|Review: Falconer - Falconer|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2001
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 27, 2002
Reviewed by: Steel Warrior
Rated 4.39/5 (87.83%) (46 Votes)
With the arise and success of Hammerfall, Sweden had become in one of the busiest exporters of Power Metal in the last few years. A lot of unknown and talentless bands had gotten wealthy contracts just for the fact that they are a "melodic Power Metal band from Sweden". This mentality from labels is making a lot of real fans turning their backs to the scene, and also tagging some good bands as "another Hammerfall clones". This is the case with Swedish band Falconer.
With their self-title debut, people are seeing them as another band from the bunch. FAR WRONG!!! Falconer are not new comers to the scene. They are experienced players that had dedicated at least ten years to the Swedish scenes. Guitarrist Stefan Weinhall and drummer Karsten Larsson were founding members and the brain behind highly acclaimed melodic viking Black Metal band Mithotyn. With Mithotyn they released 3 albums on now defunct Invasion Records label at mid-late 90's that were highly praised by the media. With the combination of pure Iron Maiden riffing and melodies with awesome drumming in a black metal context, this guys released three seminal albums that still today keep in the minds of fans as some of the best music ever done by a Swedish act. Their music along with the viking lyrics, really transported you to the age of Odin and Thor. At that moment a lot of people (including myself) wondered how Mithotyn would sound if instead of black and harsh shriek vocals they use clean ones. Well, Falconer is the result.
Awesome guitar melodies that will blow you out of the Earth along with a good (although not excellent) clean vocals singer. Their music ranges from fast and pounding drumming up to mid tempo songs. And, yes, not silly ballads, nor loving lyrics. Their lyrics are epic with stories from the past, kings, crowns, iron, steel. Album opener "Upon the Grave of Guilt" is just pure adrenaline with a heavy riffing that will cank your veins along with an excellent drumming work. Second track "Heresy in Disguise" is a mid-tempo song with an excellent riffing and with some of the best vocal melodies used on the album. The guitar solos are not mindblowing, but very well crafted and executed on the whole album. The weak point I found about Falconer is their vocals execution handled by Mathias Blad. He sings sometimes so calmed down that you would think like he was not enjoying what he was doing. He seems to have a good voice, but he does not show much power and emotion, especially on the fast songs. On the mid-tempo songs and in the harmony vocals he fits perfectly, but he needs to improve when power and emotion is needed. So, fellas, this is not "another Power Metal band from Sweden".
Falconer has its own identity and their compositions are miles more mature and intelligent than most of the so called "true"bands that had spread the scene. If they manage to improve the vocals by next album and remain with the struture of this one, for sure we will witness a classic?
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