He Is Legend
Heavy Fruit


4.5
superb

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (73 Reviews)
August 18th, 2014 | 169 replies


Release Date: 08/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of these days..

He Is Legend is quite the peculiar band. From live shows chock full of strange dancing and Metallica covers, to shortly running a string of tee shirts featuring upside down crosses and naked women getting their throats slit, normal has rarely been an apt adjective for the band. Even stranger yet is the progression the band has taken over its career, beginning as one of the premiere post-hardcore bands in the mid 2000’s before putting forth a divisive southern drenched rock and roll record, then subsequently alienating fans even further with 2009’s It Hates You before promptly going on an indefinite hiatus. As to be expected at this point in their career, in the five years since the initial announcement He Is Legend underwent another flurry of touring/band members before settling on the current four man lineup. Earlier this year the band released their first new music in almost five years with the single “Something, Something, Something Witchy”, a lead single that while insanely catchy, did not personally incite any sort of anticipation for their upcoming August release. I can now safely say that was the wrong reaction, as the men of He Is Legend have put forth one of their best, if not one of the best albums of the entire year, with Heavy Fruit.

Based on the limited exposure I had to the singles leading up to this release I was expecting a slow-brooding, insanely heavy album that would take me weeks to actually appreciate, and the opening seconds of “No Visitors” only exacerbated my fears with down tempo creeping guitars and lead vocalist Schuylar Croom singing slowly and as low as possible, before exploding into the new version of He Is Legend; a no-holds-barred, unapologetic, riff heavy rock and roll band. The entire record holds and unprecedented darkness throughout while also managing to be some of the catchiest material the North Carolina foursome has produced. The aforementioned evolution of the band may not be as immediately noticeable from It Hates You to Heavy Fruit as it has been with past releases, but the progression is definitely there. Songs such as album highlight “Be Easy” or single “Smoker Scoff” display just how groovy the new He Is Legend has become. Gone isthe vicious screaming and bellowing of their first two records, thankfully giving way to more experimentation with Croom’s rejuvenated vocal delivery. Although there are plenty of instances of lyrics that are almost cringe-inducing (i.e. “This Will Never Work” ’s I'm a bad, bad, real bad man /and I carry heavy hands / you're a good, good, too good girl) Croom manages to portray them passionately and sincerely amidst crushing instrumentation, making the occasional lyrical hiccup more than forgivable.

The rest of the band layers riff after riff on song after song, making repeated listens almost mandatory to truly appreciate the depth of the 13 tracks. Borrowing lyrical content from Kubrick’s classic The Shining, penultimate track “The Carpet” is a perfect example of this with a perfect juxtaposition of dark lyricism and perfectly placed guitar parts in tune with what might be the tightest rhythm section He Is Legend has boasted before ending with a breakdown that, while devoid of typical harsh vocals, is one of the heaviest moments on an insanely heavy record. As with the past few release, Heavy Fruit prominently features female vocals and harmonies, which in turn adds even more to the dark atmosphere all the while feeling perfectly at home.

A sum of its parts in almost every sense of the phrase, Heavy Fruit is an album that somehow instantly clicks, yet still requires multiple listens to fully appreciate. Every single track has something that demands attention from listeners, be it the contemplative choruses and deteriorating ending of “I Sleep Just Fine”, the nostalgia-inducing chanting that brings “ABRACADABRA” to a close, or the entirety of the surprisingly beautiful, nearly acoustic “Time To Stain”. He Is Legend is a band that seems very secure in what they are and the direction in which they are heading, eschewing nearly every notion of the band they were ten years ago to create a record that fully lives up to their early potential.



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user ratings (117)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Cultclassical (4)
He Is Legend come back with a darkness they need to let out, but do so while jumping around wildly.....


Comments:Add a Comment 
atrink
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Man this record is just too good. Sorry calc if this displaces your review, I just really felt like writing a review for this.

But anyway, i'm still trying to get back in the swing of things again so if there's anything you guys think I can work on that'd be great : )

ExplosiveOranges
August 18th 2014


3598 Comments


Nice review, dude. I should def give this one a spin.

Digging: Apparitionist - Godspeed

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


1028 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Do you mean peculiar?

Anyway this sounds great so good job, been meaning to check these guys out for ages.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually did mean particular, but only because i couldn't for the life of me think of the word peculiar.. I'm an idiot lol Thanks

paradox1216
August 18th 2014


511 Comments


from what i've heard of this it's goddamn amazing

great review, other one was great too

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It is pretty amazing. Definitely worth checking out.

Calc
August 18th 2014


12293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Sorry calc if this displaces your review"

dude you're fine!!! good work

Digging: Mr. Oizo - The Church

Derkyle
August 18th 2014


188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. Looks like I won't have to write one now. The album is everything I hoped for and getting better with every listen.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
August 19th 2014


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, i'm not even sure it needed two gushing reviews but what the heck. Plus writing reviews actually gives me something to do before i have to move back to college.

BigPleb
August 19th 2014


37536 Comments


Excited to jam this :DD

Totengott
August 19th 2014


1359 Comments


Giving this a jam later.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

Pajolero
August 19th 2014


220 Comments


Oooooh gonna jam this so hard. Dope review dude.

Evreaia
August 19th 2014


4047 Comments


I only liked I Am Hollywood,I guess I'm gonna skip this..

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

Dr7
August 19th 2014


129 Comments


Expected a lot more from the hype. Disappointed in the end. Enjoyed reading the review though - nice
job.

Digging: Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral

FeedingNetherlands
August 19th 2014


343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No Visitors sounds like Alter Bridge

MuhNamesTyler
August 19th 2014


4379 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just downloaded this, hope its good.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 19th 2014


13396 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

its good

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2014


10354 Comments


From live shows chock full of strange dancing and Metallica covers, to shortly running a string of tee shirts featuring upside down crosses and naked women getting their throats slit, normal has rarely been an apt adjective for the band

This honestly sounds like a lot of heavier groups, though. Maybe you're trying to say the band stands out from their post-hardcore contemporaries because their aesthetic is a little more extreme?

The first couple paragraphs of the review take awhile to get going- and that isn't inherently a bad thing, but they can read on the verge of being encyclopedic, which can be a little tough to get through. It isn't too bad of a problem- I just know because I've struggled with that at points as well. ; )

Love the last two paragraphs, by the way. I'm looking forward to hearing this album- I've just recently gotten into these guys, and might spin their most popular album on the way to class this morning.



NoSons
August 19th 2014


91 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Miserable Company is the shiz.

Calc
August 19th 2014


12293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yay!




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