FALCONER – Grime Vs. Grandeur

FALCONER - Grime Vs. Grandeur


Metal Blade
Release date: May 3, 2005

User Review
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For those not familiar with Stefan Weinerhall, he was once guitarist and main songwriter in a quite awesome Viking Metal band called Mithotyn, one of the foremost acts on the Viking/Pagan Metal scene a few years ago. Falconer was founded after Mithotyn broke up, and has been busy since then with 4 full-length albums in the last 4 years. The band has been a quality act throughout, and especially their self-titled debut, released in 2001, was a great album.

There’s no doubt the great album moniker also goes for Grime vs. Grandeur. The band plays a relatively straight forward form for Melodic Metal, but with Weinerhall’s trademark thematic twists, found both in the guitar and vocal melodies. His music always has its own trademark sound – filled to the brim with minor key, northern style melodies, strong and meaty rhythm guitars, and small, melodic themes underlining the main vocal theme. All this is present here too, and this makes for satisfying music indeed.

The album kicks off with “Emotional Skies” and “Purgatory Time,” two great, up-tempo numbers with lots off cool choirs and guitars. “I Refuse” is very reminiscent of Jag Panzer, both in terms of guitars, vocals, and the groove in the rhythm section (where both bassist Magnus Linhardt and Mithotyn drummer Karsten Larsson do a particularly good job).

They’re back in up-tempo territory with the next two tracks: “Humanity Overdose” and “The Assailant.” “Humanity …” is the best of the two, with a cool riff and nice melodies. “The Assailant” also opens with an awesome, very typical riff, but the rest of the song does not match the great intro. The slower “Power” doesn’t provide much to scream hooray about either … the intro riff is okay, but both the verses and chorus are quite dull. The guitar fills, like the one at 1:46, are cool, though, as is the bass work at 2:20.

“No Tears for Strangers” is better, especially the acoustic part in the middle and the interestingly arranged chorus. “The Return” isn’t among the album’s highlights, but has some good moments. The chorus is cool, albeit not very original, and the guitar solo, by new guitarist Jimmy Hedlund, is a nice arpeggiated ditty.

“Jack the Knife” finally shows the band at its best again. This is a majestic, mid-tempo tune with great vocals and some more cool guitar work. “Child of the Wild” too is a great song, and closes the disc in a good way. The intro part is a bit chaotic, but the awesome melodic verses and the huge chorus more than make up for this. The chorus has to be listened to a few times, but when you do that, it surely stands out. The heir from Mithotyn shows greatly in the guitar lines at 1:30, as do the drum patterns and the very atmospheric guitars at 3:00. Furthermore, the acoustic bridge is extraordinarily beautiful, and when the song rounds off with nice guitar lines and huge choirs, there is no way one can complain. A monumental track, and a perfect way to closeout the album.

All in all, great performances by the entire band (also singer Kristoffer Göbel, who’s had a hard time succeeding Mathias Blad), great songs (for the most part), and crisp and clear production… definitely an album worth checking out.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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