Falconer - The Sceptre Of Deception
Metal Blade
Heavy Power Metal
10 songs (46'02)
Release year: 2003
Falconer, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Marty
Album of the month
When it was announced earlier this year that Falconer was going to replace vocalist Mattias Blad, many wondered what the impact on the band would be. Being mainly a studio band, ex-Mitholyn members Stefan Weinerhall (guitar) and Karsten Larsson (drums) employed the services of Mattias Blad to provide lead vocals for their first 2 albums, Falconer and Chapters From A Vale Forlorn. Mattias also has a career as an actor and vocalist doing live theater and had never fronted a metal band before. His distinctive soft and melancholy voice combined with the heavy and fast crunch guitar sound instantly made them one of the more unique new power metal bands around. The conflict of schedules between Falconer and Mattias' theater performances made it very difficult for the band to tour and the decision was made to replace him. Taking over vocal duties for the band is Krisstoffer Gobel who is also the vocalist for Destiny. His other credits include being in a cover band with Stefan Elmgren and Magnus Rosen of Hammerfall. With a new vocalist in the band, the burning question is "Will this band maintain the characteristic and unique sounds of their first 2 albums?" Rest assured, the answer is an emphatic YES!!!

The Sceptre Of Deception is a concept album based in Sweden in the 1300's and according to Stefan Weinerhall, deals with the greed, falseness and megalomania that existed during that period. All the power, heaviness and speed that was so prominent on the first album is back as well as the more folk and celtic nuances found on Chapters From A Vale Forlorn. Their new vocalist can sing in a lower melodic tone much like Mattias Blad, but can also sing with a lot more power and forcefulness. The sound of The Sceptre Of Deception is much the same as the first 2 albums with the heavy crunching guitars, galloping rhythms and soaring guitar harmonies but with many more atmospheric interludes and abrupt tempo changes. Vocal styles range from quiet and serene to menacing and soaring. often all in the same song. Night Of Infamy, is one of those tracks featuring many vocal styles but is also a great mix of chunky and fast power metal, killer riffs and flurries of double bass drumming for the chorus. Great pounding heavy riffing with a slight celtic flavor can be found on the track Under The Sword. With it's excellent theatrical, storytelling style vocals and the solid riffing, the atmosphere created by this track is stunning. Hooves Over Northland is a slower heavier track with a march-like beat and the celtic feel is out in full force here with the lead guitar having a very fiddle-like quality to the notes and scales. Ravenhair is another speedy power metal song with some very nice guitar harmonies, choir-hymn vocal sections and some female lead vocals. The title track, The Sceptre Of Deception is a tour-de-force that almost all the band members list as being their favorite Falconer song and it's easy to see why. After a speedy power metal intro, the song becomes a mix of speedy and slower pounding heavy styles with lots of instrumental sections and tempo changes. One of the album highlights for me is the track Hear Me Pray. With it's reflective vocal style and heaviness, it takes on the form of a power ballad much in the vein of Nevermore's Believe In Nothing. The chorus is amazing and you'll walk away singing this one no doubt!

In the ever so crowded power metal genre, Falconer is certainly a band that stands out. With an unmatched atmosphere both in it's sheer power and melodic beauty, they've combined a precision playing style with a killer heaviness to create a very unique and majestic trademark sound. This is one of my favorite albums of the year so far and the best Falconer album hands down. Energized with a new singer and the fact that they have brought in a full-time bass player and another guitarist to finally "complete" the Falconer line-up, everything now seems to be in place for this band. I see great things ahead for these guys and they certainly can compete in the heavyweight ring of the heavy/power metal genre. Watch out Iced Earth, beware of Falconer!!.

Killing Songs :
The Trail Of Flames, Under The Sword, Night Of Infamy, Hooves Over Northland and Hear Me Pray
Marty quoted 94 / 100
Jeff quoted 95 / 100
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Falconer that we have reviewed:
Falconer - Black Moon Rising reviewed by Andy and quoted 88 / 100
Falconer - Among Beggars And Thieves reviewed by Marty and quoted 83 / 100
Falconer - Northwind reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Falconer - Grime vs. Grandeur reviewed by Ben and quoted 58 / 100
Falconer - Chapters From a Vale Forlorn reviewed by Mike and quoted 86 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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