I make no secret of my enduring love of power metal. The genre as a whole is often dismissed or mocked due to the very nature of it’s overall themes. It’s fluffy, lighter, cheesy as all get out and not as intense as some of the more aggressive genres of metal. I think power metal fits in well with the rest of metal-dom and holds more of the traditional values of metal firmly in their D&D dice rolling hands. It’s uplifting, empowering, and catchy to boot. A prime example of this is Falconer.
I recently purchased the remastered “ultimate” edition of their first release. It’s a double disc featuring the self-titled debut plus a bonus disc featuring some newly recorded acoustic versions of a couple of the songs and their original demo release.
How I typically describe Falconer is a medieval band of minstrels, lost in time with electric guitars. The music is heavily themed around those sorts of motifs and combined with singer Mathias Blad’s powerful, yet classical sound, the image is complete. Now this isn’t new territory for power metal, even at the time of this albums original release, but Falconer make it sound fresh and unique. The vocals are a big part of that, but the infectiously catchy and well written powered up classical influenced guitar playing is another huge component. You’ve never heard a power metal band like Falconer before.
The remastering sounds incredible. This isn’t an old black metal or death metal album where the raw production is crucial to the sound of the album. This is power metal and the better sounding, the better overall. The album is warmer, instruments are pulled up a bit giving them more life and playing perfectly off each other. The acoustic songs are just as awesome as the full on metal versions. Falconer’s songs translate naturally to an acoustic treatment and make them feel even more like a medieval minstrel band lost in time.
Overall, this is a classic album in the power metal genre. The ultimate edition makes it even better.