An ode to Northwind.

Back in 2001 a band once came
From Sweden's shores they travelled to rise to modest fame.
Once a solo project from guitarist Stefan Weinerhall
Then suddenly singer Mathias Blad was given the vocalist call.

Mathias left the band to star upon the stage
Kristoffer Gobel joined the band to turn over the next page.
The 'Sceptre of Deception' saw more personnel changed
And 'Grime Vs Granduer' left the fans very estranged.

In a hope to return to Falconer's roots
Mathias returned to fill Gobel's boots.
The fans rejoiced, their opinions rescind
The result is their new album, the epic 'Northwind.'

Not just power metal but touches of the epic too
'Northwind' has elements of folk music running through.
Do not think this album sounds like Korpilkaani
With more power metal than death, their comparisons aren't many.

Think of Kamelot in court playing an opera of rock
With Andrew Lloyd Webber looking on in the dock.
Add some late Savatage for a hint of extra spice
And perhaps a taste of Falconer you may surmise.

This album not only is pompous it's very bombastic
But one can't escape its themes of the fantastic.
'Spirit of the Hawk' is as fast as songs come
And Mathias's grandiose vocals will make you succumb.

'Waltz with the Dead' is just brilliant mid tempo folk schlock
But the sheer sing-a-long-ability of this album will have you in shock.
You may think metal, folk and opera are the strangest of bedfellows
You are correct, but even the hardest of metal hearts, over time, mellows.

The lyrics are something also to behold
They are crass, cheesy but ever so bold.
Battles, witchcraft and stories of old
Subjects of folklore that begged to be told.

"From the dark horizon a harlot once came
Searching for the right path to bring her to fame.
Ignorance and falsity, a perfect symbiosis
For her royalty."

The above lyrics are taken from 'Tower of the Queen'
A compliment to 'Conception' that there ever has been.
'Conception' being Kamelot's Roy Khan's previous band
Are like Falconer even though they're not from the same land.

Similar in inflections are Mathias and Roy
But they're different enough to bring you great joy.
The guitar playing is majestic and sometimes sublime
Weirnerhall and Hedlund play like a fine wine.

Larsson's drums are clinical and also precise
'Northwind' started off as crass but has turned into a vice.
However, 'Long gone by' and 'Legend of the Lore'
Are a little too lifeless and soon turn into a bore.

Mathias's voice is really a matter of taste.
His melodies are of similar ilk but are of a melodic base.
But the songs are fairly varied, certainly not cut n paste
Ranging from ballads to mid-tempo to out-right pace.

Fans of power metal and epic metal too
Should check out this release, but beware if you do.
It's like a sub Kamelot, but littered with lots of cheese
If you don't like the above you'll laugh 'till you're on your knees.

But taken with a pinch of salt and some good ole English cynicism
'Northwind' is enjoyable and is lifted above generic criticism.
It's melodic and catchy, so you can sing along time after time
And is the driving reason behind writing this review all in rhyme.