Falconer - Chapters From A Vale Forlorn

01. Decadence Of Dignity
02. Enter The Glade
03. Lament Of A Minstrel
04. For Life And Liberty
05. We Sold Our Homesteads
06. The Clarion Call
07. Portals Of Light
08. Stand In Veneration
09. Busted To The Floor
10. En Kungens Man [bonus]

Chapters From A Vale Forlorn is Falconer's second studio album, they play mostly mid-tempo power metal with some slight Folk influences. Their vocalist, Mathias Blad strongly reminds me of a medieval bard. The bass guitar just accompanies the vocals while the guitarist basically just does as he likes, starting or ending interesting riffs and soloing in the middle of a chorus or a verse. This makes Falconer an extremely interesting band to listen to, it also gives them a quite playful edge. The drum machine just kind of trots along, sometimes a bit slower and sometimes a bit faster, but it doesn't sound as annoying as drum machines often tend to do. The keyboard is only used very seldom and when it is used it is only to contribute to the atmosphere. They also use flute, Hammond organ, piano and violin to add depth to their music on a few songs.

The weak point of this album though, is the bad production; this especially shows on the beautiful ballad "Portals Of Light" of which I'm sure it would sound twice as good with the production a song like this deserves. Their lyrics are about the hardships of medieval times and the greed of the church, however a lot of the passages also remind of modern life. The lyrics are presented in the form of a few neat metaphors "If you look hard you'll see me in the sky, showing you the light that now is for sale. Don't you hesitate, but buy yourself a Grail."

This is clearly one of those CD's which you can listen to over and over again. The songs are rich in variation, ranging from slow ballads, to fast and very catchy songs and tracks with very folkish passages. Despite the use of a drum machine even the drumming has quite some variation. When listening to this CD you will almost always find something new, a strange guitar note you didn't notice before, a nice flute tone in the background accompanying the singing, a change of time signature, anything. This album is so full of such things that listening to it will never get boring.

All in all what we have here is a catchy power metal band with good lyrics, not at all cheesy, some folk influences and a very playful attitude. Definitely a band I would recommend not only to all fans of power metal but also to fans of folk metal or traditional metal; actually this is a band I would recommend to just about anyone.

Favourite tracks: Enter The Glade, The Clarion Call, Portals Of Light

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 8

Band profile: Falconer
Album: Chapters From A Vale Forlorn


written by Bas | 06.08.2006

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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Revenant - 06.08.2006 at 16:54  
Lament of a Minstrel is a legendary song
Lucas - 06.08.2006 at 23:42  
This might be the third good Power Metal band you introduced me to. Must check them out.
Lily_Lazer - 08.08.2006 at 19:20  
Meh, I am not good at commenting whatsoever ... I will just say that this is one very well written review, and, I agree with it ^^ Chapters is one album one can listen over and over.
Devil Child - 08.09.2006 at 07:22  
Good review bas2. Beside,There is only one little thing I must say, about the drumming; I don't think they were using a "drum machine" like you said, in the booklet of the album I can see in the line up "Karsten Larsson" doing "Skins and cymbals". It seem that it's their drummer since 2000. Anyway, a great album by a great band, my favourites songs are "The Clarion Call", "Portal Of Lights" and "Lament Of A Minstrel" but there's no bad ones at all.

P.S. Congratulations for your interview with Stephan
Infurnace - 03.07.2007 at 15:50  
Yeah, you are right, Mathias reminds me of an medieval bard aswell. Great review! It's a great album.
Jason W. - 04.07.2007 at 01:02  
This album always seemed like a decent sequel to their debut, but it just never measured up for me. I don't feel the production is terrible, I just feel the songwriting started to go in a direction that would eventually lead to the (IMO) uninteresting sounds of their 3rd and 4th albums. Outside of the first two tracks on this album, I really don't listen to it much. The ballad and the final track with its prog-rock keyboards just do not work for me at all. They still deserve a high rating because their sound is so unique, but I think I'd go for somewhere around 8 on this disc.

And regarding the drum machine comments, I do know a drum machine was used on the demo (as it says on their website), but as far as I know, Larsson did the drumming not only on this album, but on the debut as well.
Arcaliz666 - 12.07.2007 at 21:07  
We Sold Our Homesteads is a traditional Swedish song, the lyrics of this song was translated to english by Mathias Blad.
Passenger - 28.09.2007 at 23:58  
Great album, and I hate Power Metal! However the genius of songs such as Decadence Of Dignity is too obvious to be ignored.

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