User Review( votes)
Release Date: 2006-09-25
by: FRODE KILVIK
Falconer recorded a demo in 1999, it started out as a solo project by Stefan Weinerhall, and he used Mathias Blad to do the vocals as a session member. Shortly after, Falconer got a contract with Metal Blade. Karsten Larsson from Stefan’s old band Mithotyn joined on drums, and the project became a band. Their debut album Falconer was released in March 2001. Falconer was not a live band, but with their second album, Chapters From A Vale Forlorn (March 2002), Falconer hired a couple of session musicians. Mathias Blad had to leave the band due to a tight schedule at work. To fill his shoes, Falconer recruited Kristoffer Göbel from Destiny. He did the vocals for the next two albums, but due to the demand from the fans and realizing themselves within the band, Mathias Blad returned in November 2005. The band plans to play selected shows for the future, but no big tours.
Northwind kicks off with the title track, a great album opener with killer riffs and galloping bass and drums! Got to love that! The chorus is a pleasure to listen to as well. The song is probably the strongest track on the album. Blad’s calm and warm voice is perfect for this epic Power Metal style.
“Waltz With The Dead” is the second song out, despite some great riffs and great vocals, there is something eerie within this song … Falconer should have worked more on this one as the song doesn’t fit with the rest of the album. Too bad, because otherwise this would be a perfect Metal album!
”Spirit Of The Hawk” is a fast rocker that resembles early Helloween (except the voice). Blad’s voice is unique in the way that he doesn’t try too hard, and he sings with such calm and grace … indeed a great singer!
Next song is “Legend And The Lore,” which has a great moody, dark intro that makes you feel you are in an enchanted forest. When the main riff explodes, you can’t help yourself but to bang your head and molest your air guitar! For some reason, the mood of the song makes the song comparable to “To Tame A Land” and “Quest For Fire” by Iron Maiden, not that those songs are anything like “Legend And The Lore,” but somehow there is something there …
”Catch The Shadows” will be a favorite live song. The chorus is catchy and a sing-a-long would be great! There’s great blast beats in the verse and killer guitar licks! One of the strongest tracks on the album.
The sixth song on the album is “Tower Of The Queen,” and the intro resembles Rhapsody’s “Power Of The Dragonflame,” but stops there. Falconer has their own style, unlike many other Power Metal bands. “Tower Of The Queen” is yet another highlight on Northwind. Each time you put on this album, you will love it more!
“Long Gone By” is the mandatory ballad. It’s an all right song … not great, but not bad. Then again, ballads are hard to do uniquely and mind blowingly.
The next song is “Perjury And Sanctity” — a great song; powerful and mighty. Blad’s voice sounds a bit like Tony Kakko when he uses his low voice. A great chorus will make this a favorite among the fans.
“Fairyland Fanfare” is another epic about bravery and how true heroes act. Again, great riffs and chorus, but the best part of this song is the instrumental section.
”Himmel Så Trind” is a song written in Swedish — a song they tried to make as their own kind of Traditional Folk song about the approaching of the winter. It’s not the best song on the album, but not a filler. It does have a great main riff.
Following the Swedish Folk music line is “Blinded,” a song that speeds up the pace a bit. It has a slow chorus and a fast verse; typical for this genre. But, once you got a recipe for success, you stick with it.
”Delusion” has a great Metal riff and lyrics about holy wars and how religion kills people. It’s a dark song that works very well. Very technically instrumental — parts that are a joy to listen to!
“Home Of The Knave” has more phenomenal blast beats and with the beautiful voice over it and moves into a mighty sing-a-long chorus. Yet another killer song!
The last song on the album is the instrumental “Black Tarn.” With one and a half minutes of sad notes, it works, but as a closer, you may want a song with a bang instead!
All in all, fourteen songs and 54:19 minutes of pure Power Metal heaven. Buy this album and you will not regret it. Maybe the Power Metal album of the year!
Mathias Blad – Vocals
Stefan Weinerhall – Guitar and Keyboards
Jimmy Hedlund – Guitar
Magnus Lindhardt – Bass
Karsten Larsson – Drums
Chapters From A Vale Forlorn (2002)
Sceptre Of Deception (2003)
Grime Vs. Grandeur (2005)