He Is Legend
was during “Suck Out The Poison”:
Steve Bache - drums
Schuylar Croom - vocals
Adam Tanbouz - guitar
Matt Williams - bass
Mckenzie Bell - guitar/backup vocals (left recently before the album was released)
Produced & Mixed by Steve Evetts
Original Release Date: October 3, 2006
Label As Produced: Solid State/Tooth & Nail
Who Is Legend
The first thing I think of when I hear about this band is the lead singers nasty beard. The second thing follows shortly is the talent this band has shown through such releases such as “I Am Hollywood” and “91025” (the third thing being that the guitarist looks like Prince Albert from WWF). This is a band that really knows how to fuse metallic like tones, with hard rock edges, and still find a way to being able to please a pop-punky crowd. The singer Schuylar Croom has a decent singing voice but it seems like out of no where he can put on this monstrous screaming voice. His singing is definitely not going to pave a genre or break down any walls but when he wants to break it down, he knows how to wipe the smiles off of little girls faces. On a side note this is one of the weirdest looking dudes I’ve ever seen in music (reference pic http://myspace-846.vo.llnwd.net/00550/64/83/550543846_l.jpg) . Sometimes he looks possessed, he always looks dirty, and at other times he just looks like Jesus. Getting back to the band though it seems like He Is Legend has gone through a couple of phases but always based themselves off of a sing/scream variation. I don’t know what the trend with these types of bands growing to be a new wave of Southern Rock monotones but it seems like more and more bands are jumping onto the band wagon (Every Time I Die, Twelve Gauge Valentine, Cancer Bats, etc.) Recently before the album was to hit stores, Mckenzie Bell departed from the band. I don’t know what caused this, and I don’t know if they said anything on the topic of this but I do know they dropped off of some major tours which is kind of hurtful for a band that has released new material. I remember reading this from absolute punk.net and someone replied with “he left because he realized the new album sucked bad”. I beg to differ.
Dixie Wolf (The Seduction Of…) - The CD immediately starts up with building tension upon guitar, and drums. The bass sounds pretty badass when the song starts up right before the vocals. Schuylar Croom introduces his voice singing out with melody but keeping a real “gruff” tone. When the chorus is winding down you can hear how he whips out his secret weapon when he screams “Rest In Pieces”. The scream really shook me up the first time I heard this song because it seemed to come out of no where. It’s something he really excels in and I wish I could have his voice as an alarm clock. The guitar tone has that hard rock (NOT NU METAL), vintage feeling to it. The conclusion to this song feels like the continuation to “The Seduction” with the same lyrics as that song’s outro. It’s an okay introduction at best, and it didn’t really turn me off, but it definitely didn’t get me so excited either. When “The Seduction” ended up being the best song off of “I am Hollywood”, this song felt fairly mediocre. *7/10*
Attack Of The Dungeon Witch - This song started off making me want to ride a horse with a cowboy hat on. If you can translate that to music terms, it has a real southern rocky vibe to it. The song keeps a real fast pace and is sung nearly throughout. I really liked the bass interlude that slows things down and then the breakdown portion of this song really is crushingly slow in a good way. This guitar tone has really grown on me through previous releases by other band and it slowly makes me want to bang my head more and more. The song won’t get many skips, but it also doesn’t feel like a song appropriate to keep coming back too. I really loved the outro to this song as it, is something very different. *8/10*
Suck Out The Poison - The song starts off with a snaring drum beat. The guitar if you really listen closely over the vocals has a nice little lead in lick. I don’t know why they down toned the guitar from when the vocals began but the part played definitely caught my ear. The singing is on the variation of singing to screaming but it feels like it’s an even balance in this song. A lot of the songs leave the screaming to a part where it feels as if the band is climaxing but next to this on this song, the verses and pre choruses seem to be sung softly compared to the screaming in the chorus, interlude, and outro parts. The guitar solo hits about 2 minutes into the song and doesn’t feel out of place but more a fresh breathe of a air. If you can’t have a good interlude, why not throw in a nice little solo to act in that place? It feels like a lot of the songs on this album like to smash the listener in the face as the song progresses. This song stands no different. *8/10*
Mushroom River - This is the song they’ve been demoing for awhile and it’s pretty catchy. I don’t want to say this song has a Nu-metal tone but it definitely has a Nu-metal feeling towards it in the introduction and verses. The pre-chorus gets really light on the instruments and a softer singing comes in. The 2nd verse is when this song really takes off with almost full blown screams and that Nu-metal feeling guitar. My favorite part in the choruses is definitely how the bass gets creative and expresses a full range of sound and not just root notes following the guitarists. Towards the end of this song, it just crushes you. This is what I told you about before on Croom’s voice that can pop out of no where with these monstrous screams. They are deep, throaty, and murderous, and with the pinched harmonics fitting for sex appeal to this songs break down, the song really stands out on this album. *10/10*
Opening - I don’t know what they were thinking? I know some kid is probably going to tell it to my face that this is an artsy song that defines the album, and “gives it character” somehow. I don’t even know why this song is on this album except expressing a point that these guys can play the piano. It kills the momentum that the first 3 songs brought for really just a small, short, piano piece. It seems to have no point except for being a fill. Yeah the piano is a great instrument and I have nothing against it, but this doesn’t feel like the time or the place (especially since it really just slows the album down). *3/10*
China White II - I love the original China White on “I Am Hollywood”, so it’s going to be right up my alley to love this one. It didn’t disappoint me at all and this may definitely be my favorite song off of the album. The lyrics tell a story, the singing seems to be above par with the rest of the album. The screaming parts during this song seem to be accurately and precisely placed in spots that make the song really strong. The guitar just feels relentless during this song punching you in the face repeatingly. The interlude/outro of this song is seriously beautifully construct in a voice that I love. It’s a voice that’s been smoking way too many cigarettes, drinking whiskey, and a veteran at telling camp stories:
“With your father gone and your mom in chains,
I have time to sleep in late.
Your mother never looked so good.
Your daddy should have brought his gun.
Now sleep child just sleep.” *10/10*
Serpent Sickness - The introduction of this guitar really feels demonic and ghoulish with the guitar. If I haven’t already mentioned that this band’s drummer is awesome, this is the song that concretes it. The bass and the drums have select parts in this song that really stand out from the darkness. The screams that come in 1 minute of this song seem to be the darkest from his vocal range but then is relieved by softer singing. There are parts of this song that seem to want to rip your head off and other parts that seem to breathe life into a someone who’s been shot. The melody and harsh tones seem to find equilibrium and even as I’m not a fan of the whole demonic and ghoulish style of guitar tone, this song has really good construction to it. This is a song that I can recommend for people who‘ve heard previous stuff from this band yet isn‘t looking for a single/the best song on this album. *8/10*
Electronic Throat - Wow. Now I have my cowboy hat on because this is definitely a southern rock tone that Lynyrd Skynrd or any of these “classic” rock bands could of loved. This song is fairly different for that alone but a lot of the fundamentals that make He Is Legend are still apparent. The sing to scream ratio is identical to the other songs and as soon as that southern bluesy lick ends it goes on to straight away smashing with palm mutes and heavy thrash like guitar. This song is what the new wave of Southern Rock should sound like from the vocals, to the guitars. It really tickled my taste buds and I really wanted more songs like this. Damn. *9/10*
Stampede - Here we go baby. Anyone who basically wanted trade mark He Is Legend sound in the fastest and hardest pace will love this song. This song makes me want to pick up my guitar/bass and rip riffs like this while head banging. The vocals are wild and all over the place and the transition to this song from “Electronic Throat” is great. These songs go hand in hand and are two songs worth buying this album. All of the instruments excel during this song and if the vocalist isn’t at the top of his game I wonder what he sounds like when he’s having a great day. The song is probably one of the hardest, heaviest, and fastest on this album. I think when all 3 of those adjectives are executed with precision it’s hard not to have a great song. *10/10*
The Widow Of Magnolia - This song really has this get up and dance feeling towards it. It executes a fast paced song well but it lacks some elements, like the fact that the guitar is starting to sound strikingly the same as the other songs. The drums has never ceased to being the least but creative and crafty, and still keep this song fresh. It‘s a hard act to follow a song like “Stampede“ without keeping the pace really quick and harder than a 15 year olds dick. *8/10*
The Pot Bellied Goddess - This song is definitely different from the rest, having the impression that its softer and at a moderate pace but conquers in places like the chorus which is really heavy and slow. The bass seems really present in places and that put a smile on my face (even though the guitars are more then an apparatus in every song but a main point). I really love the vocals winding towards the end of this song because it showcases his screams like most songs but puts a lot of melody in his singing. *9/10*
Cannonball Hands (The Tomato Parade) - Okay so this is another instrumental that feels not so out of place because it features a pretty cool bass line and drums. It isn’t as bad as “Opening”, but this album obviously isn’t meant to create “atmosphere” and I doubt He Is Legend is going to be pulling any Cult Of Luna anytime soon. Therefore this just feels like another filler that means nothing, and can just be passed over. The drummers and the bassist are probably smiling and nodding there head when they recorded this because it obviously showcases there talent, but really has no meaning what so ever. It doesn’t even lead into a song… *4/10*
Goldie’s Torn Locks - I don’t know but I always think that these fillers really prepare the next song for an almost good rating just because if you have to bare through a filler instrumental that isn’t exactly “awesome” the next song has to sound pleasant. This song definitely is in the same category as China White II. It’s different, the lyrics tell a story, and the riffs are just as sleek. This song definitely breathes some life back into the album from the 2nd half. *9/10*
(((louds - I don’t know how to describe this song except saying different, and for a closer it works good because I enjoy songs that are different and well put. The Southern Rock tone is more than apparent and the vocals are fitting for the job almost sounding like he’s shredding his vocal cords over shots of Scotch and Rum. He’s just got that gruff tone when he screams and his melodic singing in this song sounds almost to a whisper. I really enjoyed the vocals in the interlude by I don’t know who, but let me hope it’s not Schyular unless he got kicked in the crotch 5 times just for that part. It’s a great ending to a great album. *9/10*
North Carolina, representing again
So I’ve heard a lot of gripe about this album which scared me away from buying it when it first came out. Thanks to that I had the chance to buy this album for $5 at Best Buy, but instead had to get it for $11 which isn’t bad anyway. Than again, I know that the other review on this site gave this album a 4.5 which means its got to be listenable to some degree. This album is definitely listenable (if you’re into the genre of course), and it’s pleasing to me in more ways than one. It has some lack luster points, and definitely isn’t flawless but it isn’t a steaming pile of poop either, to be blunt. He Is Legend is a progressing sound from album to album staying true to one thing which seems to be sing some, scream some. Not like we haven’t seen this today anyway, but the way this band does it seem to be a little more stand out than others. Maybe it’s because the singer can sing live adequately, and scream better than most. Maybe it’s because there guitarists exhibit, creativity, but stay true to a genre. Maybe it just has something to do with that bass and drums that seem to always find its place in a He Is Legend album.
I feel like this is the album that Every Time I Die needed to come out if they were going with the southern rock tones. Gutter Phenomenon is all right, but it feels light years away from this album. He Is Legend didn’t drop there previous works for modifying there sound but instead shaped an environment off of themselves. This worked out to be a real treat for many… I don’t know why Mckenzie Bell left this band on the brink of what seems to be there best release, but I’m hoping it’s a legit reason (like one of the band members screwed his mom).
+ Lyrics that tell of a story
+ All of the instruments have there places and parts
- Filler Tracks = “Meaningless” Instrumental Tracks
- Singing vocals at times
- Previous fans may not enjoy the new tone
- I would of liked the bass to have a better role but that’s just my bias
Why this album didn’t get a 5 or higher:
This album was all about good songs, and some mediocre ones. The overall sound executed was concrete in the sense they knew what they were going for but some of the songs weren’t as catchy or carefully constructed (it seems) as others. Some of the songs will be liked better than what my review rates them and I understand that because the cup of tea, isn’t everyone’s.