Reviewed: July, 2020
Released: 2020, Metal Blade
In my mind a new Falconer album is always an event. I’m sure many of us have heard the concept of the blind buy where we buy an album just based on the cover art. That was the case for me back in with the debut album by Falconer back in 2001. I still love that album art to this day. I’ve been a fan ever since.
It has been six long, long years since their last album, BLACK MOON RISING came out. That is the longest wait between album since the band started but as the old saying goes, it was worth the wait. The band is still on Metal Blade Records and has had no line-up changes since vocalist, Mathias Blad rejoined back in 2006.
There is also a slight lyrical theme of royalty on this album with songs like ‘In Regal Attire’, ‘Rejoice The Adorned;’ and the lead off cut ‘Kings And Queens’. The lyrics are largely in English this time and still focus on a sense of gritty realism in their fantasy, rather than the high-fantasy of many Power Metal bands. No wizards and dragons just beggars and thieves! I don’t know if there is any hidden meaning to the album title, perhaps FROM A DYING EMBER is a reference to the status of the band, once fizzling out but I can’t see that, unless there was something behind the scenes that was threatening the existence of the band.
While BLACK MOON RISING was ever-so-slightly more of a straight-ahead album, the folk elements have taken a front seat on the new album. Musically the band integrate lyres and lutes, and mandolin type sounds for great impact. It sounds medieval and folky, more than say a pounding gang-vocal driven Viking Metal style. It’s more subtle and refined. Falconer never forgets the heaviness or sacrifices the Metal in exchange for the folk/medieval sounds, they strike the perfect blend.
Combine all that with sterling production values and another great album cover, this time depicting a Viking funeral, and you have another stellar Falconer album. The big name Folk Metal bands Ensiferum, Tyr, Korpiklaani etc, get the gold and glory, but Falconer should be spoken in the same breath has those guys and on those Paganfest type tours. Until that happens, FROM A DYING EMBER is another excellent addition to their deep and impressive catalogue of albums.