After five years of silence “Under The Grey Banner” marks the glorious return of one of Sweden’s finest Metal bands. DRAGONLAND - the band centering masterminds Olof Mörck (Nightrage, Amaranthe) and Elias Holmlid – have written another chapter and continue the famous chronicles about the fantasy realm “Dragonland”, which was brought to life with the first two albums of the band - "The Battle Of The Ivory Plains" (2001) and "Holy War" (2002).
“Under The Grey Banner” was recorded at several different studios, with Jacob Hansen adding his magic touch to the mix at Hansen studios in Denmark. Twelve songs were created during the sessions and the music itself is based on a deep and emotional story, picking up where the band's second album, "Holy War", left off nine years ago.
Commented by guitarist Olof Mörck: "After 'Astronomy', we knew we needed to explore our music further not to risk becoming a band that releases music every year cast in the same mold, so the idea from the beginning was: what would it be like with 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 millenias of human mythology? To make a neoclassical album filled with overly 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, heaps and stacks of tomes on every mythological tale from Gilgamesh to the Aeneid provided a genuine and credible backdrop to the story.“
The album is genuinely a concept album in every aspect, and the band was able to collaborate with some truly gifted artists who are experts in this genre and in bringing such a world to life audio-visually. Musical actor Fred Johanson (Jesus Christ Superstar) plays the role of the antagonist and all three singers from rising newcomers AMARANTHE — Elize Ryd, Jake E and Andy Solveström — will appear in minor roles, further developing the universe, the story is set in.
Besides the visual artist from million-selling PC game "The Witcher", Damian Bajowski, provided the artwork for “Under The Grey Banner” - not only the front cover, but also additional illustrations for the various locations in the saga which can be found in the booklet.
“Under The Grey Banner” combines all the strengths of DRAGONLAND from their previous albums. Elements from different metal genres and stunning instrumentals in the vein of Hans Zimmer brought together with heavy yet bombastic songs. All that creates a fantastic world in the mind’s eye of the listener!
Prepare yourself to be engulfed in a world of enchanting fantasy and songs of swirling magic!