Tag Archives: Power Metal

Falconer – Black Moon Rising

Black_Moon_Rising_(Falconer_album)_coverartBack when Chapters Through a Vale Forlorn came out, my buddy Pat left the album on loop in his car. For probably six months. Hearing the Lament of a Minstrel in the Decadence of Dignity was just great during our epic quests to get Taco Bell. Falconer is one of those bands that feels like the embodiment of power metal. Fast drums, big guitar work, and an incredibly talented signer, all squished together into epic tales of times long passed.

Unfortunately, for me, there were a couple albums in the mid to late 2000’s that seemed to have a stronger political slant, and it kind of turned me off from Falconer for a while. There were also a couple albums with a different singer, and that just felt like blasphemy. But now that I’ve heard Black Moon Rising, I’m back in. This album sounds like the Falconer that accompanied quests to pick up new video game releases, or just go to the grocery store. If you listen to Falconer while en route to get TP, the TP becomes 95% more epic.

The album starts with Locust Storm and a great dual guitar/double bass kick intro, and once the vocals kick in you’re prepped for a great ride. There’s even a break after the first chorus that has a kind of ominous bend to it, like the locusts are wreaking havoc on the land, eating all your stuff. The chorus features the similar dissonance of insanely fast drumming with Mathias Blad’s fantastic singing, something few bands can really accomplish like Falconer.

I’d like to talk about the vocals for a bit. Most of the time I listen to metal I’m all about noodly guitars and crazy basslines, because, hey, heavy metal. I do love hearing great, unique vocal work, such as the crazy falsetto of Cam Pipes or any of the metal gods like Halford or Bruce Dickinson, but most acts I follow for the guitars & drums & stuff.

The vocal work in Falconer seems more fitting in theater than power metal, and that combination really amps up the pomp of the material. This is all due to Mathias Blad, one of the most amazing singers in metal, and really in music in general. As a formally trained opera singer, he is able to hit great notes while staying within a natural range. You don’t need to scream out a falsetto or get all guttural when you can ride a note for a few measures no sweat. I am very certain he could recite the phone book and I’d give it at least a couple listens. Given his theater and opera background, it’d probably sound awesome.

Back to the album, Wasteland is one of my favorite tracks. Going from feedback to explosions to massive drums right in your face just amps me up for the vocals that lilt and dance above the instruments. Karsten Larsson does some amazing stuff with the drums, able to run crazy fast double kick while layering in complex rhythms that help drive the songs along. The song has a bit heavier/chuggy feel to it, reinforcing the mood that there’s some form of escape going on. And breaking free out of this wasteland, that seems important. This is another one of those songs that you drop into the end of an exercise mix just to see how fast you can get your heart going when you think you’re out of gas.

There’s a Crow on the Barrow shows off some of the gallop rhythms that are part and parcel of power metal, plus some of the guitar phrases familiar to older Falconer tracks. And I just learned a barrow is a small hill or mound. Thank you, Falconer, for teaching me! And if you’re looking for folky power metal, the Priory is a great fit.

Some people want bands to continually change and evolve their sound. But sometimes it’s great to just settle in and get your face rocked with familiar and solid power metal. Falconer is able to play different themes and styles into their music with deft skill, going from balls out fast metal, to power ballads, to folk metal, and back. This is definitely a top metal album of 2014 for me.

 

Locust Swarm:

Friday Morning Metal – Tyr – Hold the Heathen Hammer High

My buddy Pat is big into folk power metal. Big vocal harmonies, really clean vocals, and songs about wizards & pagans. The main one we used to rock out to on drives to Taco Bell was Falconer, with their classically trained singer. And the Lord of the Blacksmiths made shields and other things. Great stuff.

Anyway, Tyr is another band he got me listening to, and I think the best way I can describe it is Viking power metal. This is their video for “Hold the Heathen Hammer High,” where they Viking the hell out.

Friday Morning Metal – Scelerata – Rising Sun

Got some power metal today, Scelerata, straight from Brazil. The first time I heard Rising Sun, it almost sounded like a collaboration between Hibria and Hammerfall. With some crazy noodly guitars, fantastic singing, and those breakdowns that give you a rest from constant headbanging, Scelerata are a great listen.

Friday Morning Metal – 3 Inches of Blood – Leather Lord

3 Inches of Blood, those Canadian masters of power metal, have another video out, this time for Leather Lord. It totally reminds me of older metal videos, with the band shredding over a trippy background. Then Pipes’ eyes go white on a high note and it’s even more amazing.

Friday Morning Metal – Powerglove – Batman

I’ve posted some Powerglove before, they do metal covers of cartoon theme music & other great stuff. Their album, Saturday Morning Apocalypse, has some great covers, including the Johnny Quest reboot theme, X-Men, and Batman: The Animated Series. There’s even a video for Batman: The Animated series. Behold!

Friday Morning Metal – 3 Inches of Blood – Metal Woman

3 Inches of Blood have a new music video to go with their kickass Metal Woman. And there’s actual metal-lookin women in the video. It’s pretty rad.

Pretty sure I could listen to the intro to this song nonstop for a week and not get tired of it. Guitarmonies, kickin bass groove intro, everything about it is heavy metal.

Friday Morning Metal – Demons & Wizards – Crimson King

Demons & Wizards features guys from Blind Guardian (Rad) and Iced Earth (Rad), making a band that is pretty epic. Their cover of Immigrant Song is fantastic, I definitely prefer it over the Led Zeppelin version. And since I haven’t been smote by lightning or a giant guitar falling from the sky, I feel comfortable in my claim. Here’s one of their songs, Crimson King, it’s totally rad.

Friday Morning Metal – DragonForce – Heroes of Our Time

DragonForce, the fastest metal band in the universe, has a new album and a new singer. The guy sounds pretty close to the old guy, and really I come for the double kick and the crazy guitar riffs. Anyway, I couldn’t find a kickass “official” video of their new tracks, so here’s one off Ultra Beatdown, Heroes of our Time.


btw, Herman Li is a guitar monster.