Falconer - From A Dying Ember review




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Reviewer:
8.1

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7.62
Band: Falconer
Album: From A Dying Ember
Release date: June 2020


01. Kings And Queens
02. Desert Dreams
03. Redeem And Repent
04. Bland Sump Och Dy
05. Fool's Crusade
06. Garnets And A Gilded Rose
07. In Regal Attire
08. Rejoice The Adorned
09. Testify
10. Thrust The Dagger Deep
11. Rapture
12. The Cauldron [Digipak bonus]
13. Portals Of Light [acoustic version][Digipak bonus]
14. Long Gone By [acoustic version][Digipak bonus]


I am not an active follower of Falconer, but this Swedish quintet has produced some of the best albums ever to grace the power metal genre, and seeing them finally hang up their quills and questing boots is no one's idea of a great summer. Trace another silhouette on 2020's fuselage, I guess. But before they went, Falconer decided to give us one final rejoinder: From A Dying Ember.

The title paints a poetically melancholy image for us to dwell on before we even start, and the funereal imagery on the cover reinforces that in a traditionally unsubtle manner. It's a rather depressing way to start our encounter with Falconer's swansong, but contrary to all of the flags that have been set, From A Dying Ember is an album worthy of remembering Falconer by. It opens with "Kings And Queens," a somber yet stately waltz that shifts through several modes of Falconer; its tremolo-picked riffs and rapid-fire percussion have a slight blackened quality, while the Queen-like flourishes and brassy movements during the verses are power metal of the highest bombast. You'll also hear touches of Hammond organ in the midsection, and of course Mathias Blad's regal voice is as refined as ever. That track sets the tone for the rest of From A Dying Ember: dipped in a melancholy sense of finality, but bent on delivering the best sendoff for fans that Falconer can manage, and touching on the band's strengths wherever possible. They're still in the perfect shape to do it, too.

Blad is more a bard than a belter, known for his smooth, placid tone, the delicate vibrato of his sincere narrations, and the fluidity with which his unstressed voice drops to the basement of his range. It is in part thanks to his voice that Falconer has typically avoided being another all-out power metal band; his balance of heroism and delicacy perfectly complements the medieval sound cultivated by the rest of the band, and his voice is in as perfect shape now as it was 20 years ago. Stefan Weinerhall and Jimmy Hedlund possess an endless trove of vivid leads, harmonies, and riffs in their fingertips, and beyond that they have the facility with acoustic guitars (and the knack for applying them) to add another balladic dimension to their songs. With the presence of pipes, flutes, tambourine, and other strings, you can practically hear the frilly cheesecloth shirts, purple capes, and prodigiously feathered caps that I imagine each member to be wearing at all times. "Fool's Crusade" may be one of the best examples of Falconer's seamless incorporation of medieval aesthetics in their career (not to mention a vessel for some of Blad's most beautiful vocal work), but the album's whole midsection is a killer combo: from "Fool's Crusade," the instrumental "Garnets And A Gilded Rose" offers an elegant respite, then melds into the catchy metallic hooks of "In Regal Attire" without missing a beat. From there we go to "Rejoice The Adorned," a beautiful piano ballad led by another jaw-dropping performance from Blad.

From A Dying Ember feels almost too good and too short to be a farewell album, because it will likely leave Falconer fans wishing for more - but they say that that's how you should leave your audience. Many power metal bands pretend to such sophistication and complexity, but few can truly achieve it in their music the way that Falconer do. Their psalmic melodies, flavorful folk garnishes, unique vocals, and uncommon skill in riff-writing made them a credit to their genre for two decades, and as much as it is a goodbye, From A Dying Ember is yet further proof of why they deserved our praise in the first place.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 17.08.2020 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 83 users
17.08.2020 - 06:24
Necrodamus
Nice review, and I agree on all points. Being a big Falconer fan it's bittersweet to see them disband after so many great albums but it was time. This album is a fitting send off and one that will be in my rotation for months to come.
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17.08.2020 - 09:30
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I dont listen them on regular based, when new song or album drops i do. I gave heard whole disco, and I agree, sorts strong album in some way.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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17.08.2020 - 15:47
silenius
Was a huge fan of them in my early teens, but then lost track when i started listening more to black and grind among other things. But they have always been a go to when you wanna have a cheerfull romp and sing your face off. It's a very good album and a fitting farewell (still hoping they will have a farewell concert at Sweden Rock or something like that next year, you never know ).
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24.08.2020 - 17:45
Milena
Learning To "X"
I have a feeling these guys are going to come back eventually, at the precise moment they start reminiscing about the stellar feedback they got for this album.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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25.08.2020 - 04:50
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Milena on 24.08.2020 at 17:45

I have a feeling these guys are going to come back eventually, at the precise moment they start reminiscing about the stellar feedback they got for this album.

One can only hope. One of the cool side effects of preparing for this review was realizing how much I actually like Falconer and am going to miss them instead of just thinking they're cool in the background.
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Umaku naritai umaku naritai umaku naritai umaku naritai

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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13.09.2020 - 15:56
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Milena on 24.08.2020 at 17:45

I have a feeling these guys are going to come back eventually, at the precise moment they start reminiscing about the stellar feedback they got for this album.


Maybe as one studio album and 2025 summer festivals in home town area. Not as majour tour band and live band. I think this is gooner for real here. If Sabaton or DT goes on hiatus or brokes up, chances are Stanne launches new band or contunue under DT name, but here singer seems dont want it and his voice is unique, whit other one wont happen n work.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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