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Legend: Ritual Echo

"The band that time forgot!"

I better not argue with that as myself, and I presume many others, are unfamiliar with Legend even though they have been together for about twenty-one years. The band have released three albums previously, Light in Extension (1991), Second Sight (1993) and Triple Aspect (1996). This brings us to their brand new album Ritual Echo which is described in the liner notes:

"To celebrate 21 years of Legend, 13 years since the last release of Trip[le Aspect and most importantly a new lease on life for this intriguing and enigmatic band, you hold in your hands an anthology of the best of Legend's music. Painstakingly, digitally restored and re-mastered with the same care as employed by an expert fine art restorer reconstructing a medieval icon."

I don't know about that, but this is a fine release and it does sound good through a pair of headphones.

Now about the band. They are Debbie Chapman (vocals), Steve Paine (keyboards), John Macklin (drums), Paul Thomson (guitars, bass) and Martyn Rouski (bass). This is another band that clearly plays 70s influenced symphonic progressive rock with elements of heavy prog, folk and classical. The lyrical themes involve all things medieval so if that is your thing you may be in for a real treat. The songs often begin in dramatic fashion with lush orchestrations that often lead to softer folk-like moments where bands like Renaissance and Camel come to mind. Plenty of fiery synth and guitar solos abound giving this music an added kick. The vocals of Chapman are very good. Imagine a combination of Annie Haslam (Renaissance) and Anette Olzon (Nightwish).

Notable songs include the dramatic prog of "Mordred" where soft interludes of sinuous bass and dream-like sections flow beautifully between heavier sections of powerful guitar riffs and lightning fast keys. At over twelve minutes there is enough time for the band to explore different musical soundscapes. Another favourite is the varied "The Wild Hunt" where slower sections feature Chapman's angelic voice before the band really starts to cook offering fine keyboard and guitar solos.

This is another album that took me back in time to the heyday of progressive music. If you appreciate those great 70s progressive rock artists and don't mind music that isn't completely original (if there is such a thing) you will find a lot to like with Ritual Echo. I know I did. Looking forward to their next album Cardinal Points which should be out sometime this year.

Track Listing:
1. Triple Aspect Overture
2. Dance
3. Windsong
4. Mordred
5. Holly King
6. The Chase
7. All Hallows Eve
8. The Wild Hunt
9. Light In Extension

Added: January 10th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2979
Language: english

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