Two years after their debut demo "Days Will Come", French FALKIRK return with their full length debut "Magnus Imperium" and where they had been in the middle of Melodic and Power Metal then, they now have almost fully crossed over into Power Metal, but despite having assimilated a sound a bit closer to the mainstream, they still manage to retain some difference to the big majority of pretty similar sounding colleagues.
Already the crunchy opener "Into The Flames" is a very good example, driving, melodic and Stéphane Fradet's melodic, but still a but rougher and deeper voice sets them apart and they don't fall into the oh so typical European Power Metal sound that so many other bands have taken up. "Calling" then also sees some keyboards accentuating the songs, giving them more depth without overdoing them.
"Beware My Wrath" surprises with a certain almost Egyptian sounding touch in its keyboards, while "One Fate", introduced by a piano, turns into a wonderful ballad before "Riot" picks up the speed considerably again. Oh, not all the songs keep this standard (especially towards the end), but well, the really good stuff definitely is in the majority!
The cover of "Magnus Imperium" also fits very well, the production is excellent, so the overall impression is very positive indeed, which makes me to start to wonder why I cannot find a label logo anywhere… A thing that has to change! (Online January 13, 2003)