without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Now I have seen some pretty harsh reviews of this, a demo from this Finnish band who are just this year getting a proper debut released. But in truth I think this is an impressive demo, and I can see why this band managed to land a deal so fast. Falchion play melodic folky Black Metal, and actually I think Mithotyn would be a good comparison to go by, though their guitarwork is not quite as inventive. The melodies are actually quite good, and though the overall vibe is pretty mellow (as is usual with this kind of music) Falchion are a bit more propulsive and energetic than the norm. The production, musicianship, and overall tight performance are what raises this demo above the average, as all three are excellent for a demo recording. This is short, and not exactly groundbreaking, but it is a very well-done example of its genre, and I think their full-length debut will definitely be worth checking out.
Originally written for www.metalcrypt.com
While this music has its moments where I really do enjoy it, this basically is a demo that takes Ensiferum's entire Viking inspired guitar attack dabbling in folk elements and atmospheric influences that try to give this a more epic feel. Falchion seems to fall back into the lake of generic bands that swim ashore but don't always make it to land. They have their spots of brilliant music but in the overall picture their impact is not memorable or entertaining.
Glory of the Sword plays off the elements Ensiferum uses in songs like Hero in a Dream, Tale in a Dream and Goblins Dance by have a very prominent lead guitar attack of melodic solos and crunchy riffs. But Falchion fails where Ensiferum wins; Falchion's vocals have a black metal feel that makes the music harsher and the vocalist certainly is nothing special sounding once or twice like Korpiklaani's vocalist but more often for a gruffer version which doesn't work at all.
Most of the music is fairly generic and bland with the exception of the lead guitar. I enjoy his work very much finding myself entertained by the often neoclassical influenced soloing found in the track Folk in a Golden Town - being the best song on the demo. It's an instrumental piece where the guitarist has the ability to flaunt his skills with highly melodic soloing and picking. Good stuff, if the rest of the demo was like this I would have enjoyed it more. The other 3 songs on this demo are full of mediocrity and boring rasps. Nothing memorable from those whatsoever with the exception of the guitarist.
Skip this demo unless you're looking for anything remotely influenced by Ensiferum or this style of Viking/Folk metal. Other than the first song it's rather worthless. If you're going to try to play off that style that Ensiferum mastered, at least try to do it right.
Sounding like a mix between standard Finnpop flowery "black" metal, generic synth based "folk metal" and really awful generic "viking" metal, this band manages to be a shining example of what's wrong with folk, black and viking today.
First off, I'll elaborate on what I mean by each subgenre.
Finnpop flowery "black" metal, essentially sounds like Cradle of Filth or Ancient, with a few tweaks, and often has the most juvenile synths imagineable. Lead guitars abound, as this is from Finland, and the vocalist often sounds like Dani Filth. Well, this band has all those aspects covered.
Synthy "folk metal" is usually, pretty much power metal with extremely repetitive keyboard/guitar leads that "sound Celtic" and "viking", in a lot of cases, seems to mean "tremolo picked black metal using major chords and containing solos". Hey, they cover those too!
Now, this band manages to take these various subpar forms of music and make them even worse. A number of their melodies are the most generic and annoying I've ever witnessed. Their guitarwork is sloppy and simplistic, relying heavily on tremolo picking and generic Finn-leads, with not a single original idea used. Of course, I can't leave out the obnoxious synthesizers, but at least they don't do lazor solos.
This band exists as an example of what a band should never be, and I urge all aspiring viking/folk musicians to listen to them and try their best not to do anything like this. Last I checked, folk and viking were supposed to be a little more personal than "Durh, let's sound like Ensiferum" or just playing poppy black metal with an excuse to solo. This band exists solely because of current trends, reeks of genericism, and manages to suck while doing it. If I wasn't clear enough... Falchion, I hate you.