The Pale Horse

Written by: AP on 05/10/2011 19:02:48

Legend might not be the most extreme of metalcore bands, but they certainly are among the heaviest. Given that vocalist Chad Ruhling used to front For the Fallen Dreams, it was inevitable that comparisons would be drawn between Legend's debut album "Valediction" and the aforementioned bruisers, but this second offering, "The Pale Horse", lands Legend on par with, and breaks them free from the shadow of For the Fallen Dreams.

As is fashionable right now, Legend apply the Meshuggah template to hardcore, thus creating a sound not unlike the string of bands brandishing themselves as part of the djent movement. For fans of the seven string guitar tone this is good news, as Legend put the lowest registers to good use on pretty much every song. Call me naïve or impressionable, but there's something irresistible about the extended bass range and the extraordinary punch it adds to the instrument's sound; I am almost instantly wooed once the chugging of intro piece "Diagnosis: Doom" segues into the punishing groove of "Circle of Friends". But while such swell instrumentation is provided by Legend in abundance, the band suffers from an almost frightening interest in breakdowns, which, too, are provided by Legend in abundance. There are occasions where these are employed quite well in order to accentuate the heaviness of a preceding djent riff, but the songs far too often descend into a Bury Your Dead kind of chugfest without any real purpose (see "Parasite" and "Obey" for examples), and with the unfortunate side effect that much of the immediate impact of the otherwise intoxicating riffs is lost.

It is hardly surprising then, that former Bury Your Dead vocalist Myke Terry makes a cameo on "Numbers"; less so at least than the appearance also of Caleb Shlomo, vocalist of Attack Attack!, on "Shadow Stalker" and Brook Reeves, ditto of Impending Doom, on "Four Horsemen". In fact were it not for their contributions, there would be no credible clue to suggest that Legend are part of the Rise Records roster, for soaring clean vocals, synthesizers and stacked up growls are nowhere to be heard. No, while "The Pale Horse" is hardly the height of innovation, even coming across as generic at times, it still excels at what Legend hope to achieve: brute force metalcore with a touch of groovy finesse. The sheer magnitude and fury of the thing is impressive in its own right.

Download: Circle of Friends, Numbers, Four Horsemen, Shadow Stalker
For the fans of: Bury Your Dead, The Plot in You, Volumes
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.05.2011
Rise Records

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