Falconer - Grime vs. Grandeur
Metal Blade
Power Metal
10 songs (52'47)
Release year: 2005
Falconer, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Ben

I remember when this band first reared their head back in 2000. That self titled debut was a monster of a Power Metal album filled with medieval influences and had the soaring, emotive, rich, unique voice of Mattias Blad. I still stand by my opinion of songs like Wings of Serenity and Mindtraveller being some high class grade A metal. The last time I heard Falconer was with Sceptre of Deception and that album left me cold and indifferent. I hate to pick on Kristoffer Gobel, while he is a talented singer he simply cannot fill the shoes of Mattias Blad, no one can. Stefan Weinerhall also tried to tackle on way too much with that album with his intricate concept thread and I felt that Sceptre was just a pedestrian release, one that has not been played in quite some time. When I saw Grime vs. Grandeur the other day at the store I hesitated to pick it up. I thought to myself “What could they have done to reinvent themselves because if this is like Sceptre of Deception I would rather spend my fourteen dollars on a nice dinner and night out with my friends.” It was then that I remembered I had a ten dollar off coupon and decided that I might as well give this a shot, for four dollars I can’t complain too much and besides this is a band that released two great albums and one mediocre one, everyone slips up at least once. After listening to Grime vs. Grandeur repeatedly I have come to the conclusion that while this is slightly better than Sceptre of Deception, Falconer is still a band who has lost their way and are in desperate need of a major overhaul.

There are many bits and pieces that look fine and dandy when separated but if you put them all together they bring down this album immensely. For example, I Refuse is a slow pounding song with distorted vocals in the intro. This does not sit well at all with the medieval / olden theme that Stefan tries to paint with his guitar. Also, Kristoffer sings in a very high pitched Halfordish tone on many of the songs which is impressive but sorely out of place here on a Falconer album. Power tries to become an anthem of sorts but its uninspired chorus leaves much to be desired. Jack the Knife is yet another musical yarn about Jack the Ripper and this one won’t go down as a future classic for sure. Again, the song blunders through the motions and any momentum is lost by the awful refrain. In fact there is only one song on this whole album that I think is worthy of the Falconer name and that is Purgatory Time. This has almost all the elements of what made the band so great in the past, a killer inventive lead riff and a soaring vocal performance. Since this is the second track in the album one might be misled into believing that Grime vs. Grandeur would turn out to be a killer but as I found out its far from the truth.

Looking at the lineup changes that have occurred in the band over the past few years it is evident that these are tumultuous times for Falconer. These line shifts have more than likely affected the band in a negative manner which eventually led to the sub par output that is Grime vs. Grandeur. What began with so much potential has now ended in two mediocre at best albums in a row. Grime vs. Grandeur only solidifies the notion that Mattias Blad was a special talent, one that could never be replaced, and his leaving the band has led to this slow but eventual demise.

Killing Songs :
Purgatory Time
Ben quoted 58 / 100
Marty quoted 74 / 100
Jason quoted 65 / 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 - The Sceptre Of Deception reviewed by Marty and quoted 94 / 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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