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The Storyteller have always been sort of a second-tier power metal act, and this isn’t likely to change much with this release, their third full-length album. The style of music they play is much the same as seen on 2002’s Crossroad – it’s still your standard power metal fare. The music is upbeat but never too speedy, and always seems to lack that certain something that would take it to the top of the power metal heap. That being said, this stuff is still somewhat enjoyable; just don’t expect it to blow you away.
I really think the band’s weak point continues to be the singer, L-G Persson. Let’s face it, folks: as a vocalist he’s pretty limited. He just doesn’t have the range to compete with the likes of Daniel Heiman and other vocal gods. However, having a limited range is not always a big problem so long as you understand your range and compose melodies that fit what you can do. In this sense the band are partially successful – some of the songs fit quite well with Persson’s style. For example, the chorus on “Seed of Lies” is done quite well. However, in the same song, around the 3:35 mark Persson does the soft/low vocal approach, something which is just cringe-inducing to my ears. In general, however, Persson does a fair job of working with what he has. The downside of having a singer with a limited range comes in monotony – a lot of the songs sound similar. In fact, the album is bookended by the two best songs – “Seed of Lies” and “Trails of Blood” (I’m not counting the intro and outro). The stuff in the middle, unless you’re really listening closely, often seems to run together without a lot of variation. There are plenty of acoustic interludes, sing-along choruses, medieval touches, double bass drums, and so on, but nothing really stands out. The production is decent overall but lacks punch, making everything sound kind of flat and stale. However, I’ve heard much worse for a power metal record, so I can’t complain too much.
As I mentioned, this release is somewhat enjoyable, but that’s about it. In today’s supersaturated power metal scene “somewhat enjoyable” isn’t likely to cut it – it certainly won’t get you to the top. For three albums now this band has been chugging along in the “average power metal” zone. If you can’t get enough power metal then you’re sure to enjoy it; more discriminating listeners likely won’t see anything special about it, and may even be turned off by the vocals or the general blandness of it. Definitely check out some samples before buying.