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It only took eight years, but finally The Storyteller has emerged from hiatus. Seemingly underrated and under-appreciated in both power metal circles, and the metal community as a whole, it will interesting to see how well-received the new album ultimately is. I, for one, couldn't be more pleased.
Picking up right where "The Underworld" left off, "Dark Legacy" is late 90s/early 00s power metal in its purest form. Think mid-period Wizard and "Somewhere Far Beyond"-era Blind Guardian, and you're on the right track. The Storyteller's brand of power metal has always landed on the heavier/grittier end of the spectrum, and this album is no exception.
Much of "Dark Legacy" follows the template of speedy, crunchy, double-bass driven power metal, which is executed almost flawlessly on tracks such as "Strength Of Valhalla", "Forever Thou Shall Kneel" and "Upon The Icy Throne". However, variety can be found. "Uninvited Guest" is led by a more modern riff and overall approach, "God Of Gods" is mid-paced and slightly reminiscent of Dio, and "Sands Of Time" is an orchestral ballad leading up to the epic closer, "Battle Of Yggdrasil".
Vocalist L-G Persson returns in fine form with his somewhat throaty and unique delivery, stamping his signature all over the album. His voice has always been the stand-out feature of The Storyteller, and it's great to him on record once again.
Fans of The Storyteller should rejoice over "Dark Legacy", while Power Metal fans that missed these guys the first time around have some catching up to do. Along with Dreamtale and Drakkar, these guys are doing an admiral job of keeping the old spirit alive.
(originally written for www.metal-observer.com)