Wooooooooooowwwwwwww! That's it! Man, I'd have expected a lot, but absolutely not this! After the end of MITHOTYN the news had made the round that mastermind Stefan Weinerhall (together with drummer Karsten Larsson) had a new band named FALCONER, but I'd never ever have thought that it would (musically) turn out to be like this! Majestic Heavy/Power Metal with the MITHOTYN-esque Nordic melodies, so very variable, with strong vocals, the gods in Asgard will roar with joy!
The opener "Upon The Grave Of Guilt" is getting it on quite swiftly, with those grand Viking-melodies and Matthias Blad's very good, cliche-less vocals before in the middle of it a strongly Folk-induced part loosens up the whole thing, when an album starts out so excellently already...
"Heresy In Disguise" lives off its forceful riff, embedded in to a traditional rhythm, but from the beginning until the end in a flow, never getting flat. After "A Quest For The Crown", beginning with minstrel-like vocals and medieval instruments to turn into a powerful mid-tempo-track, "Mindtraveller" might well be THE highlight of all those strong songs, powerful, majestic, with those enchanting Nordic melodies, in the chorus driven by double-bass, this is MITHOTY goes Heavy Metal in its purest form!
"The Past Still Lives On" draws its strength not from any speed or too powering guitars, but from its slow-paced rhythm in combination with the emotional yet powerful vocals and the guitars, which are used for the best of the song - you almost feel transported to a dragonship, which is fighting its way through the wind-roughened waves, also thanks to the great guitar-line after the chorus.
Well, and if that had not been enough already, the bonus-track "Per Tyrssons Döttrar I Vänge" is adding one more brick, because in tradition of MITHOTYN, this is a Metal-ized version of a Swedish Folk-song! Starting out with vocals only, the instruments are added one by one, while the song raises in intensity, tempo and heaviness, just brilliant!
It's been a long time since a debut-album had captured me from the very beginning, but here it all works out together, so when you feel attracted by anything mentioned above even just remotely, then "Falconer" is an essential buy!!!!!!!