FALCONER - "CHAPTERS FROM A VALE FORLORN" (METAL BLADE)
Falconer is a band that rose from the ashes of Mithotyn. It consists of three members - Stefan Weinerhall on guitar and bass, Mathias Blad on vocals and keyboards, and Karsten Larsson on drums. They have been around for a few years now, and "Chapters from a Vale Forlorn" is their second album.
The band play a mediaevally influenced metal, though not as folky as Skyclad for example. Some use is made of traditional-sounding musical instruments (probably keyboard settings), but the actual tone of the songs is quite typical and archaic-sounding as well. The lyrical content, as far as I've been able to hear, is a toned down version of what bands like Sacred Steel and Manowar sing about.
In general, Falconer play up-tempo material. Mathias Blad is a good 'clean' vocalist, and the guitar work is incredible sharp-edged. Tracks range from the thrashy "For Life and Liberty", the memorably catchy "Stand in Veneration" and the melodic "Busted to the Floor", to the more typical, folk-induced tracks like "We Sold our Homesteads" and "Lament of a Minstrel". Obviously such an album can't do without a ballad, in this case the so-so "Portals of Light".
"Chapters from a Vale Forlorn" is a fine album that does not offer run-of-the-mill metal. I think the band has managed to carve out a niche in the market, and they have filled it rather well.
Written February 2002
Go to the Official Falconer site
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