Autor Thema: Decided to revisit Grime vs Grandeur for a final conclusion.  (Gelesen 2096 mal)


  • Gast
Decided to revisit Grime vs Grandeur for a final conclusion.
« am: August 08, 2005, 01:02:29 Vormittag »
There's a difficult balance a listener must reach when listening to a new album that is different from the rest of the band's discography.  On one hand, you have to listen to the album on its own merits, but on the other, you just have to take the band's other albums into account because you need to know what type of music the members are capable of creating.  

This is sort of the dilemma I faced listening to Grime vs Grandeur.  I knew from the start that if this were any band's first album, I would be quite satisfied with it.  But knowing what Falconer has done over the past three albums, I was clearly disappointed at first.  The self-titled is one of my favorite albums of all-time, and I love Chapters.  After listening to Sceptre, I was thrilled to hear that Kristoffer was a fair replacement for Mathias, and that album quickly became my second favorite from the band (apparently Stefan hates it, but that is completely insane. The album is brilliant.)  After giving the new album dozens of spins the first couple of months of its release to get used to their new sound, I then took a break from it so I can come back a month or two later with a fresh perspective.

I have finally reached the point where I could revisit Grime vs Grandeur, and I must say that my opinion has not changed.  First off, let me get it out of the way that this is a decent album.  It pays respects to the traditional metal greats.  I also respect the fact that Falconer is trying to do something different.  Many fans have trouble grasping even the slightest of change in a band's sound, and while I respect the Motorheads and Overkills of the world, I know that bands need to evolve.  Perhaps Stefan's dislike for Sceptre is that after three albums, he was tired of creating that specific style, felt suffocated, and needed a change.  I totally understand that.  And Grime does sound like the type of album that is more fun to chill with a bunch of friends and record.  

But to get straight to the point, I'm really sorry to say: Grime vs Grandeur just doesn't cut it.  In the past decade, there has been a seemingly endless supply of power metal bands, all of them competing to gain that coveted fanbase.  From the perspective of the listeners, the question we ask in our heads to these bands is "what makes you stand out? what makes you worth my time over the dozens of other bands from the same genre?"  And in 2001, Falconer answered that question tenfold with an incredible, unique sound that metalheads went out of their way to recommend to others.  But listening to the new one, that uniqueness, that majestic quality, is gone.  I can't even describe it.  There was a certain intangible that Falconer had that no one else did.  Was it Mathias' voice?  That was a large part of it, but Sceptre had what I'm talking about.  It's more than that.

Basically, this is generic heavy metal.  That's not necessarily a terrible thing, but not quite what I look for with my limited budget.  Emotional Skies is a decent opener, and would make a good setlist encore closer.  Purgatory Time sounds straight off of the older albums.  And The Assailant has a great old school feel.  But everything else is hit and miss.  Power is absolutely terrible.  Kristoffer's vocals aren't very good on the entire album.  And the Falconer trademark, those punishing riffs, are nowhere near as prevalent.  I have no idea what happened.  I guess that intangible I was talking about is when all of the following come together: deep, low vocals over those great, continuous Weinerhall riffs with a folksy, medeval vibe to it all.  But this has just turned into nothing special.  It's not even that I don't like new bands going old school, because I absolutely love fellow Swedes Dream Evil and Wolf and what they've done paying homage to the greats.  But combined with how mindblowingly amazing that old style is and the subpar quality of this album, it just doesn't work.

And it's not just me.  I noticed many people on this board are dedicated to Falconer and will focus on its positives, but the truth is, I post on various forums where people talk metal in general.  And when ever a "recommend me some power metal" topic comes on there, people always mention Falconer and then make sure to say to definitely pick up the first three, but skip out on the new one.  It just seems to be a general consensus on the album.  Clearly, I'm not here to bash the band, because I consider myself a huge fan and want them to succeed.  And I'm not the type that will bash anything that diverts from a band's original sound.  But the fact of the matter is, Grime vs Grandeur is nothing to write home about.  It's easily something you can put on and rock out to, but compared to what this band is capable of, it is wildly generic.  Maybe I'm exaggerating how different it really is, but I've seen too many bands gradually over time ruin a great thing and then not only never return, but go even more downhill.  Here's to hoping that Falconer can retain the classic sound they have but also allow themselves to evolve into greater territory.


  • Gast
Re: Decided to revisit Grime vs Grandeur for a final conclusion.
« Antwort #1 am: August 08, 2005, 06:49:10 Nachmittag »
Zitat von: "ultra-violence"
On one hand, you have to listen to the album on its own merits, but on the other, you just have to take the band's other albums into account because you need to know what type of music the members are capable of creating.

This is the only problem I see with your review. If you are going to judge an album on its own merits, you can't compare it to their other works. These are mutually exclusive things.

Of course, it's difficult not to take into account a band's previous efforts, but this should not work in a comparative way, you can hint at some things here and there, but your review clearly says that if Grime vs. Grandeur was any other band's debut, you'd be satisfied with it, yet this is negated due to the fact that "it's not as good as...". This last part is throwing out of the window the "on its own" idea.

It's a well written review, I'd just change those details to make it consistent. Either you are going to go the comparison way, or you are going to stick with judging the music for what it is.


  • Gast
Decided to revisit Grime vs Grandeur for a final conclusion.
« Antwort #2 am: November 20, 2005, 06:23:45 Vormittag »
Looking back on my original post now, it's looking like all of the criticism that I (and hundreds of others) have had on the last album has been noted and eliminated.  The return of the folk sound being the most important, and the addition of Mathias being a holyshit-type bonus.

It's not that us fans are fickle animals who couldn't dare to accept any type of change in musical direction.  It's just that if Falconer were to stray from their original direction at all, they should at least retain their talents and what brought them to the dance and then innovate/experiment on top of that using those talents as a base.  Grime Vs Grandeur, more or less, is a tribute to 80's heavy metal bands, who did it far before and far far better.  It broke no new ground in the context of music (thus making Falconer just like every other power or trad band).  And while keeping in the same musical direction may have broke no new ground in the context of Falconer's history, it would nonetheless further solidify Falconer's contribution to music overall as the unforgetable power metal band with the amazing, unique vocals.  With that said, I hope returning to the old sound is a genuine decision made by Stefan, but I'm guessing just like any other musician, we'll be able to tell if the passion isn't there.

I'm really looking forward to the next one, but I'm hoping my expectations aren't too high.