FALCONER - Northwind

Falconer - Northwind

14 songs
54:21 minutes
***** ***
Metal Blade


I wasn't too eager to review Falconer's fifth album Northwind as their CDs became worse piece by piece and especially their last Grime Vs. Grandeur seemed totally uninspired and wasn't at all what I expected from a band that started with great albums like their self-titled debut and Chapters From A Vale Forlorn. Reasons for this regression were several line-up changes which made the band lose their focus.

Now the band fortunately turned back to its roots. The most important decision was the comeback of former singer Mathias Blad. As he is a professional musical singer, he had to leave the band because he didn't have time for Falconer live appearances. Let's hope that this time he will stay because his unique and well educated voice fits best into Falconer's mix of epic power metal and folk.

The opener and title track immediately shows that Falconer have gone back four years in time with Northwind sounding like the follow-up album to Chapters From A Vale Forlorn. Several songs are more folk metal orientated, but they do never sound the same. There are flutes on Perjury And Sanctity, Himmel Sa Trind has Swedish vocals and Spirit Of The Hawk sounds like a danceable old traditional. Even the slower tracks like Catch The Shadows and Tower Of The Queen are saved by Mathias Blad's warm vocals. Delusion has a retro touch thanks to its organs and Legend And The Lore is a medieval minstrel.

Falconer really took care to avoid the mistakes done on the mediocre Grime Vs. Grandeur. They've chosen the right direction and I hope that their future path will continue this way as they have retaken their rightful place among Europe's most interesting metal acts.

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