. “En Lintinbluitin Faran…” is wonderfully somber; “Return to Ultima Thule” is peculiarly familiar, as it tosses hints of former Falkenbach favorites. As a robust instrumental, “I Svertar Sunna Luihtint” completes the album.
No song dwindles into dullness on Asa. While “Vaer Stjernar Vaerdan” atmospherically unloads sentiment, rage spills from “Stikke Wound,” and “Eweroun” is blissfully magnetic. Expect the record’s production to be wholesomely satisfying, and compositions shift throughout the album with enough variety. Drenched in unforgettable melodies, Asa is a dreary, folksy treat that is destined to delight with replays.