Review Summary: Like roaming the catacombs beneath the Temple Darkmoon.
Don’t know about you but one of my absolute favorite moments as a teen during the Christmas holidays was playing Eye of the Beholder II
while jamming equally magical music. My most usual picks were Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Omen, Brocas Helm, Manowar and of course some of my all-time favorites in Rainbow, Uriah Heep, etc. Legendry is one of those polarizing cases where some will thoroughly enjoy while others will despise and this is due to their conscious effort to bring back that ‘80s epic heavy metal feeling.
In terms of Instrumentation, the Pittsburgh act will bring to your mind legends Manilla Road and this is something that these guys do not hide, as from the very first lines of their opening track “Dungeon Crawler” the phrase “veils of existence” pops up. In addition, the band opts for a somewhat lo-fi production which however works in favor of their vintage sound. What is more, there are also some proto-doom moments to be found courtesy of Cirith Ungol, Pagan Altar or even Pentagram (“A Witch is Born” is a solid example) and those of you who love some of the passages that Wishbone Ash used to create, are in for a treat because Legendry seem to be fans of the underrated act.
It is interesting how these guys approach the longer tracks, as they are not afraid to mix it up by combining the said epic metal influences with their ‘70s tendencies. “The Conjurer” is a representative sample of that approach as it begins with a Manillar Road riff and evolves into a Blue Oyster Cult/Wishbone Ash delirium which contains the one of album’s best guitar solos. However, where this LP excels is in the epic, foggy atmosphere it conjures which owes a lot on the stories of Robert E. Howard. This means that the element of barbarism is prevalent and in fact the entire release is a loose concept about an adventurer.
Fans of Eternal Champion or Visigoth are going to love Legendry’s music as their sound might be rooted on the aforementioned legends but the entire offering feels very sincere and quite varied for what it is. There is an array of inspired, catchy riffs and leads (just check “The Edge of Time”), while those of you who take the time to read the lyrics will have the opportunity to travel even more into the magical world that Legendry and Robert E. Howard create. The vocals that remind a cross between those of Manilla Road and Eternal Champion but not as well done, might be a deal breaker for some and is something that Legendry should look to improve. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that Dungeon Crawler
is one of the best epic metal offerings of the last few years and an album that the 16-year old version of myself would jam while roaming the catacombs beneath the Temple Darkmoon.