Legend (USA)
From the Fjords


4.0
excellent

Review

by Gigglesdemon USER (31 Reviews)
January 24th, 2012 | 7 replies | 2,584 views


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Viking Metal before it was cool.

You know what sounds like a perfect subject for a heavy metal song? Vikings. And I’m not the only one with this idea. Look back throughout the history of heavy metal. Vikings are a pretty common topic. Iron Maiden even wrote a song about them! In fact, so many people thought that this was a great idea that whole bands have revolved around this concept of “Viking Metal.” But before all of them, Amon Amarth, Ensiferum, even Bathory, there was a small heavy metal band from the United States called Legend. They released their debut album, Frӧm the Fjӧrds in 1979, and blew almost everything else away from that time period. Led Zeppelin wasn’t this heavy; Black Sabbath wasn’t this fast or jamming.

Legend seems like a real oddity, they had the sort of songwriting mentality of a jam band or stoner band, but the more metal sensibilities of a few other contemporaries (namely Sabbath). Listen to album standout, The Golden Bell, with its long flowing solos and plenty of cool fills to get a sense of what I mean. The riffs are heavy, the solos are heavy, yet the whole song has a seeming jam feel. It’s an interesting combination that still sounds unique to this day.

When you combine an interesting approach to songwriting with phenomenal musicians, you get some pretty great songs. The guitar playing of Kevin Nugent is phenomenal; his speed outstrips most other guitarists of the time. The songs R.A.R.Z. and The Confrontation are extremely speedy songs, nearing almost thrash metal levels at times. Kevin also handles vocal duties, having a voice that is extremely unique. It sounds very laid back, which seems odd when compared to the back drop of the fast paced riffing. But in fact, it adds an almost mystical feeling to the tracks, improving the atmosphere.

The rhythm section is also amazing, the bass playing of Fred Melillo is very fast and technical, and above all, it is extremely audible, overtaking the guitar at some points. This adds a great deep, rumbling feel to the songs that a lot of modern bands seem to miss. The drumming is simply astounding; Raymond E. Frigon is easily the best musician of the three. He has lots of quick time changes and fills. When you hear the jaw dropping opener of Iron Horse you will know what I’m talking about.

Despite all these phenomenal qualities, there are a few…questionable decisions. For example, the track Wizard’s Vengeance (which you may know because Slough Feg covered the song on Twilight of the Idols) has a great solo going on and then….it abruptly ends. No transition, just stop. The song could have easily gone on a little longer, especially seeing as it is the shortest song on the album. Also, the opening for R.A.R.Z. has a strange, almost country music, intro that just really doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the song. It feels like it was just thrown in there for kicks. And then it comes back for the closing of the song. It makes no sense at all, and again, feels very abrupt.

Despite these flaws, Frӧm the Fjӧrds is an amazing album, full of great musicianship and great ideas for the time. It’s a pity that Legend’s influence has been lost to the ages, and it is especially sad that Kevin Nugent passed away a few years after the recording of this album. This album is crammed full of interesting ideas, and it would be great to see where they went from here. I easily recommended this album to any traditional heavy metal fans, or fans of the genre “Viking Metal.”

Pros:
-Great guitar playing
-Interesting vocals
-Astounding drumming

Cons:
-Opening and closing of R.A.R.Z. Seriously, what the heck?
-Very lo-fi production
-Wizard’s Vengeance ends…

Recommended Tracks:
The Golden Bell
Wizard’s Vengeance
Frӧm the Fjӧrds



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gigglesdemon
January 23rd 2012



187 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really cool early metal album I was introduced to by a friend. CC welcome! Also, how does one change where this CD goes? On the band page, the other albums listed there are not by this band at all. And they are definitely not a metalcore band.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
January 23rd 2012



17339 Comments


this actually looks sick nice shit bro

Digging: Monolake - Interstate

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
January 23rd 2012



16126 Comments


I like how there's three different bands under this band page.

seedofnothing
January 26th 2012



3425 Comments


Fucking sick!

CaptainDooRight
August 16th 2012



26428 Comments


the fuk, how is this so overlooked

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

manosg
January 7th 2013



4684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Overall, a good album. Great drumming. I've created a playlist for anyone who wants to listen to it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNa0fr8LKqo&list=PLcsDJS95FMsyqJwQqHBcvVa5GIavw2nAc


Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

hfm
June 2nd 2013



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I just stumbled upon these guys as I was digging into the history of metal. I've always loved all the typical early bands from the NWOBHM, but I was struggling to find where it started here in the US outside of Metallica and a few others that came about in 82-83. I think this may arguably be the FIRST US metal album released. I suppose arguments could be made for Iron Butterly or Riot, but they didn't have the true metal raw energy of this release. This is a fantastic album that was a few years before its time. I really wish these guys were able to continue on I would have loved to see where they would have taken their talent and energy.



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