Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Henry Cow - The Henry Cow Legend [Aka: Legend or Leg End] CD (album) cover


Henry Cow



4.13 | 219 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Leg End is not something I would classify as "avant-garde," at least not against whatever litmus tests used to categorize progressive music. To my ears, this is a little bit more like eclectic progressive rock music. It blends jazz and quirky elements, but the arrangements are very strong (most of the time). Many of the pieces transition right into the next one, which is something that can be a good or a bad thing depending on how it is executed. In my opinion, there's not one bad transition here from one track to the next. I suspect that much of the music should appeal to Gentle Giant fans; I know it appeals to me.

"Nirvana for Mice" The first track on the album begins with a pleasant jazz section that migrates into more experimental rhythms. The bass work stands out the most to me, even though the saxophone playing is over-the-top. The vocal section at the end seems out of place and ends the piece abruptly.

"Amygdala" This is a fine piece, with mellow instrumentation and an exceptional arrangement, and easily my favorite on the album, especially with the backing synthesizer work. The piano and guitar playing are excellent, but the flute is fantastic. Sometimes the piece makes me think of "Cadence and Cascade" from King Crimson, but this is highly original stuff. This is music that makes me thirst for more of its kind.

"Teenbeat (Introduction)" The introduction, it seems, is nearly as long as the piece itself. I won't say much about it because it is not anything I ever want to hear again; suffice it say, it's "Moonchild" junior- louder and even more unpredictable.

"Teenbeat" Fortunately, the introduction gives way to something more structured and more pleasing, with exceptional drumming and a backdrop of choir. At times the guitar is subtle, and at others, it stands out. Frith's guitar playing here is some of the best I've heard in recent times, and it reminds me of Gary Green at the top of his game. In fact, the whole piece is evocative of good Gentle Giant. The jazzier sections are so much fun to listen to.

"Nirvana (Reprise)" Once again, I stand in awe of the guitar presence (even though there are no other instruments). I find it unfortunate that the piece was not elaborated upon (since it's one of my favorites here), but it is excellent for what it is.

"Extract From 'With the Yellow Half-Moon and Blue Star'" This is one of the quirkier tracks, but it does have a clear composition. I enjoy it for the most part, though there are some elements that grate against the ear. And even if it's slightly unappealing, it's a terse two-and-a-half minutes.

"Teenbeat (Reprise)" The sudden start, plus the distorted guitar and upbeat bass playing, make this a really exciting track. The drumming is wild, and the piano adds a softer touch in the midst of the musical fray. Still, there are quieter moments that feature some great instrumentation. This is more like jazz rock than anything.

"The Tenth Chaffinch" I love the first minute of this, but then it becomes a little too (and then far too) weird for my tastes. There are some spooky voices that permeate the middle section, something that would likely frighten small children. The doodling on the piano lends to this effect. There is a droning note that carries on while what sounds like a Vocoder goes over it. This is tied with "Teenbeat (Introduction)" for the worst track on the album.

"Nine Funerals of the Citizen King" With all the instrumentals, one would be tempted to believe Henry Cow has no vocal abilities to speak of, but finally, there is proper singing, and it's well done. There are layers of voices over sparse instrumentation. When the music does thunder in about three minutes in, it sounds regal, with rolling toms and trembling saxophone.

"Bellycan" Electronic noises dominate the beginning of this track. It's rather disjointed and stilted, which is an unfortunate way to close the album. Perhaps Henry Cow was just finishing their album in such a way that the hearers would know where they would be going musically.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this HENRY COW review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives