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The Storyteller - Dark Legacy

The Storyteller
Dark Legacy
by Michael "MettleAngel" Francisco at 28 March 2013, 7:09 PM

Revitalized and ready to break the bonds of hiatus, empowered with the strength of Valhalla, Sweden's own Guardians of Kail return with another otherworldly quest - “The Dark Legacy”. This tale of blood and woe seems to have a strong Viking sense of steel, as the legend continues. This is their first release in over seven years since the pace and speed of “Underworld”. Most of the main magic elements are present, but there a few nuances which may not appeal to fans of their first few albums.

The band have found themselves at a crossroads and seem to be striving to relocate their sound. In the past they had vibrant power mettle wisdom similar to early BLIND GUARDIAN, NOSTRADAMEUS, STEEL ATTACK, but even as those acts have evolved, so have THE STORYTELLER written a new script for their requisition, poised to turn or burn the page.

The mystical journey begins on a strong note with “Release Me”, but the staggered guitar tone and background choirs tend to be a bit unnerving. The narration on “Forever They Shall Kneel” is a bit excessive. It feels like bands like AMON AMARTH or ENSIFERUM have slipped into the cracks of inspiration, not that this is necessarily a bad thing.

I have also noticed that L.G. seems to have lowered his register and is not singing as high or as passionate. Each needle-threaded word out of his mouth may at first peek my interest, but then I feign fascination. A song like “God Of Gods” should be better, but it is just idle and giving me a deadache.

The mourning song and title track, as well as “Break The Bounds” maintain the older oaken edge, similar to CUSTARD and DARK AT DAWN, but the chugging of “The Uninvited Guest” has an entire other appearance, altogether.

Thankfully, “Strength Of Valhalla” and “Upon Your Icy Throne” have character and purpose. I am reminded here of what WIZARD, DRAGONLAND, and perhaps WISDOM strive to accomplish. “Sands Of Time” is a slow simmering ballad with a hint of FALCONER. Meanwhile the whole spirit of “Sancto Spirito” has a more personified presence with its chant of themes. This at times reminds me of RHAPSODY OF FIRE, minus the keyboards and going for Baroque mentality.

Within the prophecy of sacrilege and sacrifice the epic “Battle Of Yggdrasil” decides the future guidance as a test of endurance and strength, but it is no “Chant Of The Thieves” or Trails Of Blood”. There are some MAIDENesque overtones and some wicked demon growls. This tumultuous God on God Ragnarok war scene relies on the conviction that for the sacred Vanir, your time has come.

As the moment of truth unveils itself, so are the secrets of steel revealed as the All father gazes upon us with one wide-eye open like a watcher in a deep trance. I just wish that THE STORYTELLER had written a book of truth be told mettle and merit.

This is no “Sacred Talisman”. Granted it is good storytelling, even if now it is something not as easily embraced as being original. I would not classify the band as being Viking Metal either. The music is just not of the capacity as their debut or “Tales Of A Holy Quest”. I am grateful that the band is active again, and I hope they will always be here. Here is trusting that they will follow their path of glory, for forever they shall kneel to the mighty Metal Gods.

3 Star Rating

1. Release Me
2. Strength of Valhalla
3. Dark Legacy
4. Uninvited Guest
5. Forever They Shall Kneel
6. God of Gods
7. Upon Your Icy Throne
8. Sancto Spirito
9. Break The Bounds
10. Sands Of Time
11. Battle Of Yggdrasil
L.G. Persson – Vocals
Jacob Wennerqvist – Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Marcus Backlund – Guitars, Bass, Backing Vocals
Martin Hjerpe – Drums
Record Label: Black Lodge Records


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Edited 27 October 2021

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