Wednesday, July 31, 2013

N.W.O.B.H.M. Wednesday: Legend-The Dark Place

High Roller Records 

Just sit right back and bear witness to another N.W.O.B.H.M. act that deserved a better fate, or even a better send-off, then they initially received. Formed in 1980, and with 2 full-length LPs and an EP to their name before they closed up the ranks (all of which make for essentially purchases for N.W.O.B.H.M. fans and collectors alike), the band Legend hailed from the island of Jersey. While they were not the only exports from this one time (and most likely still?) club-deprived island, as the N.W.O.B.H.M. Encyclopedia makes mention of both Tracer and Jonah,  they would prove to be the most successful band as well as the one that people most remember. Still though the Island's own Legend ended their run way too soon. By 1994 they were done. It would be years before the group got back together. In that span two compilations would be released (one of which, 2002's "Anthology", is in my personal collection and it covers the recording output of Legend) before the group finally got back together around 2002. A new album, 2003's "Still Screaming", was the result of said reunion although I must confess to having never heard it. The same can't be said of this new album though as "The Dark Place" has been on heavy rotation since I first spied it sitting there like a blue light special in the promo department! Who would have guessed that after 10 years waiting that their latest output would be this good? The fact that Legend are back with such a strong album just goes to show you that there are bands out there who still know how to rock after some 30+ years! As for Legend's line-up these days it looks as if other then drummer Jack Pallota a lot of the same players from back in the day are here on "The Dark Place". Vocals come from Mike Lezala whose melodic voice still sounds great while Pete Haworth's lead guitar still retains it's familiar Black Sabbath-like cutting edge. Meanwhile bassist Eggy Aubert easily slips back into place as if no time has passed at all. Neil Haworth (who played bass early on for the group) is the second guitarist here and together with the other 4 musicians you end up looking at a vintage act who sure as hell doesn't sound vintage here! Well, check that as a lot of this does retain their older style, which was somewhat doom while also packing in some classic rock, hard rock, some British metal and even the jazz-like influences, but it's also modern enough to kick a little ass up and down the ranks of rock and roll! The band still knows how to lay down some monster rock moments while at the same time they can easily mix in bits of melodic rock and even some progressive rock when the mood calls for it. In the end "The Dark Place" is such a good album that even I admit to being taken off guard by it! This one is going to be a must-buy for me and if you're a fan of the group then I suggest taking the same route. Are we looking at another album to be added to the year end best of as well? Maybe we are...

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