Rating:
7.8
Falconer - Northwind
22 September 2006


Disc I
01. Northwind
02. Waltz With The Dead
03. Spirit Of The Hawk
04. Legend And The Lore
05. Catch The Shadows
06. Tower Of The Queen
07. Long Gone By
08. Perjury And Sanctity
09. Fairyland Fanfare
10. Himmel Så Trind
11. Blinded
12. Delusion
13. Home Of The Knave
14. Black Tarn (Instrumental)
15. Child Of The Wild 2006 [Japanese bonus]

Disc II [digipack bonus CD]
01. Kristallen Den Fina
02. Ridom Ridom
03. Liten Vätte
04. Våvindar Friska
+ Video documentary of the recording process


Back when Falconer started out they had an amazing vocalist. A Swedish actor by the name of Mathias Blad. His voice was unmatched and together with the playful yet extremely catchy and epic instrumental execution of the music, he and Falconer made two absolutely fantastic albums. Then Mathias left the band due to time reasons. Not only did the fans grieve, the next two albums by Falconer were horrible, too. Then however, something happened which greatly gladdened me. Mathias returned to the band. Next year a new Falconer album hit the shops, and I was amongst the first to buy it. More on the rejoining of Mathias Blad can be read here in my interview, but now let's continue, and see what change this old face brought to the band.

This is clearly a back to the roots kind of album, yet it is not quite the same. Basically the music is power metal but with a lot of folk elements in it and an extremely epic touch to it. Some very good guitar soli and the ever-recognizable voice of Mathias Blad, reminding greatly of a medieval bard, are present to complete this mix. The guitar parts are absolutely superb, the drumming sounds the same most of the time though. While it varies a lot in terms of speed it sounds as if the drums were played on a four-piece kit. Nearly every hit on the kit sounds the same throughout the CD. The lyrics all have a medieval setting but contain numerous metaphors which are still applicable to the modern day. There's also one song in Swedish.

There are a few extremely enjoyable songs and passages on this album, for example the chorus "Spirit of the hawk wild and free, master of the sky!" is a guaranteed sing-alonger! Also songs like "Catch The Shadows" and the beginning of "Tower Of The Queen" are absolutely fantastic. The big problem of this album though, is that it simply has too many filler parts and songs. Actually I would have deemed my money better spent if this album were only half an hour long, half of its current length. The songs just get too repetitive after a while and too many of them sound too similar.

In direct comparison with the other albums it's way better then the third and fourth, that's an absolute no-brainer, seen how horrible those two were. Compared to the first two albums though, this album sounds blander and almost as if it were written and played in a half-hearted manner. It has a more mature touch to it but actually that might be the reason why I liked the first two albums so much more.

All in all this album is a great power metal CD. For Falconer though this one is definitely not their best. Although it is a huge step in the right direction, it doesn't live up to my expectations when I heard that Mathias had rejoined the band. Like I said, compared to most other power metal bands, this is a great album; I greatly advise to just get the first two Falconer albums instead though.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Falconer
Album: Northwind


 


written by Bas | 16.04.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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APOHAKC - 16.04.2007 at 21:45  
Good review, but I haven't heard the album, after review I will try to find it and listen...
Bas - 16.04.2007 at 21:53  
like i said in the review, rather get the first two albums by falconer
(not that this one is bad though)
Bararey - 18.04.2007 at 00:09  
Such hate for the 3rd and 4th albums

Yeah i agree with you this album is good, and Mathias vocals on it makes it even better! I was so happy when i purchased the album, did not even mind paying 15 GBP for it (although i would have preferred if it were $15! )

I did not know he is an actor!
GT - 19.04.2007 at 10:16  
Nice review. Haven't heard much Falconer and the few songs I heard might have been from the 3rd and 4th album 'cause it wasn't very good. Might have to give them a second chance
Devil Child - 13.05.2007 at 05:28  
I think this album is more a grower than was the first two albums, after listening to it several times I find myself liking every single song of the album and I think it is more varied than the others albums they have done. Good review indeed, but I would have put a bit higher rating.
Arcaliz666 - 12.07.2007 at 20:24  
I don't agree with the qualification of the album, I think that with the return of Mathias Blad to Falconer, Northwind is one of the best works of the band.
Bas - 12.07.2007 at 20:38  
Written by Guest on 12.07.2007 at 20:24

I don't agree with the qualification of the album


what exactly do you mean? please be a bit more explicit
Arcaliz666 - 12.07.2007 at 21:02  
Written by Bas on 12.07.2007 at 20:38

Written by Guest on 12.07.2007 at 20:24

I don't agree with the qualification of the album


what exactly do you mean? please be a bit more explicit


The great solos, the presence of certain influences Folk and great passages, make this work one of the best of the band. I also wanted to score that Mathias Blad, is one of the best clean voices that exist inside the power.
Bas - 12.07.2007 at 21:17  
i agree, mathias blad is an exceptional vocalist, there are certain folk elements which make it enjoyable and there are some great power metal passages and chorusses, that's what makes this album score 7.8
as far as i remember a 7 means good and an 8 means very good, so this album is very close to being 'very good', fits for me

if you think it deserves more that's fine, everyone has his own opinion, and my opinion is that this album just sounds a little bit stale and is by no means even close to being on par with the debut and 'chapters...' therefore i believe my 7.8 is justified
MétalNoir - 07.08.2008 at 04:17  
"...the chorus "Spirit of the hawk wild and free, master of the sky!" is a guaranteed sing-alonger!"

I definitely agree with you about that! That's about the only part I always sing when listening to Falconer!
BloodTears - 07.08.2008 at 10:11  
I liked the album, I would rate it 8 because some songs area ctually very good. and the vocals are amazing, let's be honest. It's not even close to what the album "Falconer" did for me and represents musically. Still a good listen.
Bas - 10.08.2008 at 19:40  
Written by BloodTears on 07.08.2008 at 10:11

I liked the album, I would rate it 8 because some songs area ctually very good. and the vocals are amazing, let's be honest. It's not even close to what the album "Falconer" did for me and represents musically. Still a good listen.

well 7.8/8, it's almost the same, no if you'd rate it 2 lower or higher instead of 0.2 it'd be interesting to see where our opinions go apart but after all the rating isnt everything
the self-titled is obviously a masterpiece, easily one of the peak albums of the genre, let's wait and see how the next cd will turn out
BloodTears - 10.08.2008 at 20:02  
Written by Bas on 10.08.2008 at 19:40

Written by BloodTears on 07.08.2008 at 10:11

I liked the album, I would rate it 8 because some songs area ctually very good. and the vocals are amazing, let's be honest. It's not even close to what the album "Falconer" did for me and represents musically. Still a good listen.

well 7.8/8, it's almost the same, no if you'd rate it 2 lower or higher instead of 0.2 it'd be interesting to see where our opinions go apart but after all the rating isnt everything
the self-titled is obviously a masterpiece, easily one of the peak albums of the genre, let's wait and see how the next cd will turn out


I think I would give performance a 9, maybe that's the only difference In terms of what you said in the review I think it's all fair and you have a point.

I do agree that "Falconer" is and was special, that album is unlike anything I've heard. And I'm very curious about their next release, it's important that they keep up the good work.
In_tallica - 09.08.2009 at 02:40  
Amazing album. It blew me away. I just heard it as a friend showed me and i instantly fell in love with every track i heard from the album!

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