Sjak : The new band Beyond The Katakomb is the brainchild of The Storyteller-singer L-G Persson, who found the right partners in guitar player Daniel Palmquist (who among others has worked with Joe Lynn Turner and Goran Edman), keyboard player Matt Guillory (James Labrie, Dali’s Dilemma), bass player Johan Niemann (Everygrey, Talisman) and drummer Henrik Ohlsson (Scar Symmetry) to further shape his new project. Beyond The Katakomb can be seen as a natural evolution of L-G Persson’s band The Storyteller, because also on this debut album heavy, yet melodic power metal is mixed with a tad of symphonic metal. A number of songs also feature grunt vocals (by drummer Henrik Ohlsson) and it has to be said that this certainly contributes in a positive way to the variety aspect.
Still the twelve songs which are to be found on ‘Beyond The Katakomb’ aren’t of such a quality level that we can really speak of a true eye-catching release. I have to admit that the album is a very easy-listening affair and has a number of good songs in ‘Revealing The Concealed’, ‘We Rule The Night’ and ‘The Killing’, but as a whole they aren’t capable yet to really stand out from the crowd. Singer L-G Persson is doing a great job and also the instrumentalists showcase that they’re experienced musicians, but the song material just isn’t convincing enough yet to talk about a truly great album. They certainly escape the mediocre category, but nowadays a lot of bands are capable of doing that. Just that little bit of extra that’s needed to really make an impact is not there yet on ‘Beyond The Katakomb’, but that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that they’ve been able to bring a very solid debut album to market, on which they certainly can continue to build on. Therefore I’m quite curious if they band is capable to develop further in the near future, because the solid base that’s needed is certainly there already.