Storyteller | Underworld

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Metal/Punk: Power Metal Metal/Punk: Heavy Metal Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Underworld

by Storyteller

With their fourth album ”Underworld”, Storyteller have once again proved their position. Eleven new tracks showing again the varity of this legendary Power Metal act.
Genre: Metal/Punk: Power Metal
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Changeling
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3:45 album only
2. Eyes of the dead
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3:58 album only
3. The fiddler
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5:29 album only
4. Watcher in the deep
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5:25 album only
5. Your time has come
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2:58 album only
6. Beauty is the beast
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4:35 album only
7. Underworld
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4:27 album only
8. Magic elements
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4:35 album only
9. Shine on
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5:03 album only
10. Ace of spades (Motorhead cover)
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2:42 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The STORYTELLER project started in late 1995 by L-G Persson (vocals) and Fredrik Groth (guitars), and back then the concept was a little different than it is today. The music was strictly acoustic, with a lot of choirs. Not very metal, but very good indeed! After a few months Magnus Björk (vocals) and Jocke Lundström (guitars/vocals) joined. A demo consisting of three songs (Kingdom Above, Power Within and Chant Of The Thieves) was recorded in a local studio. Two of the songs were later re-recorded for The Storyteller's first album. Back then, the band was called Storyteller only. The "The" was added almost five years later.
A few demo tapes with an ugly black & white cover were sent out to some Swedish record companies, but that didn't lead to anything, as the record companies thought that the lyrics should be in Swedish. Instead, the demos were sold to friends and relatives. At this point the band had never played live.

In the middle of 1996, Fredrik felt that Storyteller was heading for a direction that he didn't really like, so he left the band temporarily to work with a musical. Another guitarist (Per Nilsson) joined, and due to the forces of many different musicians, Storyteller sounded really strange at this point. Jocke Lundström now played drums instead of guitars. A new demo was recorded, with basically the same songs as on the first demo, but with Like A Wind instead of Chant Of Thieves. L-G disliked the musical situation more and more, and during 1997 Storyteller sort of died for a while, because of lack of interest from him.

In december 1997 Fredrik got together with L-G again and they decided to take the music a few steps further, and they got a new drummer, Martin Hjerpe. They also replaced their acoustic guitars with electric ones. Inspired by German heavy metal bands such as Helloween and Blind Guardian, they rearranged their old songs and wrote some new material. L-G and Fredrik soon realized that this was what they'd always wanted to do! Pure heavy metal!

The initial thought was that L-G should sing only, so Storyteller needed a bass player... and Anders Östlin joined for a while. During this period, Per got sick in his arms, and he couldn't play at all. He was still in the band though, as he thought he was going to get better. (Note: today, almost four years later, Per still can't play)

On april 1998 Storyteller recorded a new demo consisting of three songs (The Unknown, Power Within and Sense Of Steel), and sent it to a few German and Japanese record companies. One of them, NOISE Records in Germany, replied as soon as they got the cd, and said that they liked the music very much, but they didn't really like the singer, and they needed to hear more songs. Preferably with another singer.

Total panic! Two more songs were written and recorded (Guardians of Kail and Book Of Mystery) and sent to NOISE, still with L-G on vocals. This time they didn't sound half as interested as the first time they replied, and they told STORYTELLER that they REALLY needed a new singer.

So Storyteller basically gave up and listened to the record company. L-G decided that he'd play bass instead of singing, and Anders Östlin was "degraded" to a keyboard player. A few months later he left the band.

Storyteller's music now sounded quite close to early Helloween, and they were looking for a new singer to fit their style. And as it turned out, it wasn't really easy to find a good metal singer! Many singers were tested, and some of them really sucked, and some just didn't fit the kind of music Storyteller was playing, so most of the time L-G was singing at the rehearsals.

They also needed another guitarist, as it was not suitable with only one guitarist in the band. Later it turned out that one of the tested singers (Lasse Martinsen) was a much better guitarist than singer, so he joined the band as a guitarist instead!!! And when L-G decided to take over the microphone again, about one year after he abandoned it the first time, Storyteller was complete!

The band rehearsed a lot and recorded a few more demos. Wrote many great songs, and a few not so great ones... Lots of demos were sent out to various record companies, and finally, in June '99 Storyteller got their record deal!!! No Fashion/House Of Kicks (Sweden) showed their interest, and just a few days after they heard the demos, a contract was signed!

Three weeks in September and October '99, Storyteller recorded their first album in the legendary Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden. Many good bands like In Flames, The Haunted, Hammerfall, Dimmu Borgir and At The Gates have recorded many of their albums there. Shortly after the recordings, the guitarist Lasse Martinsen was replaced by Erik Gornostajev.

The Storyteller's debut album was released in Europe in May 2000, and it has so far gotten tons of good reviews but not so many bad ones. During 2000 the band also played live on several occations. On one gig in October, Joacim Cans & Oscar Dronjak from Hammerfall joined THE STORYTELLER on stage, and played a cover of Manowar's Black Wind Fire And Steel, just for fun.

At this point, the album still wasn't released in Japan, which made quite a few people import it… In fact, the album was listed in Japanese Burrn magazine's "Import Albums" chart six months in a row! (The ratings were: August #5, September #3, October #3, November #24, December #49 and January #42.) But finally, in December the album was officially released in Japan by Soundholic Co. Ltd. As the unavoidable bonus track, the first acoustic demo of Chant Of The Thieves was added.

Turing the year of 2001 the band rehearsed a lot, and wrote new material for their forthcoming album. Once again it was decided that they would record in Studio Fredman, which simply is Sweden's absolutely best heavy metal studio. (According to us, that is) Two weeks before the recording, Erik Gornostajev left the band due to personal reasons, so the band immediately started to look for a a new guitarist, and they found a guy from the northern parts of Sweden, named Pärka Kankanranta. Unfortunately he didn't fit very well into the band, but he did three guitar solos on the recording, as well as two live gigs with the band. In the beginning of August 2001 a new guitarist named Jacob Wennerqvist joined the band.

By October 2002 Janne Björk left the band, and since concentrating on writing material for their 3rd album the band decided to wait on the matter of finding someone to replace him. The album was recorded during march/april 2003, guess where? Right! At Studio Fredman. After finishing the recording sessions the band took on finding a new bassplayer, endeding up with a coffeecooking guitarist named Johan Sohlberg playing the bass at the appearance on Sweden Rock Festival in 8th of June. Departing from the festival, parts of the band headed for Studio Fredman to make the final mix of the album. After five calm months the release of "Tales Of A Holy Quest" took place in 27th of November followed by releaseparty and livegig the 29th at Musikhuset/Gävle.

By this time plans developed for making a video on the song "Seed of Lies" from the new album. Said and done. The video was shot in the midst of January during 4 days pending between the heat of studiolights and the chilly winds of Swedish winter outdoors. Many many thanks to all the voluntaries who suffered heatstroke at liveshootings and froze their limbs off out in the cold! Also worth mentioning is producer Lennart Jonsson and director Israel Benavides without whom the video would have been "mission impossible"! The video was shown officially for the first time at the releasyparty 12th of March 2003 taking place at Club Monster/Gävle and has since been broadcasted on Z-TV amongst other channels.

Throughout the first half of the year the band played some occational gigs at minor clubs, supporting Bruce Kulick at Rockland/Sala for one, and after having the summer off they reunited for a gig at the Gates of Metal festival in Hultsfred July 31. Just days before the gig a cd containing "Seed of Lies" as cd-track and video both, a cover on Ozzy's "Bark at the Moon", a live recording of "The Secrets Revealed" and a demotrack called "Prophets of Liars" was released. This album is their final release. Storyteller exists no more.


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larry costa


great