sets the bar even higher for those of the fantasy/power metal genre with their latest album, âUnder the Grey Banner
â. Not being a gigantic fan of this type of metal I decided to go outside my comfort zone anyway by reviewing it and I have to say I was not in the least bit disappointed. Setting the tone at the beginning with symphonic elegance it also combined with majestic speed, power, and melody. The stunning vocals of Jonas Heidgart only enriches the music as well the incredible skill and talent supplied by Olof Morck (lead guitar), Jesse Lindskog (guitar), Anders Hammer (bass), Elias Holmlid (keyboards) and Morten Lowe (drums).
The album starts out with a powerful symphony on the beginning track, âIllmarionâ that continues to build up with intensity until it leads you into the second track that has a strong female voice telling a story of distant lands and the pride and honor that is held within, immediately followed by a shredding guitar lead and Jonasâs charismatic vocals. You can feel the story start to unfold with âThe Tempestâ and if you just sit and close your eyes you can feel yourself soaring across the ocean and over distant mountains until you reach this beautiful kingdom that is on the verge of battle. This album just keeps your imagination going while youâre listening to it, not in a Lord
of the Rings/Dungeons of Dragons type of fantasy but with something that is truly beautiful and rich.
âFire and Brimstoneâ has a guest appearance from the musical actor, Fred Johansonâ that gives the track an even more bombastic feel that keeps growing with every note.âLady
of Goldenwoodâ is another wonderful song that continues to shows off more of Jonasâs talents with a softer approach to his vocal style and is joined by the equally talented vocals of Elize Ryd, singer for the Swedish metal band Amaranthe
. âThe Ivory Shoresâ concludes the album perfectly with a sense of power that will honestly leave you covered in goose bumps with Elizeâs beautiful voice and haunting music played in the background.
âUnder the Grey Banner
â takes you on a mystical journey thatâs full of emotion and imagination that youâll only be able to appreciate if you let yourself go, donât hold onto any biases you have about this genre and just listen. It holds dark melodies combined with tight musicianship and melody that, at the very least, will peak your curiosity. You do not want to miss out!