Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 10/21/2003
Sceptre Of Deception
posted on 2/2004 By:
The band that some love to hate and some hate to love, Falconer returns on their mighty thoroughbred steed of metal glory! With their wonderfully medieval previous album being so, well, wonderfully medieval, one can’t help but have high expectations of Sceptre of Deception. Falconer also picked up a new vocalist during their travels through Sherwood Forest, a swordsman by the name of Karl Kristoffer Göbel. Chapters From a Vale Forlorn had me raising my goblet to king and country, but does Sceptre of Deception have that same dark ages charm?
There’s still a distinct feeling of medieval-ness here (obviously, it’s still Falconer), but I’m just not feeling the vibe very much anymore. The vocal hooks are there, the quirky medieval tunes are there, and they even add a touch of female vocals ala Battlelore. It may be that they are finally stretching the whole thing a little too thin now, as there is only so much one can do with such a genre; it feels kind of soulless and forced. The second track, “Trail of Flames” is a prime example. It feels shoddily pieced together and has an annoying hook. “Under the Sword” is a great tune, it has that great stop-and-go waltz feel to it. “Hooves Over Northland” has some nice female vocals and a very folkish “breakdown” in the middle. “Ravenhair” is another one I enjoyed. It’s a high speed romp, but it also falls prey to some quasi-generic vocals. The remainder of the songs simply did not stand out in my mind, “Pledge For Freedom” is just boring and “Night of Infamy” does nothing for me. Even the title track just sort of exists, I wasn’t moved much.
I think my main problem with the album is the new vocalist. He’s not nearly as “minstrely” as the previous one, he kind of standardizes Falconer’s sound and takes away from their charm. He may be considered technically better in some circles, but it’s all about the intangibles in this day and age, which Göbel seems to be lacking. I can’t in good conscience recommend this album to someone who isn’t already a Falconer fan. Their previous two albums are miles beyond this one in the intangibles department, and if you aren’t a die-hard fan, you’re not gonna enjoy Sceptre of Deception enough to justify the money spent.
Hooves Over Northland - By far the best song on the album, has that signature Falconer charm
Ravenhair - Speedy with great drums
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