Falconer
Among Beggars and Thieves

For me, the allure of Falconer, one of the handful of power metal acts I can tolerate, was they were essentially a power metal continuation of Mithotyn, one of the best Viking metal acts of their time. However, after three well received albums, internal strife resulted in a new vocalist and the stylistically different Grime vs. Grandeur.

However, the ship righted for 2006s Northwind, with singer Mattias Blad back in the fold and a return to the frilly shirts and green tights style of power metal that made the band standout. Continuing and improving where Northwind left of, Among Beggars and Thieves is folk and slightly Viking influenced power metal led by Blad’s unassuming, calm voice. The guitars are the expected power metal romp and gallop with a very slight Mithotyn undercurrent (just check out the riffs in standout native tongue tracks “Vargaskall”, “Skula Skorpa, Skalk” and “Mountain Men”) and lots of folk tangents, female vocals and hair in the wind ballads.

It’s all never quite Rhapsody-like in its pomp and over the top majesty, but more early Elvenking, another band who mixed power metal with folk influences with great results. That being said, if you despise anything Renn Faire, SCA or LARP related, Falconer’s epic songs of heroes, forest, villains and other flute laden, medieval frivolities will no doubt have you fuming in your denim. However, for the rest of us, Falconer is simply perfectly adept at mixing soaring, upbeat, folk laced riffs, and a few hey-nonny-nonny, admittedly fairy metal, guilty pleasure moments that in truth share as much with the likes of Turisas and Ensiferm as well as their power metal brethren.

Tracks like the aforementioned standouts “Vargaskall”, “Skula Skorpa, Skalk” and “Mountain Men” as well as “Viddernas Man”, “Pale of Silver Moon” and “Boiling Led” provide plenty of rousing, solo filled, galloping, maypole jig moments while the likes of “Carnival of Lust”, “A Beggar Hero” and “Dreams and Pyres” provide plenty of lighter waving controlled, somber balladic moments.

In all, this is a classic high quality, Falconer album that will appease Falconer fans as well as power metal fans and provide an amply epic soundtrack to your next game of Dungeon and Dragons in your mom’s basement.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 2nd, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Vance

    Very nice, haha… you forgot to add that they use Pantene Pro V with essential hydrating rinse to achieve that brilliant plumage, these guys are actually pretty good for this style, not as overly fruity or covered in cheese. The vocals are indeed unassuming but I think that is what makes this band better and Stefan Weinerhall can write some good riffs. Good open minded review.


  2. Commented by: Yancey

    I like Falconer, but I’d rather jam that new Equilibrium during my D&D sessions than Falconer. That being said, “Chapters from a Vale Forlorn” kicks some serious ass.

    I need to check the new one out, “Northwind” was pretty cool.


  3. Commented by: ceno

    Excellent review. I think the new album is a bit inferior to “Northwind”, which actually was nearly as awesome as the debut I should also check out those Equilibrium guys. Heard some good things about ’em.


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