FALCONER — Falconer

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FALCONER - Falconer cover
3.67 | 18 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2001

Filed under Power Metal


1. Upon the Grave of Guilt (4:57)
2. Heresy in Disguise (5:19)
3. Wings of Serenity (5:00)
4. A Quest for the Crown (4:15)
5. Mindtraveller (5:45)
6. Entering Eternity (5:14)
7. Royal Galley (4:17)
8. Substitutional World (7:42)
9. Lord of the Blacksmiths (4:44)
10. The Past Still Lives On (4:34)

Total Time: 51:47


- Mathias Blad / Vocals and Keyboards
- Stefan Weinerhall / Guitars and Bass
- Karsten Larsson / Drums

- Ulrika Olovsson / Backing vocals

About this release

Full-length, Metal Blade, May 8th, 2001

Produced by Andy LaRocque.

all music & lyrics by Stefan Weinerhall

Some versions come with a bonus track, a rendition of the Swedish folk song "Per
Tyrssons Döttrar I Vänge" (04:51) as track 11 on the CD.

Thanks to UMUR, DippoMagoo for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

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.
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" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by Swedish folk/ power metal act Falconer. The album was released in May 2001 by Metal Blade Records. Falconer is the brainchild of Stefan Weinerhall who has composed all music written all lyrics for the album. Stefan Weinerhall plays all guitars and bass on the album. Vocals and keyboards are handled by Mathias Blad and the drums are played by Karsten Larsson. Ulrika Olovsson delivers occassional female vocals. The original album contains 10 tracks, but some versions include the bonus track Per Tyrssons Döttrar I Vänge, which is a rendition of a Swedish folk song. I highly recommend that you seek out a version which features the bonus track, because that track is quite the fantastic folk metal track.

The music on the album is power metal/ traditional heavy metal with medieval and Scandinavian folk elements ( and folky/ fantasy lyrics about Kings and Blacksmiths). The instrumentation does not include any unconventional ( for metal) instruments like it´s the case on many other folk metal albums. We´re talking bass, drums, guitar and keyboards. The music is delightfully energetic. The tempi varies between fast- and mid-paced. You´ll find both heavy riffing and lots of melodic lead work on the album but the greatest asset of this album is without a doubt the elastic and powerful vocal delivery of Mathias Blad. Now that´s one skilled and distinct sounding lead vocalist for you there. While the instrumental part of the music is definitely enjoyable in its own right, it´s the vocals that takes this album to a higher level. The album is highly consistent and there´s not a single weak track featured on the album, but tracks like "Heresy in Disguise", "Mindtraveller" and "Wings of Serenity" are among the strongest on the album.

The album is produced by legendary King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque and he has created a great powerful sound for the music.

I was introduced to Falconer the year after this album was released and I remember I listened to the album a lot. Then came a couple of years where I didn´t listen to the album and actually I didn´t know exactly what to expect when I brought the album out again for this review. Fortunately the album hasn´t lost any of it´s charm in the years where I didn´t listen to it and when I listen to it now, it still puts me in a good positive mood just like great power metal is suppossed to. I find this debut album by Falconer highly recommendable to fans of power metal/ traditional heavy metal with folk elements and a 4 star rating is deserved.

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