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Legend - Second Sight CD (album) cover





3.23 | 26 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Forgotten legends!

Legend was founded in Britain in the 80's and they released their first album in 1991. They apparently found some success in mainland Europe and Japan, but sadly not so much in their homeland. Considering the immense quality of their music they should have been very successful everywhere! The present album is, as hinted at by its title, the band's second effort and it is really a hidden gem.

As stated by the band's website "...if you like Rush, Jethro Tull, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Yes, Solstice, Steeleye Span, Renaissance... the list goes on... then you will probably like Legend". Indeed, the voice of Debbie Chapman is in several respects similar to that of Annie Haslam of Renaissance (and she has nothing to envy Haslam for!). But Legend's music is very much harder edged and darker than that of Renaissance. Legend's music is primarily based on metallic guitars and modern keyboards with a powerful Rock rhythm section and operatic female vocals. Legend is the forgotten forerunner to all those Metal bands with female vocals that flooded the late 90's and the new millennium. And as in most other contexts too, the original is the best!

The keyboards are very well played by Steve Paine (apparently the founder and leader of the band) who seems to be influenced by the likes of Rick Wakeman and Tony Banks. However, the keyboard sounds used are not incredibly varied and you should not expect any vintage keyboards sounds here. The guitars are also very well played and there are many instrumental passages with great guitar and keyboard work on display. The guitar sound is clean and razor. While there are no instruments over and above the "usual" keyboards, guitars, vocals, bass and drums, they use this limited palette very well to express many moods and atmospheres. The music has an intriguing Pagan and slightly Celtic feel, but it is not overtly folky apart from on a couple of passages. I think that Legend has developed a sound of their own!

All of the seven songs here are strong and very melodic numbers. The two longest tracks, The Wild Hunt and Mordred will undoubtedly please any Prog Rock fan with their great melodies, interesting tempo changes and strong instrumental work outs. There is also a nice variation between different moods and tempos on the album. The opener Dance is, as its title implies, an up tempo danceable tune, that could perhaps have been a Folk dance played in Rock style. Some of the songs, I Close My Eyes in particular, has slight Pop sensibility but nothing that puts me off at all. This song sticks out in another respect too. The lyric about the horrors of the second world war is very moving, but it does not quite fit into the "Pagan" themes of the rest of the songs. There is also the song that bears the name of the band and it represents pretty well the band and the album even if it is not the best song.

I have had this album for less than a week, but I have already played it very many times (five times today!), it is strongly addictive! The production is not perfect but this album sounds just fine to my ears and whatever imperfections do not distract at all from the very well written melodic songs, and the unusual band sound, the very strong guitar and keyboard work, the great vocals and the powerful rhythm section clearly makes up for it and in the end Second Sight is an excellent album. I think that many Prog fans as well as many non- Prog fans might enjoy this music.

My CD version is issued by Pagan Media and features a nice booklet with full lyrics and some pictures of this forgotten legend of a band.

There is no doubt about the rating here; a solid four stars and highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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