HistoryAfter the demise of Mithotyn Stefan Weinerhall formed this band, wrote songs and recruited experienced stage actor Blad to sing on a demo. A drummer (also ex-Mithotyn) was recruited and having now obtained a deal with Metal Blade the band entered Los Angered Studio in November of 2000 to allow Andy LaRocque to produce the debut album. A year later the band re-entered the same studio to record a new album called Chapters From A Vale Forlorn. The band had also been booked at Wacken 2002. The band plays speed metal.
Vocalist Mathias Blad left Falconer in late 2002. According to the band, "there are no hard feelings between us we just had different priorities." His replacement was Kristoffer Göbel in November, 2003 who also sang in Destiny. Falconer also gave former session musicians Anders Johansson (guitar) and Peder Johansson (Bass) permanent member status.
The Swedes completed the recordings for the third album entitled The Sceptre Of Deception in the summer of 2003. The CD was released on October 6th through Metal Blade Records.
The band split into two camps in the spring of 2004. Peder and Anders were booted from the band after an intra-band brawl. The remaining three members began looking for new members.
With new members Jimmy Hedlund and Magnus Linhardt in tow the band recorded Grime Vs. Grandeur between December, 2004 and January, 2005 with Andy La Rocque producing. Singer Mathias Blad rejoined the band in the autumn of 2005. Apparently, the band’s last album, Grime Vs. Grandeur, which featured singer Kriss Goebel was not selling well and the Swedes kicked the latter out in favour of his predecessor. The band’s drop in sales numbers meant that Blad’s return was not enough to persuade Metal Blade Records to issue the album in North America and Northwind was confined to the European territory. The group completed its next album, entitled Among Beggars And Thieves, at Andy La Rocque's Sonic Train Studio. It was out in September of 2008 through Metal Blade. The band released its seventh album, Armod, in Europe on June 3rd through Metal Blade Records. The next Falconer album, Black Moon Rising, was to be recorded in January, 2014 at Sweden’s Sonic Train studio with producer Andy La Rocque. It was due in June of 2014. From A Dying Ember was out six years after its predecessor.
FALCONER - THE SCEPTRE OF DECEPTION - METAL BLADE
This writer did not need to be psychic to have foreseen the difficulty in reviewing this album in advance. Falconer's third album transitions two members from temps to full-time members, recruits a new singer and is a concept album of some complexity to boot. It is not unusual for the latter to be the downfall of many albums and hence reviewing an unfamiliar band based on a concept album is always a tricky proposition. The stories and concepts are often recipes for musical strangulation. The Sceptre Of Deception is an epic and hymnal heavy metal album whose purity is only perturbed by the occasional opera vocals. One could forgive these given the nature of a concept album. Otherwise, Falconer comes across as the son of Manowar. The band is rigid in its convention and a little too basic for its own good. A guitar solo here, a drum roll there would have gone a long way in rehabilitating the proceedings. The Swedes should be more energetic, adventurous and less reliant on Manowar. Nonetheless, the quintet is solid and songs like Night Of Infamy and Ravenhair add worth to the album. - Ali "The Metallian"
FALCONER - GRIME VS. GRANDEUR - METAL BLADE
A new Falconer album should at least be of interest because of the band's new line-up and the introduction of a new guitarist and a bassist. The first thing one encounters of course is the album's dark cover which would have been a good candidate for Savatage's Gutter Ballet. The band's music has become harder with the Swedes embracing a more diverse sound. Singer Kristoffer Gobel has worked hard on the vocals and varies his voice often. Kudos to him for his flexible and evolving voice. The music too takes on many guises. The songs range from the same old lame K&F to real heavy metal tunes. Be it a wimpy track with keyboards or a metal stormer each song has the full use of great guitars which certainly are a boon to axe aficionados. The album is hit and miss and begins with the commercial Emotional Skies punctuated with silly female backing vocals. Purgatory Time is up next and it is not only the title that is reminiscent of Running Wild, for Gobel manages to mimic Rock & Rolf. The interestingly-titled Humanity Overdose is melodic, but has rattling drums all the way through and kicks in with big chords. Power is another weak song (anyone recall Rainbow?) with the laughable chorus line of "you've got power power to devour"! Boy, it sounds silly as a sing-along. No Tears For Strangers rips off Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers album and no I am not imagining it. The Deep Purple riff and sound is unmistakable. The Assailant and The Return have great guitars solos that need to be heard with the latter song featuring some Ozzy-esque singing topped by growling! The album is a motley one and inconsistent in credibility, but the potential is clear should the band want to produce something fully dependable next time free of keyboards, female vocals and other silly poppy influences. - Ali "The Metallian"
FALCONER - NORTHWIND - METAL BLADE
The new Falconer album Northwind once again features singer Mathias Blad, who essentially makes the difference on this album. Folk metal, or whatever the style is called, can be as dismal as it gets, yet the old/new singer’s smooth voice elevates this album from a mere gust unto a full-blown storm. Blad’s voice, a mixture of romanticism and melancholy, is smooth and effortlessly so. The band’s melodies, folk and epic vibe and metaphorical connotations do a good job of creating the right atmosphere for the band’s nice. The down side is that most of the songs are softer and commercially tinged, although harder moments are also to be had. Hear Perjury and Sanctity as an example or the up tempo Blinded for another. Himmel Så Trind is sung in Swedish. The album is not lacking material given its 54-minute length and 14 tracks. The material is magical, although whether that is enchanting for everyone is another matter. – Ali “The Metallian”