FALCONER

Power Metal / Folk Metal • Sweden
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Falconer is Stefan Weinerhall's (the former guitarist of Mithotyn) Swedish Power Metal project with strong folk influences aimed at being similar to Mithotyn, but with clean singing. Created in May 1999 the project started unnamed. Their (first) self-titled album was released in March 2001. Since then, they've released 5 other albums: Chapters From a Vale Forlorn (2002), The Sceptre Of Deception (2003), Grime Vs Grandeur (2005), Northwind (2006), and Among Beggars And Thieves (2008). Singer Mathias Blad, who performed on the first two albums and also on the third album as a guest vocalist on few songs, returned for the recording process of the 5th album, Northwind . On albums The Sceptre Of Deception and Grime Vs Grandeur vocals were performed by Karl Kristoffer Göbel. With the addition of the new singer FALCONER`s music also changed and became faster and more aggressive. Many fans thought that with read more...
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FALCONER albums / top albums

FALCONER Falconer album cover 3.61 | 16 ratings
Falconer
Power Metal 2001
FALCONER Chapters From a Vale Forlorn album cover 4.29 | 13 ratings
Chapters From a Vale Forlorn
Power Metal 2002
FALCONER The Sceptre of Deception album cover 3.31 | 8 ratings
The Sceptre of Deception
Power Metal 2003
FALCONER Grime vs. Grandeur album cover 3.31 | 8 ratings
Grime vs. Grandeur
Power Metal 2005
FALCONER Northwind album cover 3.91 | 11 ratings
Northwind
Power Metal 2006
FALCONER Among Beggars and Thieves album cover 4.40 | 10 ratings
Among Beggars and Thieves
Power Metal 2008
FALCONER Armod album cover 4.31 | 13 ratings
Armod
Folk Metal 2011
FALCONER Black Moon Rising album cover 4.32 | 7 ratings
Black Moon Rising
Power Metal 2014

FALCONER EPs & splits

FALCONER Nocturnal Rites / Falconer album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nocturnal Rites / Falconer
Power Metal 2005

FALCONER live albums

FALCONER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

FALCONER Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo
Power Metal 2000

FALCONER re-issues & compilations

FALCONER singles (0)

FALCONER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

FALCONER Reviews

FALCONER Falconer

Album · 2001 · Power Metal
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Warthur
Falconer's debut album offers a mashup of comparatively traditional power metal with the occasional influence from folk and medieval music. The band clearly have a well-developed interest in history, with lyrics about kings and past times rooted mostly in realistic historical adventures rather than going full-on fantasy, and Andy LaRocque's production job is decent enough.

That said, part of me wonders whether a tweaked recording process which brought out more of the medieval and folk elements in the music would have worked better. As it stands, the power metal foundation of the band's sound dominates, and whilst the sound of the album would be fine for, say, a recent Gamma Ray or even Mercyful Fate release, it feels like it doesn't bring out the best in the more unusual elements of the group's sound.

FALCONER Falconer

Album · 2001 · Power Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Upon first listen i was surprised that lead vocalist Mathias Blad’s vocals weren’t in a higher range as most power metal bands tend to have. It actually took me a while to adjust to this since i’m used to hitch pitched wails of power metal instead of the smooth and steady mid-ranged deliveries we encounter here. Swedish act FALCONER came about as a result of guitarist Stefan Weinerhall leaving his previous Viking black metal band Mithotyn which incorporated Scandinavian folk-influenced melodies and carried them over into a folk / power metal band context. FALCONER released their debut eponymous album in 2001 in a decade when power metal acts were becoming a dime a dozen and finding it harder to separate themselves from the pack. FALCONER, while not exactly reinventing the wheel or anything succeeded in crafting a nice album filled with heavy metal riffs that unlike many folk metal bands eschew the use of non-metal instruments and stick to the basic guitars, bass, keyboards and drums, however although no other instruments are listed it sounds like some kind of traditional folk sounds are used sparingly as in the short intro of “A Quest For The Crown.”

The music is what you would expect from a power metal band, namely thundering and galloping metal riffs with accompanying drum and bass attacks with epic Medieval themes. FALCONER incorporates the folk aspects in the melodies in the fabric of the songwriting and the result is a nicely performed brand of power metal that differs from many others by the hard and hitting folk melodies and by Blad’s baritone vocal range. Although i find myself wanting a few wanderings into the higher range from time to time, i can’t really fault what is presented here. Like many power metal albums, the only real complaint is that the album is a wee too long for the type of sound presented. It’s not that any particular song is bad or anything, it’s just that there could be more diversity in the mix. On my CD there is also a bonus track that is a traditional folk song but presented in metal style and is more pure folk than the rest. Great album but i’m not as blown away by this one as many seem to be.

FALCONER Black Moon Rising

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
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adg211288
Black Moon Rising (2014) is the eighth full-length album by Swedish power metal act Falconer. The album sees the band returning to the more familiar ground of English lyrics following their last release Armod (2011) which featured lyrics entirely in the band's native Swedish. Swedish lyrics are something that the band had done before but never a whole album of them. Armod was always intended to be a one-off thing so it should be no surprise to existing fans of the band that Black Moon Rising features 100% English lyrics.

What may come as something of a surprise though is the direction of the music on Black Moon Rising. Aside from the Swedish lyrics Armod also featured a heavier use of Falconer's trademark folk influences. In my view it was their first true folk-power metal release, although Among Beggars and Thieves (2008) was also very folksy. On Black Moon Rising they've withdrawn the use of the folk elements by a great deal, more so than I was really expecting. In fact I'd describe the sound of the album as reactionary to Armod; not only are there less folk elements but also a renewed sense of aggression can be heard in their riffs, which apart from just being some incredibly in your face power metal also feature some crossover into thrash metal territory. This is particularly noticeable in the track Wastelands but there are also sporadic thrashy bits in the riffs of other songs including Locust Swarm and Age of Runes. The folk elements by contrast tend to be rather vague this time; easy to miss if your attention wanders at all or you get distracted by something. The most folksy track is the appropriately titled Scoundrel and the Squire but the band do use some folk influenced lead guitar melodies elsewhere such as in The Priory.

Falconer have done albums before that didn't sit so well with fans due to not having the classic Falconer sound that they expect to hear. Those releases were namely The Sceptre of Deception (2003) and Grime vs. Grandeur (2005) and there were released with a different lead vocalist, Kristoffer Göbel, rather than Mathias Blad, the original and current vocalist. Black Moon Rising isn't as far a cry from other Falconer albums as Grime vs. Grandeur in particular was, and Blad being here will always work in their advantage, but it has differences enough to point out that anyone expecting (musically) Armod II or Among Beggars and Thieves II will find something quite different within the power metal spectrum. I guess it's fair to say that Black Moon Rising is closer to their debut album Falconer (2001) than anything else the band has done, but those thrashy bits are definitely new, and in terms of speed I think Falconer have had a bloody good go at pushing even the boundaries of power metal here.

As with any Falconer album that he sings on Mathias Blad's very pure and melodic singing style may seem at odds with such intense metal music, especially to any newcomers who may only just be discovering Falconer through this album. Black Moon Rising is extra aggressive by Falconer standards but by power metal standards they've always been on the more intense and heavy end of things and even with less folk elements Blad's singing quickly identifies this as a work by Falconer. That was the biggest issue the albums released with Kristoffer Göbel had, they lacked the identity of both past and future releases. Black Moon Rising proves that Falconer can do things a little different and still be Falconer.

All in all Black Moon Rising stands as the most aggressive thing that Falconer has ever released to my ears. I was slightly thrown off by it at first, mainly due to the relatively lack of folk elements, but it quickly shows itself as another quality release by Falconer. It may not quite be the Falconer that fans know are love, but it kicks my arse so hard it's difficult not to be won over by it although out of the albums released since Mathias Blad rejoined as vocalist for Northwind (2006) I'd say it slightly lags behind the greatness of Armod and especially Among Beggars and Thieves (my personal favourite along with Chapters From a Vale Forlorn (2002)). But apart from the albums without Blad Falconer has never done anything less than exceptional and that's still the case with Black Moon Rising. 4.5 Stars.

92/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/falconer-black-moon-rising-t3529.html)

FALCONER Armod

Album · 2011 · Folk Metal
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Time Signature
Poverty...

Genre: power folk metal

Drawing on both power metal and folk music - tipping more towards the folksy side than the pure power metal side I think - this has got to be the best folk metal release, I have heard in a long time (closely followed by Skáldmöl's "Baldur" and not quite beating Skyclad's "Jonah's Ark").

Most of the melodies, and many of the riffs themselves, follow folk melody patterns, which also applies to the vocal melodies, sung to perfection in Mathias Blad's smooth and solid mid range voice. The vocals are exclusively sung in Swedish, and I must say that Swedish sounds fucking awesome in this context. It also adds a further folksy dimension to the overall music (at least to me, who grew up with a lot of folksy Swedish TV-shows). This album also features the fiddle and other traditional Swedish folk music instruments, but they are never dominant in relation to the metal instrumentation.

A lot of the tunes are in a midtempo pace, although there are some more uptempo parts, and some of the guitar riffage is quite groovy, but you can also expect black metal-like tremolo stuff, and there are even some blastbeats now an then. There are also elements from traditional metal and, of course, power metal, and I really like how the guitars make use of harmonies, and how heavy they sound compared to a lot of power metal.

If you like Nordic folk music and heavy metal music, then this album should definitely be up you alley. A strong contender to the title of folk metal album of the year.

FALCONER Armod

Album · 2011 · Folk Metal
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adg211288
Armod is the seventh full-length album from Swedish power metal act Falconer, released in 2011. While musically the release follows the same course as the band’s previous efforts, the band have made Armod slightly different in that all the sung have Swedish language lyrics, although bonus tracks exist with English translations of a few of the songs. The album also takes a stronger focus on Falconer’s folk side, producing what is arguably their first true power/folk metal hybrid, rather than just power metal with folk influences. This is apparently just a one-off for this album though, and not the sound of things to come, although to be fair, the album isn’t exactly worlds away from what came before.

Armod (which means ‘Poverty’) is a real belter of an album that left some very good opinions right after the first listen. I’ve usually had to give the other Falconer albums I’ve heard several spins in order to really sink my teeth into them but Armod grabbed me right from the off. Maybe it’s that larger focus on the folk elements in the music (I’m a sucker for good folk metal, which can often be in shorter supply than may sometimes seem), which are done extremely well, especially coupled with the use of Swedish lyrics, which even though I don’t personally understand a word of them manage to remain just as catchy as on the English language albums. Or it might be that Falconer is also delivering some really heavy and intense power metal on the album, something heard very well in the opening Svarta Änkan, which is one of the least folk influenced songs on the album, although it certainly has its moments, particular in the acoustic duet section between Mathias Blad and a guest female singer.

Although Svarta Änkan sets a high standard for the rest of Armod to follow the album doesn’t have any trouble in delivering excellent track after excellent track. Griftefrid, Rosornas Grav, Grimborg and Herr Peder och hans Syster all stand out as highlights of the bunch though, but in true Falconer style there’s no track included that can be considered below par, resulting once again in an album of the highest sort of quality. Blad’s vocals are, as always, spectacular and if anything, more suited to the Swedish lyrics than the English. The authentic folk melodies are tastefully done, while leaving plenty of room for some great power metal riffs and leads from guitarists Stefan Weinerhall and Jimmy Hedlund.

Overall Armod is another excellent Falconer release and doesn’t disappoint in any way. If you liked their previous stuff there’s no reason not to like this one, in fact, for me Armod stands as one of the band’s best yet. Folk and power metal fans are advised to check this one out!

Additionally there is a special edition of Armod available that includes four of the songs translated to English. Svarta Änkan becomes Black Widow; Rosornas Grav becomes By the Rose´s Grave; O, Tysta Ensamhet becomes O, Silent Solitude; and Grimborg retains the same name. All tracks are just as good as the Swedish versions in their own way, but I wouldn’t necessarily call them as essential as the Swedish versions, and the score I give the album doesn’t take them into account. Worth having so long as you don’t have to pay an extortionately higher price for the special edition.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 9.3/10)

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adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
An interview with Falconer has been posted to the MMA forums:

http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=10417&title=falconer-june-2014

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