Falconer at the Wacken Open Air in 2007.
|Genres||Power metal, folk metal|
|Years active||Since 1999|
|Past members||Kristoffer Göbel
Falconer is a Swedish power metal band from Mjölby, formed in 1999. Founded by the former guitarist of Mithotyn, Stefan Weinerhall. Falconer carry on many of the traditions set by Weinerhall's previous band and play a style of power metal that utilises folk instrumentation and melody to create a more medieval sound.
When the band Mithotyn dissolved in 1999, Stefan went on to what would later become Falconer, with the same kind of melodies and epic lyrics. But now the mind was set on a clear vocalist. After a while a demo was recorded and Mathias Blad was found to do the vocals as a session member.
This demo was sent to different labels throughout Europe and after some time there were several contracts to choose between. Since the demo was recorded with a drum machine, Stefan realised that he had to get an actual drummer if there would be an album recording in the future. Karsten Larsson (also ex-Mithotyn) wasn't difficult to convince in joining Falconer. Mathias was also enthusiastic to join the band on a more permanent basis as his former appearance in the band had resulted in an overwhelming response from fans and finally resulted in a record deal with Metal Blade Records.
Finally in November 2000, the band entered the Los Angered Recording (now Sonic Train Studios) with Andy LaRocque and Jacob Hansen behind the knobs. It was a three-week session for one hour of music, leading to a tight schedule. The band was very satisfied with the result in this cosy studio outside of Gothenburg, Sweden.
The album that was entitled Falconer was released in March in Europe and May in the United States. The response to the album was better than the band had expected, it got very high ratings in most reviews. At the release of the album, the band did not have any plans whatsoever to promote it live, which is why the small line-up worked out.
With this success came wishes from fans to see the band on stage. After considering the idea, the decision was made to hire additional staff to fill in on stage after their next album. As the summer and fall went by, the band rehearsed more material for the upcoming album. The music was similar in style, but had progressed since its years of infancy. It seemed that the new album would be heavier than the first.
One year exactly after the last studio visit they returned to Los Angered. Nine tracks and one bonus track were recorded and mixed during the 24 days. The first album had lacked distribution in Japan, but was overcome when Soundholic signed to license the new album and give the Japanese audience a cheaper alternative than an imported album. The new piece called Chapters From a Vale Forlorn was released on 7 February in Japan and on 11 March in Europe and in the US.
The band found Anders Johansson, not the HammerFall drummer but the guitarist in Swedish band Vrävarna to handle the second guitar live and Peder Johansson to handle the bass live. The band played at Wacken, at the Rock Machina, and the Bang Your Head Festival during the summer. That was a big start for a band who hadn't played live at all before.
After this, more and more proposals and offers for live gigs and tours appeared. At this time, Falconer realized that they would have to continue to cancel tours and gigs in the future. Having seen Mathias' schedule for the next year, they realized that he would not have much time for anything else than his main occupation: theatre and musicals.
So if the rest of the band wanted to take the offers they got, they had to get a new vocalist, although they knew that much of the interest in the band was brought just because of Mathias' original voice.
In November 2002, they found Kristoffer Göbel, also the vocalist in the band Destiny. At the same time, the live musicians joined the band permanently. During the spring the band wrote and rehearsed new material.
Finally the month of May came, and during five weeks, Falconer returned to Los Angered to record The Sceptre of Deception. According to the band, the album is a mix between the two previous albums, but with some more unexpected turns in the music. This was also a concept album about a happening in their own motherland; a story of greed, betrayal, and lust for power. A lot of guest appearances were added to the album this time, too. It was released on 6 October 2003.
Following the release of the album, internal difficulties brought on by problems with scheduling rehearsals arose within the band and both Anders and Peder Johansson were removed from the line-up. They were eventually replaced with Jimmy Hedlund and Magnus Linhardt, respectively. With this new line-up in place, Falconer recorded Grime vs. Grandeur, a record that departed quite significantly from their established sound - the folk melodies, themes, and lyrics were mostly replaced with more traditional heavy metal arrangements. The album received a generally muted response from fans as the band were seen to have lost their somewhat unique identity.
Return to the roots
In November 2005, Kristoffer Göbel announced via the Falconer forum that he had been fired and it was soon confirmed that Mathias Blad had been re-hired to complete the return to the traditional Falconer sound the band was striving for. Recordings took place over the course of 2006, and a new album entitled Northwind was released in September of that year.
The album Among Beggars And Thieves was released in September 2008. The album is heavier than their previous work, Northwind.
The bands newest album is entitled Armod and was released on June 3, 2011. The album's songs are all in Swedish.
"The album is embracing the Swedish folk music to a greater extent than before making it sound slightly more down to earth. The music spans from acoustic songs with cello, flute and fiddle to songs with blast beats and really heavy riffing."
- Falconer (2001)
- Chapters from a Vale Forlorn (2002)
- The Sceptre of Deception (2003)
- Grime vs. Grandeur (2005)
- Northwind (2006)
- Among Beggars and Thieves (2008)
- Armod (2011)
- Black Moon Rising (2014)
- Current members
- Mathias Blad – vocals, keyboards
- Stefan Weinerhall – rhythm & lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
- Jimmy Hedlund – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Magnus Linhardt – bass
- Karsten Larsson – drums
- Former members
- Kristoffer Göbel – vocals
- Anders Johansson – guitars
- Peder Johansson – bass
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Falconer (band).|
- Road Runner Records. TITLE. 2011-02-04. URL: FALCONER: New Album Release Date Announced - Feb. 1, 2011. Accessed: 2011-02-04. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5wFfqNKDF)
- Siva, Shan. Falconer. 2011-02-04. URL:http://www.battlehelm.com/interviews/falconer.htm. Accessed: 2011-02-04. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5wFhQ6Bez)
- Stagno, Mike.. 2006-21-9. Sputnik Music.. URL:http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/9243/Falconer-Northwind/. Accessed: 2011-02-04. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5wFh3qdoK)