Swedish power metal band FALCONER freshly released their latest studio effort, “From A Dying Ember” today, 26 June 2020. Six years has been a long wait for this new album and fans are both positively exhilarated and saddened by it. Why the sad face, you ask? Well, this release has been announced to be their last. After twenty years of ass-kicking musical growth, FALCONER is determined to go out shining as bright as they can, with a throwback to golden oldies, infused with new ideas the band always wanted to incorporate into their signature brand of power metal.
Opening with the two first singles, the album is off to a smashing start. These first two power metal anthems bring an immediate smile to my face as instant concert classics. Nothing groundbreaking here, but that doesn’t make it less enjoyable. Both “Kings and Queens” and “Desert Dreams” are not only super catchy, but embody true commitment to the genre, with explosive energy that gets you nodding your head to the beat. Mathias Blad’s theatrical vocals are right on point here as well, making the listener’s heart swell in their chest.
The following first half of the record takes a bit more time to get into, I must admit. Yet, once you notice all the special instrumental touches, including nostalgic folk influences through bagpipes and flutes, you are guaranteed to lose your black heart to FALCONER (again). These folk elements can’t help but remind me of where the band came from when guitarist Stefan Weinerhall built it up from the ashes of the very well-received viking metal act, MITHOTYN. “Bland Sump Och Dy” is the best example, sung in Swedish and reminiscent of a traditional Nordic folk tune. This track is intensely charming to the last note. For those more entertained by bards and jesters, there’s “Redeem and Repent” to discover, complete with bardic frivolity.
These little folk blasts to the band’s past are what, in my opinion, make this album. There’s a case to be made that if you strip away the flutes and strings, the entire record would be quite underwhelming. So many different musical flavours are added into the mix, which are superb evidence of FALCONER’s maturity as a band. This is more than evident in tracks such as “Regal Attire” and “Garnets and a Gilded Rose,” which are truly enriched by the variety of instruments popping up.
What is particularly interesting about FALCONER, is the band’s nifty way of interweaving satire in the usual power metal-esque themes we have come to know and love as fans of the genre. It does not only add an original dimension to the lyrics, but changes the entire perception of the album. This clever input of social commentary renews the band’s validity in today’s day and age, separating them from the flock, which is a welcome change from the sometimes-repetitive power metal formulae.
Overall, this power metal and folk hybrid by FALCONER is a splendid final addition to their repertoire. Many types of fans can easily enjoy listening to “From A Dying Ember,” finding recognisable elements from the genres they love. It’s truly a deservingly beautiful end to an era for FALCONER, filled with many highs and – above all – epic power metal realness. They will definitely be missed!
Written by Jana De Boeck
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
10. Thrust The Dagger Deep
Mathias Blad – Vocals
Stefan Weinerhall – Guitar
Jimmy Hedlund – Guitar
Magnus Linhardt – Bass
Karsten Larsson – Drums
Metal Blade Records
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