Falconer
From A Dying Ember

Falconer holds a special place in my heart. Their 2003 album The Sceptre of Deception is one of my favorite power metal albums of all time. I was quick to find out, however, that this was not the definitive lineup of the band. At this time, they were operating with vocalist Kristoffer Gobel, with whom they recorded one more album. Afterwards, original vocalist Mathias Blad rejoined to take over vocal duties. That was 14 years ago, all the way back in 2006. Unlike the purists of the band, getting the original vocalist back on board was not my favorite move, considering my adoration for Sceptre of Deception.

For those unfamiliar, Falconer is your heavily folk-influenced style of power metal. You know, the kind where you can imagine some parts coming from a minstrel trying to entertain the king. Is it cheesy? Sure. It’s also fun. The first track, “Kings and Queens,” doesn’t take long to get going with Stefan Weinerhall’s trademark melodic guitar making an appearance before the other instruments kick in, locking into a rousing groove before Blad’s vocals start less than 45 seconds in. After the first chorus, the initial solo comes almost out of nowhere, followed by some tremolo picking, another verse, then the chorus. A quick lead after the chorus segues into the chorus melody again, but the only backing is the guitar. This is a pretty good first track bereft of your typical verse, chorus, verse, chorus format.

“Bland Sump och Dy” is track 4 and I don’t know what it means. Scholars maintain the translation was lost hundreds of years ago. Could I look it up in Google Translate? Sure. For that matter, so could you, but you’re not going to do it, either, are you?

Track 5, which is called “Fools Crusade,” reminds me of Turisas. To be fair, though, Falconer has been doing this much longer. The way Mathias emphatically pronounces and enunciates the phrase “feel the stench in your nostrils” borders on the theatrical. Of course, power metal of this variety frequently toes that line.

That’s certainly not exclusive to only that track. It also goes for track #7, which is another standout with a great chorus, called “In Regal Attire.” Even without the chorus, the track reminds one of medieval times. Such as with the theatrical elements mentioned above, this type of power metal frequently evokes those images.

The only song that’s really a detour from the norm is the next one, which is called “Rejoice the Adorned. In this song, you have only a piano and Mathias Blad’s vocals to carry it. At this point in the album, one could use a little break, but most would expect this track to either be a closer or a little further up in the track list to break it up a little bit earlier.

I could go on, but I don’t feel it’s necessary. So, how is From a Dying Ember? Well, simply put… It’s fine. It’s Falconer. They’ve been doing this a long time… and doing it well. Stefan Weinerhall’s guitar playing deserves a special mention as I never hear his name amongst the top guitarists in metal. That should change. His tone is stellar and his riffs inventive. He’s the star here. However, this album, while good, if you have heard Falconer before, you’ve basically heard this. That’s not necessarily a negative as I didn’t exactly expect coming into this album that I would hear something far left of their previous output. It’s cheesy, well-performed power metal. Let’s face it, if you’re a red-blooded American like myself, you really like cheese… to an unnaturally artery-clogging degree. You’ll probably like this album, too.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
July 13th, 2020

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