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Falconer was one of the few bands to nearly collapse but catch itself just in time and they should be applauded for that. Northwind was a weaker album, however, because they tried to add too much of the bard-like quality to the music. The wandering yet solid guitar sound was all but lost in this change, and as a result Northwind was still a weak album, despite being way better than Grime and Grandeur. Falconer also seemed to have realized this as well and with this album they return to their signature sound, with a few twists.
As I said before, the guitar melodies have returned and are stronger than ever. The lead guitarist does a great job mixing all the sounds that falconer incorporated(folk, classical, and of course metal) before their big mistake into one guitar sound. The solos are also possibly better than ever before and are certainly a step up from Northwind. As a bonus almost every song has at least two solos as well. All this makes the guitar as big a voice as the vocalist himself, which, with a vocalist like Mathias Blad, is very hard to achieve.
Blad's voice is better than ever as well. His voice is unique to power metal in that it is not whiny or nasally at all and in songs like Mountain Men in which he changes octaves every few verses, without sounding bad, shows how amazing his range is. The theatrical air he has only helps make the stories the songs tell more real and helps especially in some of the songs.
For the rest of the band, the drummer is great and drives the tempo when the band is going fast, but has no problem slowing down on some of the slower songs. The bass is noticeable and although it's nothing special, you can't argue with a job well done. The keyboard retained the harpsichord sound from Northwind, but it doesn't clash with the guitars and actually adds a lot to the sound.
Now that we've determined that every part of the band is good it's time to look at the songs and see if they reflect the bands talent, which for the most part they do. Falconer plays their music very well, and they add just enough twists and turns to make every song sound just a bit different. By doing this, they avoid the trap that their first album fell into, every single song is memorable on this album. Whether it's slow buildup in Skula, Skorpa, Skalk, or the acoustic intro to Carnival of Disgust it's all good and memorable. Falconer's best song on this album is the epic Dreams and Pyres which how is best described as being a metal version of Bohemian Rhapsody except about witch burning. With a several minute intro that blasts off into an aggressive guitar part this song could be described as being as close to perfect as possible. Incorporating two female singers and mixing them with Blad's voice is no easy thing, but Falconer makes it seem that way.
This is almost everything you could ask for in any album. They play their normal stuff amazingly as always and add enough good twists and turns to make fans of almost any music like it. Not only recommended to anyone into metal, but anyone into music at all.