FALCONER — Falconer (review)

FALCONER — Falconer album cover Album · 2001 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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.
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