Falconer - Grime vs. Grandeur
Falconer return to the scene with their album number four, and once again some changes in the line up have taken place between albums. New to the band is Jimmy Hedlund on guitar and Magnus Linhardt on bass and if they have helped or not I can't tell but it feels like Falconer is more focused than what they appeared to be on their last album Sceptre Of Deception.
It took more times for me listening to this album before it really sunk in compared to their other releases. Their first two albums stuck right at once but with Grime Vs. Grandeur there are some more impressions to take in and you need to give it a little more time before it sinks in, but it is worth all of the time. Compared with the other albums, Sceptre Of Deception is the one that comes closest but this is better not least with a track like Purgatory Time which is close to the sound of Sceptre but also breathes both old and new Falconer. Since this is an harder and more aggressive album than what Falconer ever have done, and it suits them well as they have kept their "original" sound as well, it is a healthy progression.
Grime Vs. Grandeur is a much focused effort and definitely a more solid one that almost smells of revenge after the band was a little dissatisfied with their last album. Kristoffer Göbel is allowed to use his voice better, and not least more, and now he appears and sounds to be more confident in the band which is also something that makes Falconer better. Like with the track The Assailant which is a clear heavy metal song with an almost full frontal attack where Göbel really gets to show his vocal capabilities. One thing that also strikes me is that just as it is still typical Falconer melodic at many times and apart from being more aggressive and heavier it also feels darker. In the track The Return my mind floats towards the sound of Iced Earth with a compact dark sound yet still holding a melodic side.
There is also a couple of what I would like to call classic Falconer tracks with melodic metal spiced with the tones of folk inspired music. In Humanity Overdose with its fast paced verse, driving guitars and a mid-tempo sing-along refrain there can be no mistakes made on which band that is playing at that moment. Also No Tears For Strangers carries on that tradition in a great manor with fast and rhythmic music and with a calmer yet very powerful refrain which is followed by a Falconer signature melodic lead guitar. But it also spiced with more aggressive parts and some hard hitting drums and to me this represents a perfect example of the healthy progression done by Falconer. If you take a look at the lyrics to Grime Vs. Grandeur it does not contain that much of historical topics this time around as it is more dealing with daily and contemporary issues. Jack The Knife, that is the sole representation of historical lyrics, provides you with another example of a re-invented Falconer with aggressive guitars combined with their melodic skills.
To sum this all up, it can be said that it is more of straight heavy metal with a more head on attitude and also a smaller dose of the great folk metal that they so nicely handle. Their characteristic elements are still around but Falconer is heavier and more aggressive than earlier and I believe that Grime Vs. Grandeur will appeal to both new and old fans.
See also: Song By Song Commentary