Falconer - Black Moon Rising review
|Album:||Black Moon Rising|
|Release date:||June 2014|
01. Locust Swarm
02. Halls And Chambers
03. Black Moon Rising
04. Scoundrel And The Squire
06. In Ruins
07. At The Jester's Ball
08. There's A Crow On The Barrow
09. Dawning Of A Sombre Age
10. Age Of Runes
11. The Priory
Black Moon Rising is a surprising turn after Falconer's previous album. Very much in the spirit of their self-titled debut effort, this release signals for galloping power metal over the folk preferences the band have shown us at varied stages over the course of their consistent career.
The intent is clear here, and Falconer's drive is forcefully direct. This time an eager rhythm section holds pride of place over frequency of folk excursions, and it becomes obvious that the focus on Black Moon Rising is in power over the usual role of characteristically varied instrumentation. Tracks like "Wasteland" are barren as far as the extent of folk influence goes, the band opting for balder and upfront guitar work. No sense of identity is lost or sacrificed as a result, it simply instils a lot more energy in their song writing. Yet where there is energy there is a distinct lack of variety and the band's usual dual folk and power approach becomes heavily geared toward the latter, to the detriment of the sound overall.
Vocalist Mathias Blad essentially upholds the folk presence to this album, thankfully his performance adding unique character as always. However, within the mix he sounds oddly distant and held at bay by the guitars, still managing to perpetuate their sound but to a lesser role. The dominating guitars also bear the Falconer flavour, and the riffs remain identifiably their own, but it all suffers from a lack of diversity. Much of the activity comes in the drumming and upholding of consistent rhythms, which betrays a formulaic design that attempts but falls short of achieving what efforts like their debut managed so ably. There are no real gems such as "Mindtraveller" to be found here, only a rigid fixation on the forward force of the propulsive riffs, which are a fundamental characteristic of course and are in themselves competently written by the band's standards, being dynamic enough to spur the album onward at its varied yet typically rapid pacing. Melodies don't have the desired hold or distinctiveness to stand out from the album as a whole, tracks like "There's A Crow On The Barrow" punching out the Falconer style at high tempo with plenty of energy, but unfortunately little else.
Such a redirection after preceding albums make this effort a rather "bare-bones" attempt to reinvigorate Falconer's sound, and replicate the power witnessed in their debut. It's successful in this exercise, albeit lacking in the usual folk flavour that fans have come to expect.
||Written on 09.06.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.|
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