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Armod

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Album Review

Swedish power metal veterans Falconer took an interesting detour on their seventh studio album, 2011's Armod, re-engaging with their Viking metal origins composing lyrics exclusively in their native tongue for the first and, according to bandmembers, possibly only time in their decade-long career. But that one-off approach may change if there's any justice in the world and Falconer's fans embrace what is arguably one of the group's strongest, and certainly most distinctive, song sets yet. Although the basic power metal ingredients are still evident virtually throughout, Armod really benefits from the native folk melodies Falconer intertwines all over key tracks like "Svarta Änkan," "Vid Rosornas Grav," and "Fru Silfver," along with unusual violin, cello, flute, and organ parts ("Grimborg," "Eklundapolskan," etc.), and even some momentary black metal speed runs in "Griftefrid." But perhaps most importantly, these broadening horizons allow singer Mathias Blad to bring all of his theater stage experience to bear on the songs, resulting in memorably histrionic performances (see "Dimmornas Drottning," "O, Tysta Ensamhet," "Grimasch om Morgonen," "Gammal Fäbodpsalm," etc.) that may rankle some of the grim, one-dimensional metal heads out there, but unquestionably insert great flair and personality into the proceedings (as does the presence of Blad's wife Heléne on the aforementioned "Svarta Änkan," "Herr Peder Och Hans Syster," and other cuts). So now Armod's fate as inspiring or misguided anomaly lies at the mercy of the heavy metal court: only time will tell on which side of that fine line the gavel of public consensus will fall. But from a purely artistic standpoint, Falconer have every reason to be proud of this honest, intriguing, and daring work.

Customer Reviews

Falconer is maturing without loosing their identity

This is perhaps one of Falconer's most mature releases. The band is developing and progressing as any great band should and is no way resting on their laurels. What is most interesting is that Falconer is doing so without losing the identity that propelled the bands previous success. Falconer has continued to bring more folk elements into their music which offers a nice contrast against the power and speed that is the natural tendency of this genre of music. If you are new to Falconer, this would be a good first choice. Falconer's other releases are also very good, but I think this release best showcases the brands identity and style.

One of the things I like most about this band is that they avoid some of the trappings (Satanism, drinking, etc.) that sometimes seems to be the prevailing influence in metal music and while their lyrics are generally themed from historical folk settings, they tell stories of real human drama that is relevant to today's world and society.

Bravo Falconer!

Another gem!

Falconer has that special accessibility to appeal to fans not just of metal, but anyone who has an appreciation of music in general. This is mainly due to their fantastic singer, Mathias Blad, who transcends the metal cliche with his rich baritone voice and operatic delivery. I wish more metal bands would seek out singers of this calibur rather than the tired old high pitched wailing you normally hear in metal.

The folk elements on this album are more pronounced than they have ever been in the past. This is their most dynamic record with many classical guitar passages, violins, various other folk instruments. There are lots of very catchy metal guitar riffs woven througout as well. If you are looking for folk metal, Falconer is probably the best band in the genre.

This is their first album sung completely in swedish. That may deter some, but it gives a truly authentic feel to the songs, some of which are traditional swedish folk songs adapted and arranged by Falconer. It really is a beautiful sounding language, especially when sung by Mathias.

If you new to Falconer, you may want to start with one of their english sung albums first. Northwind would be a good start.

Also as a side note, anyone interested in hearing more of Mathias, check out the song, "Blackbird" on Jennifer Grassman's album Serpent Tales & Nightingales.

Amazing!

I can't understand a word he is singing, but every song is perfection! I can't stop listening to it.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Following the demise of Viking/folk-themed black metal band Mithotyn in 1999, Swedish guitarist/bassist Stefan Weinerhall and drummer Karsten Larsson took a right turn toward power metal with their next project, Falconer, whose studio lineup was initially completed by accomplished stage actor and singer Mathias Blad. Promising demos quickly landed the group a deal from America's Metal Blade, and early Falconer albums like 2001's eponymous debut and 2002's Chapters from a Vale Forlorn distinguished...
Full Bio
Armod, Falconer
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