Grayson - Guitar/Vocals
Greg Lindstrom - Bass/Keyboards
Darin McCloskey - Drums
2004 CD Reviews
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Falcon are an intriguing power trio featuring Greg Lindstrom from Cirith Ungol, surfacing here after many years in the musical wilderness, alongside Perry Grayson from Destiny’s End and Darin McCloskey from Pale Divine. They kick out the jams ’70s style with some heavy boogie (“Downer”), Southern rock groove (‘Castle Peak’), catchy Lizzyish twin guitar chops (‘On the Slab’ - featuring a guest vocal from Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling), creepy proto-doom (‘Half Past Human’, musty, cryptic early Cirith Ungol-ish anthems (‘Shelob’s Lair’, ‘Route 666’) and a Bang cover. Each musician approaches his instrument with a persuasive identity and the three of them come together with a warm, convincing jam room dynamic, the result being a superb, fluid heavy rock album with its heart in the right place, and the wrong time. Rating: 8.5/10
-Chris Chantler, TERRORIZER (U.K.)
The long-awaited debut from this all star band featuring Perry Grayson (Destiny's End, Artisan, Isen Torr), Greg Lindstrom (Cirith Ungol) and Darin McCloskey (Pale Divine). Falcon's sound is steeped in early 1970s heavy rock tradition, bringing to mind the power trios from the past - Trapeze, Budgie, Dust, Bang and Rush. Special guest appearance by legendary Pentagram vocalist Bobby Liebling. Engineered/co-produced by Chris Kozlowski (The Obsessed, Pentagram, Spirit Caravan, Penance, Pale Divine).
-Chris Barnes, HELLRIDE MUSIC
Full review by Karl Simon below...
Right off the bat, what can I say? You take Perry Grayson, guitarist of Destiny's End, who also handles the vocal duties, Darin McCloskey of Pale Divine, and Greg Lindstrom of Cirith Ungol, a lot of talent on one record. The how's and why's of the band forming passed me by, but to be frank I could give a damn why; I'm just glad that they did!
The warm old school tones and classic '70s metal vibe are thick on this disk. At times I swear this is a lost Ungol record.
"Downer", the opening cut comes out of the gate like a song off Frost and Fire with a rocked out metal riff, and vocals that set a mood the likes of which I haven't heard on a record in a long time. Through the songs progress there are hints of Black Sabbath, vintage Pentagram and even a tinge of Thin Lizzy, excellent lead work (as if one expected anything less).
It's fitting that the third cut, "On the Slab", is a tribute to Phil Lynott—as Perry conjures up Robbo and Gorham to play the opening lick in true Lizzy form. Bobby Liebling guests on vocals on this song for a super effect. Just before the solo there is a heavy break that I just can't get over. It just doesn't get much better than this. And after the lead back to the haunting opening runs. Fuckin A. Super well written, a song that you could listen to for an hour and not get tired of it once.
"The Crying of Lot 246" brings us some doomed tones '70 style followed by a verses that are melodic and bombastic in turns.And I failed to mention that there is a nice layer of keys under this too, not enough that you'd even notice it, I didn't until listening to it again, a nice atmospheric wash, like what Ungol would have done.
"Throwback" is a slice of vintage '70s metal that certain Swedes would kill to be able to crank out. Killer lyrics that reference Vitus and Penta-classic songs. For some reason I keep thinking about Baker's vocals on "Edge of the Knife" all through this. This song is the deserving heir to that one.
A nice cover of Bang's "Redman" follows. But you know, as good as this is I'd have rather heard another original.
The mood changes here as Lindstrom's material takes center stage, I swear to god that Tim Baker is singing this song! Jesus Christ a band like this is needed today. "I'm Attila the Hun - On Wheels!" The Ungol connection, as you've read is strong here, and I hope that I don't have to appologize for this, it's in no way a negative! Since getting this I've been on a fucking Cirith Ungol rampage. "Route 666 "follows this form and like Frost and Fire manages to get you fucking raging - I'll bet this band fucking kills everything live. I notice Greg picks up the guitar for some leads on these songs? Attention bassists on the west coast: get your head out of your ass and beg to join this band! For the love of god.
Now my favorite song on this damn thing: "Shelob's Lair". I'm convinced that after seeing me headbang while on the computer my family wants to have me comitted. And maybe they should do just that. "Slay that bitch." You know prior to hearing this I was really sort of disillusioned with things, but there are still songs worth hearing.
"Half Past Human", a tale of degenerated humankind in the future. And as I type this, I can't tell you which song I like better, this or "Shelob's Lair"! To carry on more with this review would be pointless.
To sum it up: this is fucking god. It's like Cirith Ungol came back from the dead, and that aint a bad thing at all! In fact it's all that I had wished for and more from this. Many albums will be mentioned in "album of the year" threads from here to hell; this one should be on everyone, if it isn't you know that the list is bogus. I hope that this band will be around for years to come! Cheers guys!!
-Karl Simon, HELLRIDE MUSIC / THE MISKATONIC FOUNDATION FORUM / THE GATES OF SLUMBER
Polar Bear Studios, Middletown Maryland. Does that mean anything to anyone here? Well, to me, it means the place that the 2 albums topping my 2004 list thusfar were recorded. That is, Pentagram’s Show ‘Em How and Matricide by Internal Void. Still a solid 4 months before I’d have to start getting a Top 10 in order, I’d already found myself sitting bolt-upright in bed, bathed in a deep (and hopefully not too smelly!) sweat, trying to find some sort of angle on how I was going to separate these 2 and figure out what was going to occupy the top slot. I know, I know….obsessive/compulsive disorder may be a problem. But, then a good old buddy came along, a name I’ve known for a long time, good ol’ Perry Grayson, ex-Destiny’s End & ex-Artisan guitarist. Apparently he gave another blast from the past a call. He reached way into the Grand Halls Of Metal and dialed into a long lost chapter called Liquid Flames Records. Does that ring any bells? How about Cirith Ungol’s legendary debut, “Frost & Fire” from 1981 & guitar/keyboard/bass man Greg Lindstrom? In turn, they rounded up drummer Darin McCloskey from Pennsylvania’s Pale Divine & where do you think they went? One clue: Uh…yeah. Some studio named after a furry white creature. Believe it or not, these cats went into that very same Polar Bear Studios with Chris Kozlowski at the helm (sounds like an MVP type dude to me) and, at least for the moment have instantly made my job a helluva lot easier. Yeah, this album is THAT damn good. Remember everything that was great about the best early ‘70’s heavy rock? Songs that were laden with warm Gibson riffs, incredible changes, bluesy vocals & blistering, extended solos were the order of the day. And, there’s an album’s worth of that in the first song here, “Downer.” Then you get to the 2nd song, the 7-minute “Castle Peak” and when Grayson slips the John-Baxter-like slide intro in (shades of “Dead Forever”), I’m a goner. Think about the best stuff….BUDGIE, TOAD, MAYBLITZ, GRANICUS, ROAD, early PENTAGRAM. That’s the level of how insanely great songs like “The Crying Of Lot 246,” “Shelab’s Lair” & “Half Past Human” are. Then, start to add in the really cool stuff. Bobby Liebling (yes, Pentagram’s ageless crooner) does lead vocals on “On The Slab,” a tribute to Philip Lynott that reflects Lizzy so well. Or how about a cover of Bang’s classic “Redman?” Are you kidding me?!?!?! Is this cool enough for you yet? Ok, I’ll keep going. I know I’ve talked briefly about Perry G’s guitar playing, but fuck it, I’ll talk a little more. This guy is a total God. Here’s a dude who could rip out the best power metal shredding this side of Tom Gattis on the Destiny’s End stuff and now he is getting’ down in the company of the best ‘70’s guys there were! Dude! Then add Lindstrom to the mix. Talking ‘bout a man my age who was in one of the greatest, quirkiest bands ever in Ungol and here he is, putting it hard on the power trio bass & check this out…he also peels the paint off the walls with 3 or 4 guitar solos himself on this bad boy! And let’s not forget McCloskey, who’s always tasty work in Pale Divine is left to expand even further in the format here. Interestingly enough, the album is layed out in a very unsusal way. Grayson’s 5 compositions come first, then the Bang cover and then the 4 penned by Lindstrom close the disc. You might think that would provide for an uneven or sectioned-off feel, but the thing is, these guys are so in tune with each other’s thought process that all their stuff flows naturally, right along with the Bang tune. On top of all this, add into the mix the fact that the FALCON logo reminds me so much of the beloved Cirith Ungol Skull and also the Liquid Flames imprint stamped here is so freaking nostalgic yet timeless. 1981 or 2004, this record would be a triumph in either year. Anyone into the very greatest ‘70’s power-trios who doesn’t own it has a woefully incomplete collection! A stone-cold Polar Bear of an album!
-Ray Dorsey, CHAOS REALM (USA)
What an outcry must it be, coming from the underground metal scene if they witness the birth of a band that features members of Cirith Ungol and Destiny’s End at one time plus the drummer of the, at least in circles of doommetal, quite popular Pale Divine? What type of magical power metal with the most epic elements of hard rock woven in will Perry Grayson on guitar and vocals and Greg Lindstrom on bass guitar (and keyboards from time to time) create? And how long will the faces of all those intolerant true metal dudes, no actually of all those metalheads out there be, as soon as they realize that the music is different than the first thought it to be? Falcon have already shown it on their website www.falconband.net what their spiritual aftergrowth (it is impudent actually to speak of an aftergrowth in case of Greg Lindström) is, since their lists of favourite albums hardly go further than the 1970s. And this way what you get from Falcon, typical power trio style music. Heavy, seethingly hard rock, partly taking a trip into doom, earthy riffs, furiously screaming leads, a peculiar voice that owns an aura of melancholy and untamable love for life at the same moment and sticks out of hundreds of singers like a sore thumb. Wild, interestingly designed drum patterns, whose technical approach and groove are likewise the foundation for this musicm plus a pumping bass guitar which hits your stomach directly. Heavy rock, loaded with emotions, fiery, passionate, honest, lively and just peculiar in a wonderful way. The melodies ignite directlyt. They pierce the listener, set his soul ablaze with their bluesy magic and crush him with their unearthly heaviness. Concerning the playing, this band has a very good flow that naturally rises and drives onward. The songs never seem mathematically constructed, which was typical for the '70s sound. Changes, breaks, different passages, all works out well without contrived bridges. For "On the Slab", which is dedicated to the late head of Thin Lizzy, Mr. Phil Lynott, who died due to his drug addiction, they secured the service of Pentagram crooner Bobby Liebling, a man who himself did not leave out any soft or hard drug during the last 35 years. Will this change his mind and save him? He sounds brittle, wanted or unwanted, I will leave it up to you to decide. He sounds as the song demands him to sound. So this album is more for people into '70s heavy rock, who have a fondness for Dust, Sir Lord Baltimore, Budgie, Cactus, Blue Cheer ['60s!] or some newer outfits like Ogre, earthy, hand made power rawk music that soulfully inspires the listener. So incredibly intense and totally brillant. Very well executed by the way is Falcon's cover version of "Redman" by US heavy rock legend BANG, who created a sensation during the early '70s with some wild albums that could be labeled the US answer to Budgie. All in all a killer album!
-Sascha Maurer, METALDISTRICT.DE (Germany)
Falcon consists of Perry Grayson (ex-Destiny's End) on guitar and vocals, Greg Lindstrom (ex-Cirith Ungol) on bass ("Route 666" could have been on any Cirith Ungol CD!!) and Darin McCloskey (Pale Divine) on drums. During their live shows, Andrew Sample is the drummer for this band. A band, that returns to the seventies with their heavy sound. I was very impressed by their metal mix of greasy, swampy Southern rock riffs and ultra heavy doom sound. Think about bands like Cathedral, Pentagram, Witchfinder General, St. Vitus, but loaded with a thick sauce of old school Molly Hatchet. We're talking about real music here, for the people who like the good old heavy sound of the seventies. Over here in Holland we called this sound "concrete" :-). In "On The Slab" (which is a tribute to Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy), the vocals come courtesy of Bobby Liebling of Pentagram. The real fans know more than enough now, and they will rush to the nearest CD shop, I think. If the aforementioned names or more recent bands like Fireball Ministry and Firebird are in your record collection, then it won't be long until the new Falcon cd will be in there as well, 'cause this is great stuff recorded by a very promising band. Check it out!!! - 9/10
-Toine van Poorten, HEADACHE METAL MAGAZINE (The Netherlands)
Falcon is a late seventies sounded Hard Rock band featuring Perry Grayson (ex-Destiny's End / Artisan, Isen Torr)) guitar / vocals, Greg Lindstrom (Cirith Ungol) bass / keyboards and guitar, Darin McCloskey (Pale Divine) drums on the new Falcon release and Andrew Sample take place behind the drum kit during live performances. Perry played in pure US Metal bands before. He's a fan of old school heavy rockin' bands like: Mountain, Pentagram, Budgie,Thin Lizzy, Trapeze, Blue Oyster Cult and so on. One led to another and he found the right guys to start a new band with another style of music he used to play in the past. The recordings of a first Falcon demo started last year and saw the light of day a bit later on. Perry sent me a package within that demo and I was goddamn surprised with the results. I used to hear him playing as a furious, awesome Metal guitarist but with Falcon no longer full speed ahead guitar works. He's still a great musician, but his way of playing a six string has definitely changed. I was surprised but positive impressed by the results of their first demo. Late seventies / early eighties Hard Rock was the name of the game and i liked the songs on that demo right from the start. A typical style of music which means you like this kind of music or you don't. I was in from the very first moment cause to me, decent classic Hard Rock music started back in the late seventies, actually the roots to nowadays Metal music. Falcon caughts my attention with the release of that demo and I knew that it's was just a beginning. New songs were in the works cause the band wants to bring outa first full length album. Pretty soon, some new tunes were ready to rock the earth and the guys went to the Polar Bear Lair Studios in Middletown, MD. Chris Kozlowski was in for the engineering, mastering and producing works in collaboration with the Falcon members themselves. Perry tackled vocals on almost all the tunes of the album. One song "On The Slab" was sung by Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling. Well, everything's done and the album is finally released through Liquid Flames Records, dedicated to a real brother, Jerry Fogle who passed away unfortunately! Eighties Metal maniacs know the man for all the brilliant things he did during his time with the legendary Cirith Ungol. Jerry is gone but absolutely not forgotten and shall forever be with us in our hearts. The new, sef titled album is an amazing piece of old styled Hard Rock music. Even though wevre stepped into a new millennium, this gives me a feeling beeing somewhere many many years ago. Absolutely fantastic the way they build up all of the songs. Heavy, up / mid-tempo and some lower parts with a heavyweight guitar sound. The guys from Falcon have it all in their might to deliver their favourite music to the masses without any problem. Putting all their strength together and gives a damn about the new generation of heavy music. This is what they wanna play, old styled late seventies influenced Hard Rock, so give them a fair change spreading out their own words for sure. Pentagram, Mountain, Black Sabbath or even Thin Lizzy fans, visit Falcon's website and purchase the album immediately and that's an order :-) www.falconband.net is the place to be. Great album anyway!!!
MY POINTS: 94 / 100
-Stefan Silgehem, METAL TO INFINITY (Belgium)
The American band FALCON consists of guitarist/vocalist Perry Grayson (ex-DESTINY'S END) and bassist/keyboardplayer Greg Lindtrom (CIRITH UNGOL). Together they joined forces and released a CD, which musically grabs back to the 1970s, with a strong focus on Melodic Heavy Rock, Southern Hard Rock and Doom Metal, all in true '70s spirit, so they end up sounding like a mix between BLACK SABBATH, LYNYRD SKYNYRD and MOXY. In the end they might sound like yet another stoner rock band, but here and there they sound different. 10 songs are included, and the best ones are "Throwback", "Redman", "Shelob's Lair" and "Castle Peak". Recommended to fans of '70s Hard Rock! More info at: http://www.falconband.net and e-mail them at: email@example.com
7.9 out of 10 Points
-Gabor Kleinbloesem, STRUTTER ZINE (Holland)
A classic powertrio line up featuring members of DESTINY'S END and CIRITH UNGOL. This trio performs 10 tracks of true and honest '70s hard rock, without touching the stoner rock scene. Makes me think of bands like RUSH, BUDGIE and MOUNTAIN. FALCON also covers "Redman", originally by BANG. A very good hard rocker, only recorded 30 years too late for being a classic today!! Very recommended of course!!
-Johnny Lindstrom (no relation to Greg), RECORD HEAVEN (Sweden)
What do we have here? A 70’s heavy rock album by a new-coming band, which is formed by known metal musicians! Their names are: Perry Grayson (ex-Destiny’s End, ex-Artisan, Isen Torr) on guitars and vocals, Greg Lindstrom (ex-Cirith Ungol) on bass, keyboards (and guitars on three tracks), Darin McCloskey (Pale Divine) on drums and Andrew Sample on live drums! The band also released a demo last year, which included four tracks that are also included in their debut self-titled album. Here you will find influences from Thin Lizzy, Trapeze, Rush, early Black Sabbath and Cirith Ungol! In one track titled "On The Slab" (which is dedicated to the memory of Phil Lynott), Booby Liebling from Pentagram does the guest vocals and he sounds like Phil Lynott at moments! There is also a great cover to the Bang’s track "Redman". All the tracks seem too be coming from the 70’s and the feeling is real and fantastic! The producer, Chris Kozlowski (Pentagram, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan and others), has done wonderful work here and the album sounds really heavy. I believe that all the fans of the aforementioned bands and the lovers of the 70’s heavy rock music must listen to this album! Some tracks that pleased me a little more than the rest are: "Downer", "On The Slab" and "Shelob’s Lair" (Tolkien can still inspire great musicians…)! 8/10
-George Kouvelis, GRANDE ROCK E-Zine (Greece)
Metal heavy weights Perry Grayson (ex-Destiny's End), Greg Lindstrom (Cirith Ungol) and Darin McCloskey (Pale Divine) come together in this power trio which seamlessly throws the listener back to the heavy 70's days of metal (Andrew Sample does the live drums for Falcon - trio? I don't know). The influences of bands such as Pentagram (check out the amazing Bobby Leibling in 'On The Slab'), Thin Lizzy, Moxy, Molly Hatchet, and Blue Cheer are clearly felt on this disc, which is a wicked thing, because this is the stuff for real hard core heavy metal fans. Although it doesn't stop there. Mix in some kickin' southern rock, some old school doom, and serious Sabbath groove riffage and you get more of an idea of just how heavy Falcon are.. These guys are unabashedly huge old school metal - heavy rock fans, and for that I say 'Can I get a Yeah!...'
The lyrics, penned by Grayson and Lindstrom, are all about chaos, the destruction of the earth, and mindless greed and self-indulgence with the occasional hi five to the fast life. Completely appropriate lyrics for the current times, as well as the 70's, when it was all about spreading a message and speaking to the disenfranchised who had had it with what was becoming of the world. The anger seems to traverse time, and the words become tools for those of us in states of various disillusionment with the world as it is. Top this off with killer guitar solos from Perry Grayson and Greg Lindstrom, and the songs are certain masterpieces of heaviness. The songs are so technically perfect, it's hard not to notice the talent of each and every person who contributed to this disc. Great drum work, heavy bass lines and flat out hard rock - 70's style. This music is most likely going to appeal to a whole lot of people, especially those who have some familiarity with early metal and dig vocals that are a cross between the grit of Molly Hatchet and St.Vitus. 'On The Slab', in which Bobby Liebling (Pentagram) sings is definitely one of the best songs on this disc. Bobby just has such a unique voice, and the lyrics are so damned depressing and so true to the legacy of Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott, who died in '86 from a drug overdose. It's a shame that people go this way, but this song reminds everyone that we are all human, and shit happens to good people for no real explained reason. Great song!
The flow between the songs is flawless, especially given the way the songs are layed out. Illuminating highs and dense, thick lows, the songs are made to lift and soar and then crash and burn. It's like an emotional rollercoaster, with the lyrics and the passionate way the songs are sang and executed by this talented trio. Great cover of 'Redman' by Bang! as well. Clearly this album is a must for any fan of uncompromising, passionately executed, and heavy 70's rock and roll/metal. I can't quite get over how talented each member is, but just have a listen to the old school cowbells and the heavy riffage by both Perry and Greg, and you will be converted to the world of Falcon. It may not be all flowers and love but it is real, gritty and damn powerful.
Excellent album from Falcon. For true 70's heavy and excellence in musicianship, a definite 10/10 for this baby (yeah I know 10/10 is cool but I wanted more Bobby!)
You can pick up the album at the band's site Falcon's Website, where you can also check out some samples from this beast. www.falconband.net
-Deanna St. Croix - STONERROCKCHICK.COM
Falcon is a new band with an old vision. Their heart is set on the 70’s and this album has made it as clear as possible. This statement alone does not shock or thrill but if we examine Falcon a bit more thoroughly we will observe some really interesting facts. This band is actually a trio consisting of Perry Grayson (guitar/vocals), Greg Lindstrom (bass/keyboards) and Darin McCloskey (drums). Those of you who can recall names will find the above musicians very familiar. Perry Grayson, member of the multinational heavy metal force called Isen Torr, has also played for Destiny’s End, an equally great American power metal band. Greg Lindstrom is the band member with the most striking past – a former member of the almighty metal masters Cirith Ungol! Darin McCloskey also plays for the U.S. doomsters Pale Divine that recently released their second album. Now if no one told you what this band’s music deals with, I am sure you’d say that Falcon could be a dead serious heavy metal outfit. But as I already told, Falcon have a different target as a group and so this band is a means of expressing love and devotion to the good old 70’s hard rock sound. If names like Thin Lizzy, Cream, Def Leppard, Dust, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath say anything to you then Falcon is definitely a band that you can find pleasure in! Old-time production, groove to the maximum, simple structures and passionate soloing are some things that characterize Falcon. Perry Grayson is not what I call a gifted vocalist but his Ozzy-Lynott type vocals are exactly what this band needs. Some piano and keyboards here and there and even some funny percussion are the only alien elements to find in this shear dirty hard rockin’ these guys practice. First half of the album belongs synthetically to Perry and there he reveals his pure hard rock’n’roll roots and maybe some affection towards blues and southern rock ("Castle Peak"). As a trained Thin Lizzy ear would recognize, "On the slab" is a song dedicated to Phil Lynott with doom monster Bobby Liebling (Pentagram) giving out some help on the vocals. A Bang cover song named "Redman" splits also synthetically the album in two, since this second half is under Greg’s dominion. These songs although being 100% inside the hard rockin’ spirit of the album, leave just a little taste of primary heavy metal. In particular "Shelob’s lair" is an absolutely awesome song that has some really heavy parts! And how couldn’t it being predestined for a Cirith Ungol song! This album, among many other delights, gives all of us a chance to listen to a never again released Cirith Ungol song. Not bad eh? The last track "Half-Past Human" is my own favorite and that says it all about how this album ends. To sum it up I need to say that although this sound is not my thing and although I won’t probably give this album many more hearings, it won me over easily and gave me some really fun times listening to it. And I am more than sure that if Falcon are one time fun to listen to, then they are ten times fun to see them performing live! Well done guys. 8/10
-George "Volt" Tassis, BEHIND THE VEIL WEBZINE (Greece)
I'm surprised no one's reviewed this here yet, so I'll give it a go. Falcon consists of Isen Torr's Perry Grayson, Pale Divine's Darin McCloskey, and Greg Lindstrom, ex of freakin' CIRITH UNGOL!!! Intrigued yet? Very much a 70s influenced hard rock/metal album, Falcon will appeal to those into Budgie, Thin Lizzy, Cirith Ungol, early B.O.C., Bang etc. In fact, there is even a cover of Bang's "Redman" included, which sounds like a Falcon original, if you didn't know better. The writing is split between Grayson's songs during the first half, and Lindstrom's, which close the album. My pick from Grayson's tracks would be the opening "Downer", and the homage to Phil Lynott, "On The Slab"—very Lizzy-ish, filled with great twin lead riffs, topped off with vocals from none other than Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling! They couldn't have picked a better person to sing these lyrics, either. As for Lindstrom's tracks, man, they sound just like old Frost and Fire-era Cirith Ungol! In fact, I'm pretty sure the majority are actually old Ungol tracks that were never recorded (though I could be wrong about that). The last two songs, "Shelob's Lair" and "Half Past Human", are especially killer, quirky riffing with an epic quality that is rare to find these days. Grayson also seems to sing some of the Lindstrom material with a bit of a Tim Baker inflection, too (though nowhere as over the top as Baker).
Anyway, this is great stuff, and anyone who worships those first 2 CU albums should check out Falcon.
-Throatwobbler Mangrove, STONERROCK.COM
Purists, collectors, traders, and their silly rules. No prog after '76, no punk after '81, no thrash after '88, no black metal after '94...blah blah blah. From the less extreme folks you may hear stuff like, "I'm not really into anything except 70s-era classic rock..." or "....they just don't make albums like (insert name here) anymore..." referring of course to the greats. I often think to myself what an easy task it would be to focus on a single type of music, for a limited time period. God, that would be so much easier than the way we get into a little of everything 'round the dog site. As long as it rocks, of course.
Well, this S/T album from the power trio known as FALCON rocks and rocks hard. I flipped this thing over at first thinking it was a Monster Underground re-release of some 70s obscurity. Yeah, the purists would most likely have a hard time with this one. In fact, I'm amazed that this thing is being released in 2004 myself! Perry Grayson's vocals are deep, and full of dark colors and tones. In fact, he reminds me a little of Bobby Liebling in spots, which fits perfectly with the basslines of former CIRITH UNGOL member Greg Lindstrom. In the unlikely event that you're a power metal fan reading this review, you may remember Grayson from his work in James Rivera's rather unimpressive post-HELSTAR project DESTINY'S END. Well, judging from this lil' frisbee, Grayson has found his calling! The licks here are pure 1971 Gibson rock candy. Even your strictest classic rock junkies should flip for this one.
"Half Past Human" sounds like some unearthed bonus track from the first RUSH album, but frankly I prefer Grayson's vocals to Geddy's! "Route 666" (as you may guess from the title) is pure roll-down-the-windows-and-speed-down-the-highway kinda riff rock. The riffs remind me of POOBAH a bit on that one. I'm playing more air guitar with every spin. "Castle Peak" is probably the most awesome track on the whole thing...a little slice of that kickin' ULTRA record doused with lotsa Rio Grande Mud and cheap whiskey. Does this thing come in 8-track format? I keep waiting for the fifth track, "Throwback" to cut off and resume after that clicking sound.
At any rate, whatever kind of purist or rock fan you are, you need to pick up this sucka. Go to www.falconband.net. And don't be so negative about new stuff next time, mmmkay? And call your mom. She sent you that nice card and you never even thanked her for it.
A smoker, a burner, call it what you want but get it! Here you find an interesting combination, the former guitarist of Destiny's End, Mr. Perry Grayson on guitar and vocals, then you will find Mr. Greg Lindström, formerly known as a very important member of the earlier Cirith Ungol line ups and the drummer of the well respected US Doom Act Pale Divine, composing and playing in perfect harmony. What do we have to expect here? Well, the result will leave some of you truer than true metalheads with your mouth wide open, for it is neither epic fantasy metal with shrieky vocals like Cirith Ungol used to play it back then, when the metal was still heavy, nor is it technically overwhelming but still dragging and catchy powermetal with a voice higher than high, like it has been very well executed by Destiny's End, where former Helstar siren James Rivera did his job once again excellently. What you get here is nothing but pure, and I say PURE and earthy Heavyrock, reminiscent to the stuff you might know from your daddy's or big brother's record collection that was build during the 70s. Falcon prove to be the bastard sons of Budgie, Black Sabbath, Bang (a not so well known american band from the early 70s that has released three regular albums and later on issued a formerly unreleased record from the time before their debut, one of the heaviest outfits during the early 70s) and Blue Cheer, they know how to create the original magickal vibe of the 70s stuff, no wonder for Mr. Lindström himself is a kind of dinosaur from that era. Earthy riffing, catchy but not too importunately melodies, a raw, not too technical, more emotion driven voice that tells tales of the street's dust, pounding rhythms that shake your whole body until you cannot breathe no more, that's what you get here. Falcon have personality, they have "the" feeling and they have the ability to play as tight together as possible while still keep the song structure very free flowing. Excellent! This is the real stuff far away from all image driven true metal, far away from all progressive metal that shows a lack of emotions, far from all commercial thinking. If you see this band in a small club on stage, this will surely blow you away. Insane!!!!!!
-Sir Lord Doom, Hellion Records (Germany)
L.A.'s Falcon is an underground metal supergroup (for lack of a better term) of sorts, featuring Destiny's End guitarist Perry Grayson, Pale Divine drummer Darin McCloskey and, most startling, bassist/keyboardist Greg Lindstrom of trailblazing '70s/'80s weirdos Cirith Ungol. (Pentagram's Bobby Liebling guests on the Thin Lizzy tribute "On the Slab.") The vibe here is pure ’70s power trio , with a stripped-down production aesthetic that lets riffs take precedence. With a program alternating earthy Grayson tunes like "Downer" and the statement-of-purpose "Throwback" with Lindstrom's more fanciful Ungol leftovers like "Shelob's Lair" and the wry "Route 666," Falcon raises high the flag of retro rock without taking itself too seriously. Falcon is a fun romp, no bongs or black lights required.
-Michael Toland, HIGH BIAS (Texas)
New band from the US, featuring Perry Grayson (DESTINY’S END) and Greg Lindstrom (CIRITH UNGOL). This one is very much a "throwback" to the 70’s with modern, crisp, production and a splendid mix of styles, and the song of the same name is a good example of this. Opening track "Downer" starts off in fairly uninspiring style before slipping into an old school Doom groove. The guitar playing, (including some slide guitar yee-hah), is magnificent throughout, including the occasional lead work by bassist Greg Lindstrom. "On the Slab" is dedicated to one Phil Lynott and has a typical THIN LIZZY feel, guest vocal from Bobby Leibling (PENTAGRAM) aside and is extremely good. Actually, and much as it pains me to say this, this is a release that is tailor made for vinyl as Perry has written tracks 1-5 (original FALCON material) and Greg tracks 7-10 (unreleased CIRITH UNGOL material apparently), the other song is "Redman" a BANG cover from 1971, a band I’ve never heard of and now wish to hear very much. I really can’t praise this album highly enough, it’s vying with BROCAS HELM for album of the year and is quite possibly the best debut I’ve ever heard. One for Heart of Steel especially I think.
-Adrian "Runehammer" Piddock, THE METAL GOSPEL
A band consisting of members of CIRITH UNGOL, PALE DIVINE, ISEN TORR and DESTINY’S END does have to be something special, I think. And that’s what they are: you just mustn’t make the mistake of expecting a pure Metal disc here. That’s exactly what Falcon has definitely not become. You rather have to understand their music as a bow to the seventies. So each note of their damn intense Heavy Rock sounds doomy, bluesy and extremely emotional.
The power trio merges groove, technical ambition and melancholy into a bubbling magic brew. The voice is rather self-willed and could put off some people, but that doesn’t matter. Particularly the masses won’t be attracted by FALCON anyway. It’s only suitable for Heavy Rockers that are still crazy about bands like DUST, SIR LORD BALTIMORE, BUDGIE, CACTUS, BLUE CHEER or TED NUGENT today, about earthy handmade Power Rock music which captivates the listener in an inspired way. A kind of audio-journey through time par excellence!
-Ralf Henn, THE METAL OBSERVER (Germany)
After the demo from 2003, Falcon return with their first full-length album. Having in their ranks Perry Grayson (vocal, guitars, Isen Törr, ex-Destiny’s End, Artisan), Greg Lindstrom (bass, ex-Cirith Ungol) and Darin McCloskey (drums, Pale Divine), Falcon certainly is an experienced batch of musicians. Without a shadow of a doubt they transferred their knowledge and passion into their music. Though from this line-up one would expect to spew out some metallic madness, the situation is actually quite different, as Falcon make totally 70’s styled hard rock. I think this list of Perry’s influences for this band says a lot: Trapeze, Budgie, Bang, Rush and Thin Lizzy. Of 10 songs presented on the album, 5 of them were made by Perry, 4 by Greg and one is a cover of an excellent American 70’s hard rock band Bang. Greg’s songs, to make things more interesting, are actually old Cirith Ungol songs that never got released on any of their albums, so they see the light of the day for the first time on “Falcon”. Though they were written all the way back in the 70’s, they still sound very fresh and don’t differ much from Perry's, a solid unity between the two. And good things don’t end there. On ‘On The Slab’, the song that is dedicated to the late Thin Lizzy bass player/vocalist Phil Lynott, we witness the guest appearance of Pentagram’s own Bobby Liebling. I think that if Phil were alive today he would be damn proud of this song. Bobby’s voice is a bit strange, but music really sounds great. My personal favorites include ‘Half Past Human’, which is the most diverse track here, ‘Shelob’s Lair’ (though it doesn’t quite depict the darkness and evil of that place in Tolkien’s Middle Earth), ‘Downer’, ‘On The Slab’ and “The Crying Of Lot 246’. On some songs you can even hear some guitar sounds that remind me a lot of some southern rock bands, like on ‘Castle Peak’. The only thing that didn’t work all the time in favor of the music is Perry’s vocals (too strange on occasions). But like Perry himself stated it’s the ‘love it or loathe it affair’, and if those are the options to I choose to like it. I mustn’t go away without mentioning his really inspired soloing, but then all the guys gave their best in making this record. Production work was done perfectly do depict the 70’s spirit, sounding very raw, not sacrificing on clarity. Records like this are very rare today and that’s why this album should be even more praised. I hope it ends on vinyl too, 'cause that’s the real medium for this type of music.
8.5 out of 10
-Bosko Radisic, THE VAULT (Yugoslavia)
Not surprisingly no record companies were interested in a high-quality band like FALCON, so they just decided to release their debut full-length release by themselves, via Liquid Flames Records. Indeed, the 'label' that released the first CIRITH UNGOL LP as well ... On one hand it's very sad that a talented outfit as FALCON remains unnoticed (at least until now), but of course it's cool to see the Liquid Flames tag resurfacing again. Let's cut the crap and concentrate on reviewing Falcon, okay? All four songs from the Demo 2003 mCD (reviewed above) are included here once again as well, albeit re-recorded and improved versions. The biggest change of all is noticeable in "On the Slab", as the vocals on this version are courtesy of PENTAGRAM's Bobby Liebling. It goes without saying that he did a marvellous job. Phil Lynott will be delighted, wherever he may be! All 10 songs were recorded in 5 days at the end of November 2003, while the mixing took place late February 2004. Everything took place at the Polar Bear Lair Studios in Maryland, with Chris Kozlowski (of PALE DIVINE, PENANCE, THE OBSESSED, PENTAGRAM, ... fame) at the helm. Actually, the first five songs are written by Perry Grayson, while the final four are courtesy of Greg Lindstrom. And in between both sections there's a majestic cover version of BANG's "Redman", from 1971. Which clearly indicates what FALCON is all about : early 1970's inspired heavy rock all the way. All of these songs sound as if they were created 30 years ago. Which, in fact, may be the case for some parts of Greg's compositions, as some of them are actually updated versions of previously unreleased CIRITH UNGOL material. And to put it straight : it's all in the vein of the (pre) Frost And Fire LP period. "Shelob's Lair" is most reminiscent, followed by "High Speed Love" and "Route 666". "Half Past Human" is way longer, calmer, doomier and more melancholic. Both of Perry's new songs, "Castle Peak" & "Throwback", are just as convincing as the ones that he already contributed to the Demo 2003 mCD. Both add to the diversity of this release. Castle Peak even brings a certain Southern Rock influence to mind, including slide guitar. Quite obviously FALCON are influenced by, and occasionally sounding along the same lines as, BANG, CIRITH UNGOL, BUFFALO, PENTAGRAM, MOUNTAIN, ... but the healthy dose of variety and the accurate musicianship make Falcon such a convincing and interesting release. Like I mentioned before already : it sounds as if these tunes were created in days of yore, but they are oh so heavy, diverse and emotional. Saleswise FALCON will be peanuts compared to the nowadays nu-metal crap that is doing the rounds, but musically these guys are way better. And, they sure know how to create interesting songs, and play exciting solos. Something that can't be said about the likes of SLIPKNOT, ... For fans of groovy 1970's inspired heavy rock this is a mandatory release, evenmoreso because the artwork is just as outstanding as the music! I for one am already looking forward to seeing the band.
-Eddy Vermeiren, DEN OF INIQUITY (Belgium)
Old school early '70s hard rock mayhem with ex-Cirith Ungol, ex-Destiny's End and current Pale Divine members!! The real deal, bringing to mind cult '70s heavy/rock/metal bands like Dust, Pentagram, Budgie, Captain Beyond, Trapeze, etc… What is really killer is the guest vocal from Bobby Liebling (Pentagram) on one of the album's best tracks ("On the Slab"). Righteous stuff here mate.
-John Perez, BRAINTICKET RECORDS (Texas)
Top Ten of 2004
2. FALCON - S/T
We all hope to get that "rare" re-issue of the 8-track demo of some obscure '70s power trio...we here at the Dogsite have found it for you, and now it's on CD. This kick-in-the-teeth opus has given me hope for the future of metal. PENTAGRAM meets RUSH....I think I wore my copy out already.
-The Manic Mechanic, PEACEDOGMAN.COM
The product of a record collection I can only fantasize about, Falcon’s self-titled debut may well have been unearthed in a 1971 time capsule, were it not for the relative youth of guitarist/vocalist Perry Grayson. Also sporting ex-Cirith Ungol man Greg Lindstrom on bass and keyboards, Falcon are a retro stoner’s wet dream, slotting in nicely next to your Captain Beyond, Pentagram, Trapeze, and Budgie records. Grayson’s voice is laconic and laid-back, taking a cue from a young Bobby Liebling, and the songs lope along with a head-nodding groove and a sense of boogie that you’d think was impossible to capture in 2004 (check out the awesome “Castle Peak” for a particularly sweet example of this, and a little first-album Rush in the middle to boot).
Bang’s “Redman” gets covered about halfway through, and if you hadn’t checked the liner notes (and didn’t know it already), you’d never know it was a cover. Lindstrom’s songs (particularly his vocal patterns) sound steamed and peeled right off his old Cirith Ungol vinyl. And if that’s not enough wearing of the ol’ influences on the denim sleeve for you, Liebling himself guests on Phil Lynott memorial “On the Slab,” adding his inimitable (if rather time-ravaged) voice to this cautionary tale of wretched excess. Falcon aren’t trying to bring the sound of '70’s proto-doom “up to date” or polish the analog edges off their heroes’ creations – the only reason they made this record is because they couldn’t get their time machine to run on “McGovern For President” buttons and deposit them back in the decade where they belong!
Falcon are a labor of love, obviously a long time coming, and Grayson and Lindstrom’s dedication to all things doomed out, riffy and mouldering shines through. It’s tempting when reviewing a record like Falcon to play “spot the influence” from song to song, but I’d rather just report that this album makes me grin from ear to ear. These are the kind of songs that inspire head banging – not the violent, neck-snapping '80’s variety that thrash wrought, but the stoned, amiable head bang you see Ozzy doing in the old Sabbath videos. And who doesn’t need more of that kind of head bang in their life? Now if someone would just release this on vinyl, it’d be perfect.
-Keith Bergman, STONERROCK.COM
|Perry Grayson is a guitarist in love with
everything that heavy rock was in the very early seventies, so that his
veneration for bands such as Mountain, Thin Lizzy, Trapeze and Dust (we
recall the Vikings of the mythical Hard Attack!) led him
to affect what the future may also someday come to be regarded as a
small masterpiece of vintage rock. Accompanied in this new adventure by
seminal multi-instrumentalist Greg Lindstrom (who in 1981 wrote all the
tracks on the album Frost And Fire album from immortal metal pioneers
Cirith Ungol!), Perry has managed to assemble a batch of songs that will
surely bring happiness to all who have remained loyal to the primordial
slab of Rocka Rolla from Judas Priest or the old work of
Pentagram… It's safe to say that Grayson, the mastermind of Falcon, has
always been a supporter of his fellow Americans, who crafted the classic
Day of Reckoning. Even more exciting is the fact that Pentagram's
Bobby Liebling sings on the third track on this album, "On The Slab,"
written in memory of Phil Lynott! Since the first five pieces were
entirely composed by Grayson while the remaining four are the fruit of
Greg Lindstrom (they were originally old Cirith Ungol tunes) there seems
to be a double shadowed soul hidden behind the moniker Falcon. The
compositional styles of the two songwriters match to perfection.
"Shelob' s Lair," "Downer" and the aforementioned "On The Slab" are
undoubtedly the cornerstones of this fascinating album that the American
power-trio has aptly dedicated to the memory of the late Jerry Fogle,
legendary axeman for Cirith Ungol!
-Ronnie James Daddo, Metal Maniacs.it