Review Summary: A forever classic that still and always will remain tall in this North Carolina band's discography
He Is Legend will unfortunately probably be placed in the category of “your favorite band’s favorite band.” Very good, very talented, but not very mainstream and popular. They also have a nice consistent, yet inconsistent sound. Making small changes, big changes, and experimental tunes on each of their albums. Following their sophomore album Suck Out the Poison which added amore southern fried sound to their post-hardcore/metalcore style – It Hates You takes their sound to a different direction. Pushing back the post-hardcore/metalcore sceney type sound toward a grunge, 90’s alternative metal, and hard rock sound. And just because the sound has gone under change doesn’t mean they stripped any talent, passion, or heaviness from their process.
“Dicephalous” isn’t their best opener, but it does its job well enough. Presents that the new sounds you hear on this album will be much different from its predecessors, but there also won’t be a drop in quality either. The same can go for the following track “Party Time!” Alt rock at it’s finest, but nothing too special otherwise. “Everyone I Know Has Fangs” is the track that really gives listeners what they’re expecting. Steve Bache giving some power behind the drums, Matty Williams playing a very solid and memorable bass line, Adam Tanbouz a very eerie, yet restraint riff, and Schuylar Croom giving some fantastic vocals. The chorus is what it should be – memorable, catchy, and well written. The finale to this song also made sure past fans knew that they weren’t putting unclean vocals on the backburner either – as Schuylar screams his head off for the last bit of the song.
Some more catchy choruses are found on tracks like “The PrimarilyBlues,” “Don’t Touch That Dial,” and “That’s Nasty.” Some start to go for a more atmospheric sound such as “Cult of She,” “Stranger Danger,” and especially “Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.” Each having this slow paced sound that leads up to this bombastic, harsh sound with more intense vocals. “China White III” is the softest song for sure, but it has its charm. Definitely allowing some breathing room after nine very well done, but in your face tracks. It sits back and gives you some room. Very melancholy, very slow, very soft, but still another good track. The weakest track has to be “Future’s Bright, Man.” It’s there and their weakest track still stands taller than a lot of other bands’ highest, but it doesn’t really do too much. This track could’ve not been on the album and it would’ve still been just about the same.
Now whether I’m being bias or objective here - “Mean Shadows” is the best track on the album and one of the best tracks He Is Legend has done throughout their entire career. It’s heavy, it’s soft, it’s fast, it’s slow, it’s catchy, it’s captivating. Yes I know it pretty sounds like I’m jerking this track off, but it’s really just that good. All members having to bring their best here as the pace slows and quickens through its six minute run time. Eventually ending on an atmospheric fade out that tricks you into thinking the song is over only to be brought back in for one final HOO-RAH! Even after following releases, I would still say that this song is the best track any of their albums have ended on.
He Is Legend is a band that managed to allow themselves to grow and evolve without losing the core of their identity. Currently, I would still state this album is their magnum opus. As their music and songwriting are truly at their peak here. Their creative cylinders on full blast and aiming for every target they can hit. Something familiar, something new, something heavy, something soft, something catchy, and really something for everyone. This is an album that will hopefully only rise in it’s popularity and something many will come back to. Seeing that rock can still have it’s fun, lighthearted, goofy moments just as much as it’s dark, brooding moments.
Everyone I Know Has Fangs
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions