Storyteller, The - Crossroad

Year of Release: 2001
Label: No Fashion Records
Catalog Number: NFR056
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:49:00

The Storyteller certainly live up to their name with their second release Crossroad. How do they live up to their name? Well, they tell a story don't they! Their self-titled debut began with "And The Legend Begins" and this one starts with "And The Legend Continues" - both short intros to what is, in effect, Scandinavian power metal in the vain of HammerFall, Insania, Phoenix Rizing, Stormwind, Zonata, and Supreme Majesty.

This is a cool CD, but, and I'll try not to harp on this, it is totally devoid of originality. But that should excite fans of both the band and of the above list of bands. The Storyteller have managed to tone down on the sweeping guitar elements of traditional Swedish power metal and focus more on writing guitar groove-oriented songs that torment you until the final note some 50 minutes later. The band excite when they move the tempo to UP with L-G Persson's vocals becoming decidedly weaker the more the music ambles, mainly because you can hear his faults. The heavier music, in essence, masks any vocal paucities. Sadly though, the album follows the most predictable of paths which can be summed up the following way: Intro, fast song, slow song, fast song, slow song, [repeat ad nauseum], end song with everything thrown at it. Now, in the case of Iced Earth on Something Wicked This Way Comes, this formula works a treat, but The Storyteller don't manage to pull this off as they did with their debut album. And it pains me to write that because I wanted to like this disc, but it has more holes in it than a Hollywood movie.

Apart from the speedier tracks ("The Unknown," "Ambush," "The Eye Of The Storm," "Crossroad"), the group impresses when they let rip with the glorious group choruses which are perfectly balanced across the whole album. Overall though, not even the manly choruses can add spark to this, at times, sombre pyre. Musically they never stray away from the norm and they don't really add any exciting elements to make it stand above what is obviously a crowded market. Don't get me wrong, the album is not a write-off. It just fails in the excitement and originality factor. With such a strong debut, I thought they would have followed it up with something much stronger, but alas they couldn't achieve those heights. Great cover painting though by Mattias Persson, but I'm a sucker for original paintings no matter how clichéd they are.

The magnificent concluding track, "The Moment Of Truth," has everything in it, including death vocals, that works a treat. It would be great to see this used more in the future. It's a fine track and it clocks in healthily at 8 minutes. A fine ending to a mixed album.

So, The Storyteller, as a band, have probably reached a Crossroad themselves, not only in album title but in musical performance. Which direction now?

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

And The Legend Continues / The Unknown / The Secret's Revealed / Eye Of The Storm / A Passage Through The Mountain / Ambush / Loss Of A Friend / Crossroad / Kingdom Above / The Moment Of Truth / Moonchild*

*JP bonus track

L.G. Persson - vocals, bass
Fredrik Groth - guitars
Jacob Wennerqvist - guitars
Martin Hjerpe - drums

The Storyteller (2000)
Crossroads (2001)
Tales Of A Holy Quest (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal


Added: February 20th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 817
Language: english


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