In recent years, my belief in the existence of worthwhile Power Metal has been kept alive by a very limited amount of releases due to the unacceptable level of unoriginal and uninteresting bands overcrowding this once proud style of Metal. While genre leaders BLIND GUARDIAN, KAMELOT and LOST HORIZON (to name a few) have helped prevent the downfall of Power Metal, I can gladly assert that Sweden’s FALCONER are now deserving enough to join this elite group of bands thanks to their latest “The Sceptre Of Deception”.
Full of dynamic and variety in their compositions, FALCONER have thankfully renewed my hope in the existence of worthwhile, up-and-coming Power Metal bands. This being their third endeavor, the band has succeeded in releasing an album that will hold your attention from start to finish. Genre stereotypes be damned, “The Sceptre Of Deception” gives both casual listeners and fans alike a varied batch of songs ranging from epic and aggressive to brief and graceful. Unlike most Power Metal releases, you won’t be able to predict the content and song structures prior to the completion of your first listen, as this album will force you re-examine and appreciate each song’s varying subtleties. Add to this a memorable performance by newly acquired vocalist Kristoffer Gobel as well as top-notch playing from the rest of the band and you have an album that warrants repeated listens.
Though the storyline that forms the basis for the album’s concept is based in medieval times, do not be fooled as the story focuses on human emotion, desire and deceit rather than the usual tales of swords and sorcery. So if you consider yourself a fan of the previously mentioned bands, do yourself a favour and give FALCONER the respect I believe they deserve. For those who have given up on this genre for obvious reasons, follow the instructions listed above and hopefully (like myself) you will be filled with a new sense of hope. Power to the Metal. (Online March 28, 2004)