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metal talk
28th November 2011


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After five years of silence, 'Under The Grey Banner' marks the glorious return of one of Sweden's finest Metal bands; Gothenburg's own Dragonland, the band featuring the near-mythical and musical masterminds, guitarist Olof Mörck (Nightrage, Amaranthe) and keyboard player Elias Holmlid who, here are found writing yet another chapter of and continuing on, the famous fantasy 'Dragonland Chronicles', which were brought to life so wonderfully with first two albums 'The Battle Of The Ivory Plains' (in 2001) and 'Holy War' (in 2002).

'Under The Grey Banner' was recorded at several different studios, with Jacob Hansen adding his magic touch to the mix in Denmark and marks the band's fifth major time in the studio since inception in 2000. Twelve songs were created during the sessions and the music itself is based on a deep and emotional story, picking up where 'Holy War' itself left off some nine years ago.

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Comments Mörck: "After the very different 'Astronomy' CD (2006), we knew we needed to explore our music further, so as not to risk becoming a band that releases music every year cast in the same mould! The idea from the beginning was: what it would be like to create a Metal album based in fantasy that respects the literary genre? That actually tries to be mature and that enriches said fantasy world with inspiration from millennia's of human mythology?

"To make a neo-classical album filled with overtly bombastic clichés of steel clad warriors was out of the question!! Instead, we explored the themes and sounds around various fantasy movies, new and old, and also countless computer RPG soundtracks to infuse the musical aspect with a genuine fantasy feel, and as previously stated, read heaps and stacks of tomes on every mythological tale from Gilgamesh to the Aeneid, providing a genuine and credible backdrop to the story."

The album is genuinely a concept album in every sense of the word, and the band was asked to collaborate with some truly gifted artists who are experts in the audio-visual genre thus bringing such a world to life audio-visually within the basic format. Musical actor Fred Johanson (Jesus Christ Superstar) plays the role of 'the antagonist' and all three singers from rising newcomers Amaranthe, whom Morck also plays regularly with — Elize Ryd, Jake E and Andy Solveström — appear in minor roles, further developing the universe the story is set in.

Line Up:

Jonas Hedigert (Vocals)
Olof Mörck (Guitar)
Elias Holmlid (Keyboards)
Jesse Lindskog (Guitars)
Anders Hammer (Bass)
Morten Lowe Sorensen (Drums)

Track Details:

1. Ilmarion
2. Shadow The Mithril Mountains
3. The Tempest
4. A Thousand Towers White
5. Fire And Brimstone
6. The Black Mare
7. Lady Of Goldenwood
8. Dûrnir's Forge
9. The Trials Of Mount Farnor
10. Throne Of Bones
11. Under The Grey Banner
12. Ivory Shores

'Under The Grey Banner' combines all the strengths of the band from their previous albums. Elements from different Metal genres and stunning instrumentals in the vein of Hans Zimmer; all are brought together with heavy yet hugely melodic songs. All creating a 'fantastic' world in the mind's eye of the listener, from start to finish!


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