Rating:
7.9
Falconer - Grime Vs. Grandeur
3 May 2005


01. Emotional Skies
02. Purgatory Time
03. I Refuse
04. Humanity Overdose
05. The Assailant
06. Power
07. No Tears For Strangers
08. The Return
09. Jack The Knife
10. Child Of The Wild
11. Wake up [Limited First Edition Digipack bonus]
12. Rock 'n' Roll Devil [Japanese bonus]


Another Swedish band that returns with a new album this year is Falconer with their medieval-oozing Power Metal that gained huge success in the beginning of their career much because of Stefan's (Weinerhall) exceptional way of handling a guitar and a pen, and because of Mathias' (Blad, ex-singer) incredible voice.

But times change and Mathias left the band because of his inability to travel and do live shows. So a new singer was announced, Kristoffer Göbel, who we soon after could recognize with on Falconer's third creation "Sceptre of Deception", an album I was a bit sceptic towards in the beginning, but it grew on me after time.

After "Sceptre of Deception" Falconer once again lost members and this time it was the second guitarist and the bassist that left. Once again, Falconer replaced them with talented musicians. Then a new album was in the making, "Grime Vs. Grandeur", that will be Falconer's fourth album, and hopefully it will take the band to the next level.

But Falconer isn't just doing another album in the veins of there first three. With "Grime vs. Grandeur" they are leaving their almost original medieval theme behind and have chosen to focus on Victorian England. "Grime vs. Grandeur" is also their heaviest and most music-concentrated album to date. Stefan has this time left all the lyrics up to Kristoffer and also taken Kristoffer's help for about 25 % of the musical material, so this time things are different in Falconer mark my words.

Even if I in time start to like "Sceptre of Deception", I still rank their previous two albums much higher; they are both filled with unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses, and that's two things I think these latest two albums are missing.

On "Grime vs. Grandeur" Falconer (Stefan) has, as I mentioned earlier put all his skills on making a heavy album, and because of that almost all those special medieval-Falconer turns are gone, and replaced with simpler straight Heavy Metal riffs a tragic loss if you ask me.

Don't get me wrong here, "Grime vs. Grandeur" is a great Heavy Metal album, but it's not a good Falconer album that's what I'm trying to say because of the two brilliant albums, "Falconer" and "Chapters of a Vale Forlorn". It's hard to change style (as I think Falconer has done) without getting complaints and negative reviews.

But I also understand that this might be what Stefan and Falconer were aiming for since Mattias left, and was replaced by a singer that's not as "medieval" in his voice. It's hard to keep the music the same; actually it's hard whenever you change a vocalist. So I guess I'll have to get used to the fact that Falconer won't make great Medieval Power Metal anymore.

Among the best songs are: "Emotional Skies", that has maybe the best chorus on the album together with a wonderful female vocalist, that I unfortunately do not know the name of. "I Refuse", is another good tune; here we have a guest-appearance by drummer "Snowy Shaw", from Dream Evil. The song itself is a bit odd but it's good. The last song: "Child of the Wild" is the song where Kristoffer uses his voice as well as he can, and even the calmer parts and the chorus are brilliant.

So as a Heavy Metal album it's good, very good, and I recommend all fans of Heavy (Power) Metal to check it out. For old Falconer fans I'm sad to say that the old Falconer seems very distant (even if you'll hear that Stefan is still playing guitar) and as long Kristoffer is behind the microphone, I guess the band will stay and play Heavy Metal in the future, which they also are doing great.

Check Out: "Emotional Skies", "I Refuse" & "Child of the Wild".


Band profile: Falconer
Album: Grime Vs. Grandeur


 


written by Malcolm | 10.05.2005



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