|Melodic Power Metal, Symphonic Power Metal
Self-release, Limb Music
November 5th, 2011 / August 14th, 2012
Release length: 54:18
The audio quality to Legends shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering it was an independently funded endeavor. It sounds good, but does carry a bit of a hollowness to it, though not too detrimental. Instead, it really does amplify the cheesy foundation of the group, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The guitars have a decent harder mid-range to them that are a little lower in volume, but can also find a louder Space Rock-esque distortion to them, such as during “Dragonslayer,” as well as a similar level during the cleaner solos. The bass isn’t the most astounding, but it does incorporate a deeper tone that gives the music a little more edge to bang your head along to. The keyboards are as loud as the drums, establishing a majestic atmosphere here and there, and even a slight operatic and Symphonic vibe during the more epic bridges. Meanwhile, the snares have a nice tightness to them that comes out through the mix over the lower click of the bass kicks, and just a bit more than the cymbals. This is all accompanied by a suiting lower to mid-range clean singing approach that can be a bit nasal at times, but all around suits the music being played.
Unfortunately, there never really seems to be a lot of energy captured from the group, but the music itself still speaks volumes of what the band is capable of, and perhaps what could have been had the recording been handled with a stronger, richer production. “Of Legends…” actually finds a strong, powerful symphonic piece at work thanks largely to the drums and keyboards. The epic magnitude, as well as the louder volume compared to the rest of the nine songs, mixed with classical tones to the notes played really prepares the listener for a rich adventure that, for the most part, fails to deliver when “Burning Skies” kicks in. While the following entries may not be as powerful or atmospheric, they still are well composed offerings able to make your head bang along to the infectious rhythm, leads, and environments. This one has a deeper charging approach for the main verses that incorporate some matching harsher vocals as well, giving the song a bit of a darker tone to the beauty that slips through in the chorus. It’s a standard Power Metal song that doesn’t offer anything too unique, but the solid transitions with a subtle commanding attitude behind it really makes the listener step back and take notice. The additional echo to the vocals here, as well as on others throughout, does help to feed an early Manowar-esque Power Metal foundation as well, which just seems fitting the further in you go.
Of course, “Burning Skies” doesn’t speak that well for the rest of the album. “Land of Broken Dreams” takes on a beautiful, often epic sound when it goes at a mid-level speed, but there are much faster areas with plenty of bridges that stick out. This is one of the few that really let you feel the adrenaline in the music, having a powerful chorus that shows some of the tightest performances offered, and a truly enthusiastic vocal performance that reaches up into the falsetto territory. The entire six minutes plus is handled well without a moment of padding to be found, though the last few seconds end up being a good amount of silence that will make you think the CD forgot to switch over to the next song. “Wings of the Night” possesses a stronger attitude behind it, which is largely shown by the slightly more abrasive singing. The harsher approach really adds that extra bite needed, though the chorus does revert back to the cleaner, more beauty-oriented style, losing some of the impact from before, but still gets the job done well enough to have your neck muscles moving along to the cheesy, fantastical sounding keyboards and leads. Much of this can be said for “The Longest Night,” except it doesn’t carry that cheese factor with it, coming off more like a heavier, victorious slower paced ballad that is meant to honor a fallen friend with chugging riffs thrown in here and there.
The 2012 reissue of Legends doesn’t really seem to be any different than the initial pressing as far as the music goes. However, there is a bonus track to the album available, though I’m not sure if it is for a certain pressing of the original independent release, or if the label has something to do with it. Either way, it was not supplied. It also seems that the original artwork is all here as well, but since this was a digital file it’s unclear if there are any expanded liner notes or anything of that sort. Since nothing new was mentioned in the press release that came with this version, it’s safe to assume that this is nothing more than a basic reissue.
There’s plenty of solid material on this release, and it’s no wonder why Limb Music decided to work with Dragony to make this recording official. The further you get into Legens, the strong many of the songs become, as well as the potential the band has for future efforts that this slightly sterilized and kind of hollow audio quality simply couldn’t capitalize on all the time. With the only other downfalls being the higher volume introduction and the songs that follow not quite taking advantage of the epic atmosphere it established, there’s really no reason to ignore what this band has to offer here. It may not be the most awe-inspiring release you’ll happen across, but Legends is a sign for everyone into the cheesy and/or fantastical Power Metal style to keep an eye on this group as they continue to develope and grow stronger.
01. Of Legends… – 1:29
02. Burning Skies – 5:34
03. Land of Broken Dreams – 6:28
04. Dragonslayer – 5:19
05. Wings of the Night – 5:00
06. Vaults of Heaven – 4:55
07. The Longest Night – 8:30
08. Hero’s Return – 4:05
09. The Ride – 4:32
10. Alcador – 6:26
|Initial Pressing: 7.5/10
2012 Reissue: 7.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Limb Music via Freeman Promotions.