Eternal Legacy - the coming of the Tempest - 4.5/5
Whoah!!!!! This is a debut?!?!? I've heard many accomplished debuts over the years, some by bands that never again reached the heights of the initial blast(Fastway or Montrose for instance); others by bands that were merely making a mission statement, only to go on and match or surpass the exhilaration of the rookie offering(Iced Earth or Angra spring to mind). I am hoping for us all that this initial offering from Eternal Legacy is of the latter persuasion.
Upon spinning this album, the first thing that struck me was the superb musicianship. Potent axe work from the lead men, duel aggressively with the ample(and tasteful I might add) keys to create a wonderful blend of sonic might.The guitars are rippingly recorded, the solos melodic and memorable.Keyboards are of many flavours while expending with much of the cheese that can overwhelm many European types of this music. It is here that I must state that this is very much of the American style of power metal. The keys play a heavy role in the sound but this is a guitar driven band in every sense of the word. Drums are clearly recorded with plenty of cut, each tom beat, each crash coming through the mix with power and precision. Steve Dukuslow also manages to keep the percussion varied as well, which is a nice relief from the usual double bass cannonade generally reserved for this kind of epic power metal.
If I must point out a flaw with this band, I will have to say that it lies in the vocal performance. While Jason Vanek has an expressive and worthy voice for this kind of metal, I occasionally found him to be flat and/or strained during certain passages. Echoes of Helstar and James Rivera occasionally came to mind as well. But I will add that this is a minor gripe as I found the vocals to be more than adequate, and not detracting to the overall effect or epic-ness of the tracks enclosed.
The production was perfect for the music contained on this album. Plenty of bottom end(a must in my household!!), nice separation between instruments, and loads of full bodied tones on the guitars make for a thoroughly pleasurable sonic journey. Vanek's vocals sit nicely in the mix as well, not being overwhelmed by the bands output, but not too upfront as to reveal the vocalists shortcomings too much either.
As for the songs, what can I say? Hard charging, progressive power, done with aplomb and vigor. The enjoyment I derived from listening to this album has only been matched in recent times by the excitement I felt towards Avantasia's new one, and perhaps Timelord. Heavy enough to slake my most metallic of moods, but loaded with charming melody just where I would start looking for it.
So there you have it. A rave review for a band that deserves every bit of credit they receive. This is an album that will get plenty of revisits, as I derive great pleasure from within it's golden grooves. A stunning debut by a band of youngsters playing and writing way beyond their collective experiences. Mind blowing, and totally recommended!!!!!
STAND OUT TRACK - Shadow of Revolution
By J. Costigan