Conducting From The Grave
When Legends Become Dust


4.5
superb

Review

by A7XEric USER (7 Reviews)
March 1st, 2009 | 164 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although When Legends Become Dust doesn't have the meat and longevity of most tech metal albums, the guitar work is so infectiously melodic and fun-loving that it's near impossible not to enjoy yourself listening to it.

After abandoning the sinking ship that was With Passion, its crew wasted no time in picking up what was left of their former band Conducting From the Grave. And from ruins they rise, complete with a new vocalist, new songs, and freshly signed to Sumerian Records to help bring the 50 minute shred-a-thon called When Legends Become Dust to life. Although this is the band's debut album, Conducting From the Grave has been around for roughly five years and even self-released an EP titled Trials of the Forsaken, but up until now line-up changes and financial problems have hindered the progress of both With Passion and Conducting From the Grave, forcing their members to flip flop between bands. Luckily it looks like very smooth sailing from here on out.

When Legends Become Dust could accurately be described as a guitar player's utopia of sorts. Actually, that wouldn't be entirely accurate to be fair. It's more like a guitar player's circus if anything since John Abernathy and Jeff Morgan's undying love for uplifting, melodic guitar work has never been clearer. Most tech metal bands usually lean more towards dark exotic and minor scales when writing, and while there is some of that especially on the grueling Necrophagist-esque solo in "Marching Towards Extinction," but most of the time your ears will be treated to a fun-filled assault of melodic guitar acrobatics.

Thankfully Conducting From the Grave doesn't get too carried away with all of that melody stuff, and remember to come back and remind you that you are still listening to metal by serving you the occasional breakdown. To be honest I don't care for most bands with breakdowns. Typically I feel that they are either written with the intent to give kids something to dance to or that they simply can't think of anything more interesting. Thankfully, Conducting From the Grave doesn't fall into either category, or at least most of the time. Nearly half of When Legends Become Dust is comprised of songs taken from their, at this point ancient, EP with some of those songs indulging in more chugging than necessary, but most of the breakdowns are genuinely interesting and never really feel like a crutch. "The Calming Effect" is probably the best example of this. The build up to the breakdown is played on the upbeat right before throwing you a tempo change, which is sure to throw off the momentum of your head banging your first few listens, and then plunging into the chaos that's about to ensue.

There is one other side to Conducting From the Grave's music that I have yet to mention. All throughout the album there are these beautiful dreamy interludes played on clean channel that are somewhat jazz-like, but very unlike the tacky jazz sections that many grind bands are so fond of. These parts show that the band has a reflective side to them as well and make for some of the best moments on the entire album, especially the closing clean instrumental section to the title track. Plus it gives the attention-deprived rhythm department a chance to take the reins and drive the song for a change. Outside the walls of these quirky instrumental breaks, drummer Greg Donnelly and bassist Steven Lovas are actually doing a commendable job as well though. Although not the best drummer in death metal today, Greg Donnelly certainly goes a bit beyond the call of duty. For further proof, just look at the intense double bass section of "A Never Ending Search for Closure" which runs from 1:16 to 1:38. And while you won't hear any bass shredding, you'll still hear (yes a metal album with audible bass, imagine that) Steven pumping out plenty of more technical bass passages as he races along keeping up with the guitar work.

Until now I've donned this album with nothing but glorious praise. However, there are some chips in the paint. If I had to complain about anything it's that a handful of the songs lack focus in their structuring. This really only applies to a couple of the songs that were re-recorded from their EP though. Since then, Conducting From the Grave has matured and tightened up their song writing, but these few instances in their old material that lack direction make this glaringly obvious. And although the vocals on this album are strong, I would still argue their old vocalist was better. The new guy on the block, Lou Tanuis, who once filled in for Through the Eyes of the Dead, has a lower range which is less suited to Conducting From the Grave's brand of metal. He does a fine job, but I doubt you would point his work out as the highlight of the album.

I guess all good things come to an end. That was my feeling as the final song came to a close. I haven't been this excited over an album in a while. I think many tech metal purists will scoff at the breakdowns and wildly melodic guitar leads, but for me personally this is my favorite death metal album since the album they put out in 2007 under the name With Passion. Although When Legends Become Dust doesn't have the meat and longevity of most tech metal albums, the guitar work is so infectiously melodic and fun-loving that it's near impossible not to enjoy yourself listening to it.

Notable Tracks
"When Legends Become Dust"
"Marching Towards Extinction"
"From Ruins We Rise"



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user ratings (279)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
asdemonsburn
February 19th 2009


793 Comments


not a chance in hell this is a 4.5
Listened to the first half and got bored, very sterile, bunch of filler, etc. Another young Sumerian band w/ potential but will probably break-up in a year after the fad dies.

BallsToTheWall
February 19th 2009


44472 Comments


Great review.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

rasputin
February 19th 2009


14546 Comments


Good review, but if adb says that he was bored of it, and it's tech death, then I'll steer well clear.

fireaboveicebelow
February 19th 2009


6837 Comments


I didn't know you reviewed before haha, well yeah good review, you make this sound better than it probably is which is a great marketing scheme

absurdismwine
February 19th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow these guys are getting bigger. my friend chills with them all the time

WhiteWallStargazers
February 19th 2009


2647 Comments


I just checked them out, and no they're not amazing, but its catchy and i'l prolly end up buying it. Overall solid release from what i've heard

illmitch
February 19th 2009


5429 Comments


good review, but oh god how i do detest tech death

absurdismwine
February 20th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh god, my dear dear god, how I detest tech death

rasputin
February 20th 2009


14546 Comments


That's probably because neither of you have heard good tech death.

jrowa001
February 20th 2009


8750 Comments


ive heard some songs from this band and i wasnt impressed

Pebster49
February 20th 2009


2992 Comments


Its pretty good, not a 4.5 though...maybe around 3-3.5ish

A7XEric
February 20th 2009


309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't know you reviewed before haha, well yeah good review, you make this sound better than it probably is which is a great marketing scheme


ha yep I try to when I have time.

I mean it's hard to predict what you'll think about the album, but check it out I suppose. It just lacks the lasting power that keeps you coming back listening for months and months of other albums in this genre.

poweroftheweez
February 20th 2009


1290 Comments


have been meaning to check this out. i do rather doubt i'll find this to be a 4.5, but great review nonetheless.

botb
February 20th 2009


9686 Comments


This is definitely not a 4.5. it's fun though.

illmitch
February 20th 2009


5429 Comments


i mean there's also the possibility that i'm not a fan of the genre

Infernis
February 20th 2009


398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed, maybe a 3-3.5 at the highest...it's catchy and enjoyable but it's not something I'll be listening to for a long time.

sspedding
February 20th 2009


4765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this is tech deathcore at its best and its worst. I quite like this but there is so much nonsense on this album its untrue. All the songs are a minute and a half too long at least and are filled with a pretty samey style of riffing throughout. This band has come on leaps and bounds since the demos but they've still got a long way to go, they find some unbelievable gothenburg death metal melodies but follow this with periods of shit.

sspedding
February 20th 2009


4765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

btw the intro to 'marching towards extinction' is class.

ianjulian
February 25th 2009


630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

exelente disco 8)

absurdismwine
February 27th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listened to the first half and got bored, very sterile, bunch of filler, etc. Another young Sumerian band w/ potential but will probably break-up in a year after the fad dies.


They've been playing for 5 years man, and they've already went through a break up. They really gained popularity when they came back and played a show at the Boardwalk in Orangevale. I'd say they're a little more than a fad.
This Message Edited On 02.27.09



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