He Is Legend
Endless Hallway


4.0
excellent

Review

by Teal USER (19 Reviews)
November 11th, 2022 | 205 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Conjuring a break out.

He Is Legend’s seventh full length album Endless Hallway is somewhat of a frustratingly apt metaphor for the North Carolinian quartet. Over almost twenty years, He Is Legend has released album after album, establishing a rabid and loyal fanbase and a notorious reputation for being almost universally underrecognized throughout heavy music. Perhaps an underappreciation of the band stems from the fact that He Is Legend never adds too much venom to incapacitate those with an ear for a catchy refrain nor too much sugar to deter those who crave riffs soaked in piss and vinegar. Over the course of their career, He Is Legend has mastered their art of mixing and matching genres to concoct a witches' brew of bludgeoning riffs, quirky, melodic heel turns, and lyrics shrouded in the occult and macabre.

With Endless Hallway, He Is Legend amplify their strengths and offer a dozen tunes which showcase a tighter, feistier approach to their songwriting. Opener “The Prowler” explodes with a breakneck pace as Schuylar Croom’s trusty weathered croon spits, “Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie/If you ain’t ready better testify/Rotten core, my seeds are slime/I’m unhealable to most but baby give me time.” By the time listeners even register what has hit them, the track devolves into one last sludgy chorus. “Lifeless Lemonade” completes the record’s opening right and left hook and is anything but lifeless. Fans will be left with a contorted face akin to a toddler biting down on their first juicy yellow wedge once Adam Tanbouz’s oppressive chugging and pick scrapes wreak havoc across the song’s first half. Instead of completely choking listeners with ferocity, the bridge unfolds into almost carefree whoa-oh’s and tasteful leadwork that allow for a breath of fresh air until He Is Legend swallow everything whole in a double bass-led quicksand to close out the track.

Those familiar with the band’s overarching “The Gardener” storyline that has stretched across the band’s entire discography will be overjoyed to discover the twisted tale continues with “Return to the Garden”. Unfolding with a bouncy and possibly familiar riff to who have seen He Is Legend begin a concert in the past few years, “Return to the Garden” captures the band at their most muscular. Alternating between a faster-paced gallop across the verses, a chorus tangled in shadows and despair, and a bridge featuring barely-controlled frantic riffing, “Return to the Garden” simply captivates with overwhelming power in a similar manner to Suck Out the Poison’s “Serpent Sickness”. Just when Endless Hallway begins to feel overbearing, “Sour” arrives to ironically sweeten things up. From the get go, “Sour” revisits an ultra-melodic approach hardly heard since I Am Hollywood. Bassist Matty Williams can be heard running figurative laps around his fretboard, Tanbouz weaves wistful leads across the verses, and Croom is at his melodic best utilizing a delicate delivery at one moment and a soaring cry the next. From the frenetic, white-hot fretwork of “Time’s Fake” to the southern-fried pinch harmonics of the primal “Animals”, one realization becomes abundantly clear across these twelve tracks: Endless Hallway finds He Is Legend conjuring up their most impassioned, adventurous, and ferocious performance since It Hates You.

The only characteristic that curses Endless Hallway is the album’s brevity. Yes, although a forty-seven-minute record is anything but short, He Is Legend’s most spellbinding music has stemmed from their willingness to throw caution to the wind and explore the very limits of their songwriting. “(((louds” was an eight-minute southern metal classic featuring throat-shredding screaming, sassy female belting, and filthy feedback. “Stranger Danger” was a wild, modern rock’n’roll classic stretched over seven minutes and featured a slow-forming crescendo which erupted into an avalanche of riffage. The eleven minutes that comprise “I Sleep Just Fine” and “Beethozart” were an intense exercise in working through relationship troubles and the buildup and release of nearly overwhelming tension. Hell, those are only a few examples of He Is Legend at their most progressive and daring. Point is, the band clearly know how to craft concise, catchy tunes (See: “Sand”, “Burn All Your Rock Records”, and “I Am Hollywood”). He Is Legend also obviously know how to write lengthier, more daring songs and the band’s newer material could benefit from the addition of another wild and unpredictable jaunt or two.

As the bleak and menacing “Lord Slug” winds to a close, one cannot help but feel another pang of heartache over the fate of He Is Legend thus far. Over almost twenty years and seven albums, He Is Legend has been notoriously overlooked and underappreciated. That said, heavy music’s best kept secret should not be a secret any longer. Perhaps, ironically, with the release of excellently fierce and compelling Endless Hallway, He Is Legend can finally break out and experience the success they undebatably deserve.



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user ratings (214)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Teal
November 11th 2022


604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I received an advance copy of the album in case anyone cares. Huge shout out to TheSpirit. I know he was looking forward to this album and was eager to discuss it on Sputnik. I am comforted knowing he's rocking out to Endless Hallway tonight, tomorrow, and in the future along with us. Rest in peace. Thank you for reading.

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2022


1973 Comments


I love this.
Very nice review

nipplehair
November 11th 2022


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dude.. this album is so fucking good. I enjoyed the two singles.. wasn't sure what to expect overall since they were quite different from each other. But damn, it's so fun. This is the closest to I Am Hollywood they've been in a while and the production on this thing is massive

nipplehair
November 11th 2022


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, Circus Circus is the catchiest song

Emim
November 11th 2022


35631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Also Sour might be the best "lighter" song they've ever written."



I still give it to China White III, but Sour is sweet (heh) too.

WorshipWords
November 11th 2022


2 Comments


pumped to listen to this later.

The singles were so good.

TSI3
November 11th 2022


59 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Throwing this on now, should be a fun jam.

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2022


1861 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very nice review, looking forward to checking this out!

Teal
November 11th 2022


604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you, everyone. I’d definitely agree “Sour” is up there as one of HIL’s best melodic songs. I’m also going to shout out “Sink Hole” - that song is nasty but still makes you want to shake your booty.

nash1311
November 11th 2022


8276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Enjoyed this but honestly wanted a little more

onionbubs
November 11th 2022


21539 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

china white iii is goat [3]



this album slaps, whips, bangs, etc. still aint on par w the first three but it is the best since then

onionbubs
November 11th 2022


21539 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ive been pretty on the fence about the vocal manipulation stuff theyve been throwing in white bat onward but the moment where schulyar gets pitch shifted down in return to the garden is so sick that it single handedly justifies the whole aesthetic choice for me lmao

Spec
November 11th 2022


39705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

RIP Brandon. Feels weird listening to this.

Teal
November 11th 2022


604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think my favorite songs so far are: Return to the Garden, Lifeless Lemonade, Sour, and Sink Hole. They’re all so damn good though. I really enjoy the darker, heavier influences on this without losing their quirky melodies. I truly don’t think anyone else sounds remotely similar to HIL these days.

DeadGuy
November 11th 2022


1205 Comments


Just started it. One of my favorite bands that I unintentionally became a fan of because they would be the opening band at so many shows I went to.

Get Low
November 11th 2022


14389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

mid af as usual

Masochist
November 11th 2022


9169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Super enjoying this! It surprises me just how much this band continues to surprise me. You could tell that something just clicked on 'White Bat', and this is an awesome evolution of their sound from there.

Ashtiel
November 11th 2022


1473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album has some fucking grooves, even compared to "Boogiewoman" which was downright nasty.

Teal
November 11th 2022


604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel like it's safe to say Adam Tanbouz was fully unleashed on this album. He's gotta be one of my favorite guitarists in music. He balances heaviness with tasteful melodies. He can be brutal and technical or deliberate and smooth. Like the band, he's outrageously underrated.

nipplehair
November 11th 2022


94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

After listening to this album on repeat for since last night, I can say with certainty.. this is in their top 3



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