I've recently read that Sweden's The Storyteller have thrown in the towel and are going their separate ways, that is quite a blow to the world of European power metal, as they have been constantly releasing quality slabs of metal for more than 10 years now.
As good as was their last release through Black Lodge records – 2003's “Tales Of A Holy Quest”, this is better. “Underworld” is well produced, well written and well played, with the powerful vocals by L.G Persson being the main focal point for the band's overall quality.
Opener "Changeling" is a traditional metal track, mid-tempo rhythm and some strong riffs, the band makes some smart use of backing vocals and the album starts off well. One of the best tracks here is "The Fiddler", making use of a fiddle the band creates something akin to folk metal, reminiscent of early Falconer albums, the verses use a slower, more sophisticated guitar line, almost prog-like.
"Beauty Is The Beast" is a fine acoustic number, again, a strong performance by Persson and some fine use of the backing vocals, it may be acoustic, but its not kitsch. The album is rounded up by a cover of Motorhead
's "Ace Of Spades" with Persson doing a throatier vocal, mimicking Lemmy's, its just simple minded fun, but it works.
It's quite fitting that the band's swan song should sound this good, and sad as well, let's hope they change their minds, they might have some more great albums in them.