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Review: Falconer - Chapters From A Vale Forlorn
Chapters From A Vale Forlorn

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 40:39
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: February 26, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.66/5 (93.13%) (32 Votes)

This was the second album for Falconer, after their stirring debut album made waves all over the place. I loved their first album, and for a long time I thought this one was not quite as good, but time will tell, and while not as immediately satisfying as the debut, Chapters From A Vale Forlorn is a musical triumph on all levels.

This is not quite as visceral and heavy as the first album, and there is nothing here as riffy as "Heresy In Disguise" or "Quest For The Crown", but some of the band's best and most powerful songs are on here, like the show-stopping "Decadence Of Dignity" and the moving "Clarion Call". The real centerpiece is, I think, the ballad "Portals Of Light", which is one of the most affecting, genuinely heartfelt songs about death and loss ever recorded. All the rest of the songs are almost equally great, like the catchy "We Sold Our Homesteads" and "Enter The Glade". "Busted To The Floor" closes out a majestic album on a more uptempo note, but I can never resist it. As always, the performances shine, with Stefan Weinerhall's fine folky riffs and the smooth, charismatic voice of Mathias Blad. Blad sounds better on this album than he maybe ever has before or since with the band.

Powerful, emotional Heavy Metal is the order of the day on this album. Their debut is certainly an easier listen, but this one contains some magnificent songs, and thought it requires a little more attention, is more than worth it. Highly Recommended.

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