Falconer - Chapters from a vale forlorn 4/5

Reviewed: 3-8-02





Tracklist:

1. Decadence of dignity
2. Enter the glade
3. Lament of a minstrel
4. For life and liberty
5. We sold our homesteads
6. The clarion call
7. Portals of light
8. Stand in veneration
9. Busted to the floor


Falconer's 2nd CD impresses me even more than their debut, this is just a remarkable masterpiece, so instantly compelling, so resonant, conveying such a majestic atmosphere of medieval melody, and yet which is also completely unique. In some ways, it seems like they've slowed down a bit since the debut, to concentrate even more on the tremendous songwriting. More amazing music, not only striking and almost flawlessly done, but original and unique.

Mathias Blad's vocals are absolutely amazing, so rich, resonant, and full of clarity and heart, and so instantly understandable. While it may sound superficial, it is so impressive to have a vocalist whose lyrics you can make out just listening to them... this has long been a difficult thing to find in metal, even among great vocalists, with people like Dio being a rarity. But these days, with so little time to pourover lyric sheets, and much listening on the run of some sort, it allows the music and CD to be so much more meaningful to just sit and soak it in, and actually know what they're saying! Especially when the vocals are so good in their own right, so captivating on melodic waves.

The music just reeks of tightness, clarity, and melody, all of it working to convey a unique middle ages feel, surprising when so many bands now try for the fantasy or bardic sound. Songs like "Decadence of dignity" and "Clarion call" are so quickly and utterly compelling, and the CD is so consistent throughout. Great stuff!



CRAIG




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