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Legend - 'Spirit' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/28/c3/10/spirit-2013-19-1394986408.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     March 16, 2014    
 
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Rousing, compelling and bristling with creative joy.

‘Spirit’ is Legend’s fifth studio album and the second since their return from a decade-long hiatus in 2008. It consists of just five epic tracks with a combined running time of a little over an hour. Every track bar one (‘Wood For The Trees’) is over ten minutes long with the ambitious ‘A Tangled Skein’ exceeding eighteen minutes. But despite the song length, there’s absolutely no messing around here (with over-extended gentle intros or indulgent noodling, for example). From the opening keyboard riff, the band is in with a bang, whipping up a veritable maelstrom of breathless Symphonic Rock that blends Prog, Folk and Metal elements.

Everything, including the kitchen sink, is thrown into the witches brew – there are mighty and modern riffs, striking vocals, swathes of warm and inventive keyboards and nice choral and operatic sections. The harder (at times almost Metal) edge helps broaden the appeal and sustain the early sense of excitement.

Founding members Steve Paine (keyboards and bass) and Paul Thomson (guitars) must be delighted with the way this turned out. Drummer John Macklin again provides a robust rhythmic backbone while the jewel in the crown, in many ways, is new singer Beck Sian whose “distinctive and haunting Folk Noir style” vocals add a sensuality and drama to the proceedings (she is related to Kate Bush by the way who is also name-checked in the credits.)

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The musicianship and band interplay are superb throughout, though I particularly enjoyed Thomson’s extended solo towards the end of the melodic ‘Crossing of the Ways’ which, in tone and emotional intensity, echoes the early work of Steve Rothery (no mean feat).

‘Spirit’ is a strong and cohesive album containing lyrical themes of a thoughtful pagan/new-age/spiritual bent, with wonderful supporting cover art courtesy of English artist Josephine Wall. In particular, fans of female-fronted Progressive and Symphonic Rock will love it. It’s great stuff – rousing, compelling and bristling with creative joy.

Michael Anthony

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