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Falconer - From A Dying Ember

Falconer har efterhånden mere end 20 år på bagen med Folk Metal som deres musikalske retning, og det fortsætter de med på deres niende studiealbum, ”From A Dying Ember”. Vanen tro har Andy LaRocque stået for både produktion og mix af albummet, men samtidig fortæller pressematerialet, at albummet indeholder helt nye tiltag.
Dem mærker man i første omgang ikke noget til, for Falconers musik fremstår helt, som jeg husker den: Musikken er Heavy Metal i frisk tempo, som via melodier med kraftig inspiration fra den nordiske Folkemusik får det hele til at falde på plads som Folk Metal. Det hele anføres af Mathias Blads meget bløde og velartikulerede vokal, og produktionen er tilsvarende uden skarpe kanter.
Stilen holdes til ”Bland Sump och Dy”, som er rendyrket svensk Folkemusik, og herfra er det som om, at andelen af Folk vokser på bekostning af Metal. Der bliver plads til instrumenter som fløjte, violin og sækkepibe, som flere steder giver en middelalderagtig stemning. Desværre er det ikke så helhjertet som hos f.eks. Myrkur, så resultatet er ikke helt gennemført – det ender lidt mellem to stole. Alligevel går det kun galt en enkelt gang: Balladen ”Rejoice the Adorned” er så sukkersød og behagesyg, at det ligger lige på kvalmegrænsen; det kunne jeg godt have undværet.
Mod slut skrues der en anelse op for Metal delen, men det er ikke nok til at ændre billedet af ”From A Dying Ember” som en skuffende affære, der ligger under Falconers vanlige niveau.

Tracklist:
1. Kings and Queens
2. Desert Dreams
3. Redeem and Repent
4. Bland Sump och Dy
5. Fool's Crusade
6. Garnets and a Gilded Rose
7. In Regal Attire
8. Rejoice the Adorned
9. Testify
10. Thrust the Dagger Deep
11. Rapture
Samlet spilletid: 46:20

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Falconer - Black Moon Rising

Falconer har altid været kendt for at deres blanding af melodisk Metal og middlalderagtig Folk, og her er ”Black Moon Rising” ingen undtagelse. Til gengæld er mængden af Folk denne gang mindre, end jeg husker svenskerne for, for denne gang er det kun ”Scoundrel and the Squire”, "At the Jesters Ball” og ”The Priory” som for alvor falder i dén kategori. Til gengæld er de gennemførte og vil falde i god jord hos yndere af stilen.

I de resterende numre holder Falconer sig til mere traditionelt opbygget Metal med vægt på det melodiske. Det betyder ikke mangel på guitarer, for f.eks. åbningsnummeret og ”Black Moon Rising” har udmærket med kant og højt tempo. Alligevel er det melodien, der gør ”Halls and Chambers” til albummets højdepunkt; her er omkvædet fantastisk fængende, og når man har hørt Mathias Blad fremføre det med sin kraftfulde og alligevel bløde vokal, er det ikke til at slippe af med igen.

Han er også naturligt i centrum på de resterende numre, for selv om disse er skåret efter kendte skabeloner, har de stærke melodier. Alligevel ender de med at fremstå meget ens, hvilket bliver et minus i længden. Her mister Falconer lidt af sit særkende, men alligevel er det i den sidste ende melodierne, der tager stikket hjem for svenskerne og gør albummet stærkt.

Tracklist:
1. Locust Swarm
2. Halls and Chambers
3. Black Moon Rising
4. Scoundrel and the Squire
5. Wasteland
6. In Ruins
7. At the Jesters Ball
8. There´s a Crow on the Barrow
9. Dawning of a Sombre Age
10. Age of Runes
11. The Priory
Samlet spilletid: 50:30

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Falconer

Revolution Music: Hallo. Last time we spoke to you guys, you’ve just released “Grime Vs Grandeur”, now you have released your new album “Northwind”, witch was released the 25th September. Congratulations on the new album.
Stefan Weinerhall: Thank you very much.

Revolution Music: Could you start out by introducing your self and tell us what part in the band you have?
Stefan Weinerhall: I am Stefan Weinerhall, founder, guitar player and song writer.

Revolution Music: How and why did you come up with the name “Falconer”? Does it have any special meaning?
Stefan Weinerhall: I’m interested in history in general I would say. Falconer is an easy name and short and not too childish.

Revolution Music: How did you all come together, and became the band you are to day?
Stefan Weinerhall: I found Mathias through his dad who owns the music store in my town. I asked him for singers for my demo. Karsten and I have played in Mithotyn before. Jimmy was found 2 years ago through an add. Magnus plays in the same band as Karsten so he asked him 2 years ago.

Revolution Music: This is your fifth album and is released trough Metal Blade Records, how did the contract get established, and how are they to work with?
Stefan Weinerhall: I am very satisfied with their work. They let us decide where we want to go and what we want to record. They actually wanted to sign Mithotyn but since we had disbanded the band I told them I had a new band going and sent them the demo and the deal was in our hands.

Revolution Music: Why did you choose the title “Northwind” for this record, does it have any special meaning?
Stefan Weinerhall: It’s a short and easy title which also explains that we’re back in the style we do best.

Revolution Music: When you started working on this album, how long did the process take from the first step to the final product? Was it hard to write new material for this record or did it come naturally for you?
Stefan Weinerhall: The writing has never went this easy. Since we decided to go back in style I felt like I had come home again and all inspirations just fell over me. The entire process of this album was slightly over a year. I wrote the songs in 8 months and then we recorded the album in 2 parts, one in Feb. and one in July.

Revolution Music: Where did you record the album, and who produced it?
Stefan Weinerhall: Los Angered recording with Andy LaRocque as producer. Same as always when it come to Falconer. We think he’s the perfect choice for us.

Revolution Music: How was it to work with him?
Stefan Weinerhall: Great. He knows us and our music and know what to expect and what is needed to make it good. We know him and his studio, now we can actually work there alone since we know everything about the studio.

Revolution Music: Are you trying to express something through your music?
Stefan Weinerhall: No. I’m just writing what I think is good. The lyrics are not that important to me but you have to have them so I try to say something about religion, politics, history etc but writing everything in an medieval language just to make it fit our style.

Revolution Music: How has the album been received by the press, the critics and the fans so far?
Stefan Weinerhall: The reactions have been really good. At last some people think that we have overdone ourselves. Did actually think that the halo over the first album would never let another album take that place.

Revolution Music: What is your view on the group’s position in today’s music scene?
Stefan Weinerhall: I honestly think that we’re too unknown for our quality. I can’t understand why some crappy bands are more known but hey, I guess it’s just a matter of opinion.

Revolution Music: How would you compare the material on “Northwind” to your previous material?
Stefan Weinerhall: Think of “chapters from a vale forlorn”, but played and produced by a better band.

Revolution Music: How would you define your style?
Stefan Weinerhall: Melodic Metal with folk influences.

Revolution Music: What kind of stuff did you grow up listening to, and what kind new music do you listen to these days?
Stefan Weinerhall: I grew up with Kiss, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Bon Jovi. Nowadays I don’t listen that much to music anymore but when I do it’s most likely Jethro Tull, Rainbow, Avantasia, Kiss and other bands. Melody is always of the greatest importance, then it don’t need to be metal.

Revolution Music: Have any of these bands been source of inspiration for the album?
Stefan Weinerhall: Not that I know of but I’ve heard that some can hear that I love Jethro tull so I guess my musical taste have some kind of inspirational influence on me.

Revolution Music: In your time as musicians, what is your biggest musical achievement so far?
Stefan Weinerhall: Playing at Wacken open air and playing in the USA.

Revolution Music: Could we expect any European tour and maybe se the band in action here in Denmark any time soon?
Stefan Weinerhall: Probably not since we can’t do tours anymore. Mathias’ schedule don’t allow him to just be free whenever a tour show it’s face. The biggest chance to see us live is on summer festivals if we get any offers. This is a decision I had no problems with since at the time we could do tours no one offered us the chance so then I can’t see any reason we shouldn’t make the band as good as possible and making outstanding albums again but just paying the price of “no tours”. The albums after all is the first priority.

Revolution Music: How did you think the music scene is in Europe, compared to the scene in the US?
Stefan Weinerhall: Well, the US is dead except for crappy death metal and Neo metal. Europe at least have some bands that are good.

Revolution Music: What would be the ultimate tour, festival or show for you to play at?
Stefan Weinerhall: Support act for Iron Maiden would really give us a good opportunity.

Revolution Music: Do you have any breaking news with the bands?
Stefan Weinerhall: No.

Revolution Music: That’s all we’ve get this time, do you have anything that you'd like to add or say?
Stefan Weinerhall: Hope you all love the album. Hopefully you’ll see us onstage some day although the opportunities won’t grow on trees.

Revolution Music: We would like to say thanks a lot for you’re time. And we wish all you guys all the luck in the future whatever it might bring. And thanks to Target Distribution for setting this interview up.

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Falconer

Revolution-Music: Hallo. First of I would like to congratulate you on your new album “Grime Vs Grandeur” witch was released the 2 nd May.
Stefan Weinerhall: Thank you very much.

Revolution-Music: Could you start out by introducing your self and tell us what part in the band you have?
Stefan Weinerhall: I am Stefan Weinerhal. Main composer and guitarist of the Swedish melodic metal band Falconer.

Revolution-Music: How did the band get to getter and how did you come up with the name “Falconer”? Does it have any special meaning?
Stefan Weinerhall: Falconer is a word that is easy and sounds cool. That's the reason. Falconer got borned as I left my old band Mithotyn in order to make more melodic music with clean vocals. It started out as a solo project but after a while the session vocalist Mathias Blad and my old Mithotyn friend Karsten Larsson joined me.

Revolution-Music: The album is released trough Metal Blade, how did the contract get established, and how are they to work with?
Stefan Weinerhall: They were already interested in Mithotyn since our label just had disappeared into thin air. Since we decided to put Mithotyn to rest that wasn't interesting but I told Metal Blade that I had a new thing going. After they had heard the demo I just recorded they said they were still interested. So I would say that Falconer got the record deal quite easily. I have nothing to complain about regarding Metal Blade. They seem to believe in their bands and always pay the billd and so on. Then of course you might wich that they would dare to advertise outside the strict metal border of the press otherwise it's hard to get new fans. The metal fans already know that we have a new album out.

Revolution-Music: It must be incredibly to be a part in such great roster witch Metal Blade have?
Stefan Weinerhall: Well, that's a matter of taste. They have a couple of decent bands but the bigger majority of the bands is of no interest for me what so ever. But then, I'm not a big metal fan of today's scene myself, I think the best music has already been done.

Revolution-Music: Why did you choose the title “Grime Vs Grandeur” for this record, does it have any special meaning?
Stefan Weinerhall: It doesn't have any meaning from the beginning, it just sounded interesting and good. After a while I came to realise that you could put meaning behind it: GRIME: We have added m ore intensity and roughness to the music. GRANDEUR: We have kept and enhanced the great and strong melodies, a bit cheesy sometimes actually. But I love that.

Revolution-Music: Was it hard to write the material for this record?
Stefan Weinerhall: No, not really. I think I started to come up with the first ideas just before we went on tour in Jan '04. Then I just kept on writing as freely and natural as always. When it came to the time to add things up I saw that I had too many songs so I just threw the lest good away. This time I also had some lyrical help from Kristoffer who did some of the lyrics and also an entire song by himself.

Revolution-Music: When you are making a new album, how do you do it? Could you tell us about you're process was while making this album?
Stefan Weinerhall: I might come up with a riff or an idea one day, then I record it or write it down. After some time I have a lot of ideas but there's no order in them so then I have to glue them together. Some few songs are done in one piece but it's not the common thing. When the song is arranged and done I take it to the rehearsal room and send the lyrics and vocal harmonies to Kristoffer. So you could say it's really a 1 man job. Things are starting to change slowly in this process since more people are coming with ideas but this way is still the most common. I think you get a better result that way instead of jamming with the band cause then you tend to just accept the first idea cause the feeling in the rehearsal is so good. If you write at home you get more time to change and develop each idea to it's perfection.

Revolution-Music: Where did the inspiration for this album come from, both on the musical part and the lyrical part?
Stefan Weinerhall: The lyrical inspiration this time is more based on real life and opinions instead of history and fantasy. I think it's more rewarding to write about something that matters to you. The musical inspiration this time is not music so much but more the feeling within the band since we got the new line up. Everything has felt so positive and intense so that has pushed me to write songs. That might also be the reason why the music on the new album is more intense and heartfelt than before.

Revolution-Music: Where did you record this record and who was the producer on the album?
Stefan Weinerhall: We recorded it Los Angered Studio with Andy LaRocque as engineer.

Revolution-Music: How was it to work with him???
Stefan Weinerhall: As great as always. We have recorded all our albums in his studio. We feel that his knowledge, ideas and vision is very much alike our own so he fits our sound very well.

Revolution-Music: What are you trying to express through your music? Is there a hidden statement?
Stefan Weinerhall: No, just great melodies. Some of the lyrics have a meaning but I don't think many care about the topics of lyrics anyway.

Revolution-Music: How has the album been received by the press, the critics and the fans so far?
Stefan Weinerhall: Way better than the last album. Some say it's the best album we've done others miss some of the folk influences. Some crybabies don't like it because Mathias isn't in the band anymore.

Revolution-Music: What is your view on the groups position in today's music scene?
Stefan Weinerhall: The best band of all modern metal bands.

Revolution-Music: Metal band now days don't make a lot of music videos, are you planning to record any videos to support the album?
Stefan Weinerhall: We have done that. I haven't seen the result. Since record label don't want to sponsor it you don't get that high class videos but have to depend on indie pop quality. The intension was never to be able to promote the album with it cause them you really need to put down some money into it. We saw it more like a fun thing to do. We chosed the song “Emotional skies” because it's one of the best of the album and it's not too complex in the arrangement so first time viewers would get the song the first time.

Revolution-Music: Do any of the members have any side-projects you wish to bring out in the open or are you fully committed to this band?
Stefan Weinerhall: I and jimmy only have Falconer. I don't think I would have the time/energy to have one more band. Karsten and Magnus play in a band called “Choir of vengeance” on not even a hobby basis. Kristoffer sings in the Swedish band Destiny and also a coverband with Magnus Rosén and Stefan Elmgren of Hammerfall.

Revolution-Music: Are you planning to play at any of this summer's festival?
Stefan Weinerhall: Releasing an album in May is not that good if you're looking for festivals cause they are already booked in January/February. So you could say we were a bit too late to get the chance. We have a couple of Swedish shows planned and we're looking for more.

Revolution-Music: Could we expect any European tour and maybe se the band in action here in Denmark any time soon?
Stefan Weinerhall: It seem like there is a big possibility for a support tour in the end of this year in Europe . We haven't anything booked yet but we're talking to our tour agency about it and both of us is hoping.

Revolution-Music: How did you think the music scene is in Europe , compared to the scene in the US ?
Stefan Weinerhall: Way better. You can't really compare them. The US have very little to offer me. Europe have not much but at least there are some great bands. You guys in Denmark for example have Royal Hunt which I love.

Revolution-Music: What would be the ultimate tour, festival or show for you to play at?
Stefan Weinerhall: Supporting Stratovarius would be one of the most fitting things for us. But I guess it's too expensive. I love to play the summer festivals also so let's hope for next year.

Revolution-Music: That's all we've get this time, do you have anything that you'd like to add or say?
Stefan Weinerhall: I'd like to say hello to the Danish fans we have and hope the enjoy the new album. If they don't I just can't understand it.

Revolution-Music: We would like to say thanks a lot for you're time. And we wish all you guys all the luck in the future what ever it might bring. And also a big thanks to Target Distribution for setting up the interview.
Stefan Weinerhall: I wish you the same and hopefully we can come and play in Denmark sometime in the future and buy some Danish beer as a true Swede always have to do. He he.

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