Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Legacy - Legacy
   
Musical Style: Melodic Metal/Hard Rock Produced By: Legacy
Record Label: Organic Music Country Of Origin: USA
Year Released: 1996 Artist Website:
Tracks: 9 Rating: 75%
Running Time: 39:48

Legacy - Legacy

The nineties represent an underrated era in the history of Christian metal.  A period in which Veni Domine (Fall Babylon Fall), Holy Soldier (Holy Soldier), Novella (One Big Sky), Red Sea (Blood) and Recon (Behind Enemy Lines) put out critically acclaimed debut releases, the decade also featuring grounding breaking albums from established artists such as Bride (Snakes In The Playground), Deliverance (Learn), Guardian (Fire & Love), Ken Tamplin (Tamplin) and Rez Band (Lament).  A burgeoning independent scene characterized the nineties as well, including the likes of Scarlet Rayne, Broken Silence, Regime, Driver, White Ray, Chosen Stranger, Holy Saint and many others.
  
Toronto, Canada based Legacy also made its mark during the time.  A relatively obscure power trio that placed first at the national battle of the bands contest at the 1994 Kingdom Bound Festival (Buffalo, NY), Legacy returned to Kingdom Bound for a cameo appearance in 1996, the same year it released its self-titled full length debut on Organic Music.  The band describes itself as “incorporating influences of hard rock, metal, funk and groove”, all elements which come to the forefront throughout the project.

The album is built around “bookend” standout pieces in that it opens to “Hypnotized” (catchy chorus and energetic vibe on this one) and closes with an equally able track in “Blue Lightning” (a pronounced hook makes its presence felt as does a riff that just won’t quit).  In between we have a couple of quality up-tempo tracks – “For Christ’s Sake” and “Under The Sun” – along with mid-paced numbers “Take My Hand” and “Walk (Through The Valley).  “Killer Games” reflects the groove oriented side to the bands songwriting skills and instrumental “TNT 160) the funk influence.

Dave Bentley handles all lead vocal and guitar duties.  Vocal wise, he brings the same type of grit and sass characteristic to Jamie Rowe (Guardian) and Larry Worley (Fear Not)- although not quite as good in either case.  Nevertheless, Dave puts in a solid performance and fully complements the blend of melodic metal and hard rock presented here.  The same can be said for his guitar playing in that “Killer Games” “Under The Sun” and “Blue Lightning” all feature quality runs of lead guitar.

Supporting Dave is the able rhythm section of bassist Andrew Rudd (check out his funky bass lines on “TNT 160”) and drummer Phil Oates.

Production values, while not bad for a mid-nineties independent release, reflect an overall level of thinness.  The rhythm guitar, for example, could have been beefed up and low end mixed cleaner but otherwise a fine effort.

The album opens to “Hypnotized”, seven minutes of top of the line metal reflecting the confidence of the bands songwriting skills.  The song begins its first minute and a half acoustically only to kick into high gear as the rhythm guitar steps forward.  Charging ahead at the unrelenting tempo, “Hypnotized” does not miss a beat as it maneuvers through its robust bridge on the way to the gripping chorus that ensues.  Several instrumental interludes only add to the songs appeal.

“Never Gonna Leave It” is the only piece on Legacy I struggle with.  The main problem to the song is the weakness of its chorus, with the main reason being the watered down feel to the backing vocals sustaining it.  The end result is that the hook fails to draw you in as it should.  That said, “Never Gonna Leave It” does feature a driving guitar riff and strong upbeat momentum but neither are strong enough to put it over the top.  What we have here is a song of faith:

And I’m never gonna leave it
Lord I can’t believe it
You’re all I ever needed
And you surely helped me find the way

You’ve got to look for the answers today
Because you sure can’t find it any other way
Some deals may come and some will go
But this one’s here to stay and that’s why I know
And I don’t want to see you cry

“Killer Games” is just plain fun to listen to.  The song is a groove-laden hard rocker with a touch of the blues, roaring its length at a mirthful tempo in showcasing quite the catchy hook – I challenge you to keep this one out of your head – and plenty of gritty guitar work.  Some punchy bass lines from Rudd underscore the spirited scene.  “Killer Games” compares God’s love to a lifetime warranty:

I’m not playing these killer games
My life gets messed up all the same
From you messing around with me
I can’t wait for a day to see
‘Cause I get trapped so easily from you playing those killer games

I can show you the way out
And it will work without a doubt
Just take my Lord and you will see
His love’s a lifetime warranty

“Walk (Through The Valley)” represents the albums lone ballad.  A heartfelt piece, the song slowly moves forward acoustically until initiative picks up for an emotionally charged chorus upheld by a crisp rhythm guitar.  Bentley adds a complementary stretch of moving lead work.  As its title implies, “Walk (Through The Valley)” draws its lyrics from Psalm 23:

When I walk through the valley of death
I will not fear for a rod and a staff
And your presence Lord are here

Time and time again I’ve failed
And I can’t do nothing right
But Lord you’ve got such love for me
That you will give me another try

The instrumental opening to “Take My Hand” features an interesting 70s flair with its highlighting traces of keyboards.  The song proves a mid-paced rocker its remaining distance, put over the top by its muscular rhythm guitar sound and the gritty approach Bentley takes with his vocal delivery.  This one is quite heavy but presents with a solid hook here as well. “Take My Hand” focuses on taking a stand in the faith:

Won’t you take my hand
And I’ll lead you to the promised land
Why don’t you take a stand

You might think it sounds so absurd
But the things I’ve heard
Always prove the Word to come out right

“For Christ’s Sake” moves in a more upbeat heading.  Another brazen piece, the song plows forward in a spirited manner from the start, making an even changeover as it reaches a catchy chorus on the steadfast side of things.  An extended instrumental section is carried by a hard charging rhythm guitar.  Lyrically, this one talks about doing everything for “Christ’s sake”:

Take pride in just one thing
In knowing what you’ve found
I know it’s hard
So give my regards to the man who stands his ground

I’m sure by now that it should
Come as no surprise
That by standing tall
It’ll be worth it all
When we finally see His eyes

“TNT 160”, a short (2:10) instrumental included to fill space, features a near perfect joining of edgy rhythm guitar and pronounced bass lines.  On several occasions the song drops dead in its tracks for a bass guitar solo only to regain the settled impetus.

“Under The Sun” gets underway to a quietly played guitar before it quickly takes off as the rhythm guitar fades in.  The song proceeds to move its distance in steadfast fashion, standing out with the refreshing vocal melodies in its lively chorus and riveting run of lead guitar from Bentley.  “Under The Sun” deals with how quickly time passes:

Time passes by and slips away
And all is lost to yesterday
Freedom’s here to live at last
And all of our pain is a thing of the past

Taking the time to realize how to live my life
In this lonely world
‘Cause I need You right by my side
‘Cause You’re the only One who keeps me alive

Closing things out is one of the albums finer tracks, “Blue Lightning”.  The song brings a dominant guitar riff- driving, determined and catchy as all get out.  As a matter of fact, catchy would be the best way to describe “Blue Lightning” – the chorus here is absolutely huge – in that it brings a slight touch of the commercial but with just the right amount of crunch to prevent your attention from wavering.  On “Blue Lightning” Legacy talks about its “metal mission” (kind of like “Minister By Night” by Sacred Warrior):   

We’re takin’ the Word time and time again
In places others wouldn’t go
So clear the stage and get outta my way
We’re ministering in a show

Review by: Andrew Rockwell

Track Listing: “Hypnotized” (6:54), “Never Gonna Leave It” (3:05), “Killer Games” (3:47), “Walk (Through The Valley)” (5:10), “Take My Hand” (4:19), “For Christ’s Sake” (4:45), “TNT 160” (2:10), “Under The Sun” (4:11), “Blue Lightning” (5:26)

Musicians
David Bentley – Lead Vocals & Guitars
Andrew Rudd – Bass
Phil Oates – Drums

Additional Musicians
Rob Ferguson - Keyboards

 

Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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