without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
When I first dug into this cd, I was expecting lighter, happier power metal. And, while Falconer does run in something of the same vein, there's just enough folkish/medieval content to give it something of a unique sound. The lyrics on this album admittedly leave something to be desired, as they are all of the medieval kings and castles genre. However, Mathias Blad has, in my opinion, a phenomenal voice, which more than makes up for the lyrical blandness. He does an excellent job on this album, and it doesn't seem to matter what register he sings in. Whether it's the low verse parts of Upon the Grave of Guilt, the soaring chorus of Wings of Serenity, or the deep, round-like vocals towards the end of Mindtraveller. The guitars are also a bit harder than the power metal I had been listening to (Angra, Edguy, Stratovarius), but it was refreshing, and quickly became apparent that Falconer knows what they are doing. There is nothing sloppy about this album, the guitar lines are tight and choppy, with the right amount of soloing thrown into the mix.
These things being said, after a first listen through, I didn't think it anything exceptional. However, I found myself continuously coming back to it on an almost daily basis. There are several very memorable tracks. Mindtraveller, in particular, is one of the finest (if not THE finest) songs ever recorded by this band. Heresy in Disguise has a very catchy main riff and chorus that I find myself humming idly. Entering Eternity and Royal Galley are another pair of songs that are particularly catchy. The only point in the album where the dual guitars take a noticeable break occurs during the intro and outro of Quest for the Crown, in which the band makes an attempt at medieval-themed instrumentation, and the ballad-like The Past Still Lives On.
Though some may argue that this album seems repetitive, I don't believe that there is a weak track on it. Musically, it contends with many better-known power metal groups. I'm eagerly looking forward to the remainder of Falconer's work.