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FALCONER - Armod cover
4.30 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2011

Filed under Folk Metal


1. Svarta Änkan (6:55)
2. Dimmornas Drottning (4:17)
3. Griftefrid (4:20)
4. O, Tysta Ensamhet (4:08)
5. Vid Rosornas Grav (5:52)
6. Grimborg (3:31)
7. Herr Peder Och Hans Syster (7:17)
8. Eklundapolskan (2:56)
9. Grimasch Om Morgonen (2:29)
10. Fru Silfver (4:32)
11. Gammal Fäbodpsalm (3:23)

Total Time 49:40


- Mathias Blad / Vocals, Keyboards
- Stefan Weinerhall / Guitar, Keyboards
- Jimmy Hedlund / Guitar
- Magnus Linhardt / Bass Guitar
- Karsten Larsson / Drums

- Heléne Blad / Vocals
- Anna Monéus / Flute
- Terese Unge / Cello
- Fredrik Andersson / Fiddle

About this release

Released by Metal Blade Records, June 3rd, 2011.

English language bonus tracks:

12. Black Widow (6:55)
13. Grimborg (3:31)
14. By the Rose´s Grave (5:52)
15. O, Silent Solitude (4:06)

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition and UMUR, Time Signature, DippoMagoo for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Time Signature

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.
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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