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Falconer - From a Dying Ember

Falconer
From a Dying Ember
by Eric Poulin at 29 June 2020, 12:53 PM

FALCONER is a Folk/Power Metal band based out of Mjölby, Östergötland, Sweden and have been around since 1999. This is their latest release entitled “From a Dying Ember” to be released on June 26th 2020, on the Metal Blade Records label. How time flies, I discovered these guys when their first album came out, over 20 years ago and what struck me about the band was the amazing singer. It is very rare that a vocalist can give me shivers, but that was the case with this band and I always appreciated their hard rock side.  it’s quite the privilege to review their latest opus, 2 decades after I first listened to them.

The opener “Kings and Queens” is quite the rapid-fire piece, especially in the drumming section with some heavy-duty double-bass action. What I find special is how the guitars almost sound like they were in a black metal band, in the fast-picking variety. The rest of the song relies on a very harmonious chorus. The vocals are stronger than ever here. The song transitions fairly quickly into a guitar-shredding solo. The contrast between the gritty guitar sound and the melodious vocals is not something we usually hear in a power metal band. “Desert Dreams” is more of your traditional power metal style, very fast in its overall and straight-ahead energy. The more medieval style is still very present however in some of the melodic passages (think ENSIFERUM). What is really interesting is how the song completely changes in tempo to put the emphasis on the vocals. Even when the song goes into overdrive, the vocals remain soothing and calm.

“Redeem and Repent” uses a bit more of a hard rock approach in the first minute or so, but there is part of the song that really caught my attention, where the singer goes into full-blown jester mode and the track feeds off the more medieval theme. The part is repeated and I find one of the more entertaining parts of the track. “Bland sump och dy” is sung in Swedish and is pure folk metal, it’s a nice change to hear the vocals in another language. The violins and the heavy guitar combination in this song really blend together perfectly. I can totally hear this song playing in Swedish pub at some point in time. A nice drinking song!

“Fool's Crusade” has two completely different elements, crescendo falsettos with barely any music at all and then gritty guitars. The song stays mostly in a mid-tempo state and has a very joyful atmosphere. For those of you who still remember MITHOTYN, the faster guitar parts will certainly bring back memories of that great band. If you like flutes and some folk-dancing riffing, well look no further than “In Regal Attire”, a song that immediately put a smile on my face with its positive energy and just great happy-go-lucky vibe. Don’t get me wrong it has some nice JUDAS PRIEST-like guitar riffing as well, but it doesn’t get more uplifting than this. The chorus is also quite possibly the catchiest of the entire album. The song just connected with me instantly, whereas the other songs grew on me in much slower fashion.

There is also another standout track here that has a bit of TAD MOROSE and STIGMATA IV, in that it is a slower number. Considering it has some Hammond organs, slower solos, and a DEEP PURPLE feel to it, it pulls on a lot of strings in terms of quality. I’ve always enjoyed these epic songs that talk about adventure, taking on evil and vanquishing the enemy. My second favorite song overall on this record.

It had been quite some time since I had reviewed a power metal album and since this band has so many different influences that go from black metal to progressive rock, it was quite the treat to indulge in their brand of melodic folk metal, filled with references to the middle ages, knights and the medieval customs. The album is extremely well produced and again the vocals are on par with any of their other albums. If you enjoy very positive, yet controlled power metal, you should definitely get your hands on this one during the summer.

Songwriting:  8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Kings and Queens
2. Desert Dreams
3. Redeem and Repent
4. Bland sump och dy
5. Fool's Crusade
6. Garnets and a Gilded Rose
7. In Regal Attire
8. Rejoice the Adorned
9. Testify
10. Thrust the Dagger Deep
11. Rapture
Lineup:
Stefan Weinerhall - Guitars, Keyboards
Karsten Larsson - Drums
Mathias Blad - Keyboards, Vocals
Magnus Linhardt - Bass
Jimmy Hedlund - Guitars (Lead)
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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