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LEGEND PART II

Saviour Machine

Progressive Metal


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Greger
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is Part II of the Legend. Part I was released in 1997 and here they are continuing the story inspired by the bible and the forthcoming apocalypse. The story is accompanied by progressive metal with influences from ambient, Goth and opera music. They are sometimes reminiscent to SAVATAGE but not as much metal.

The CD case is following the same concept as on "Part I". It's all black with the band name, the title of the album and the songs printed in green and silver direct on the plastic. The 20- page CD booklet contains all of the lyrics and it helps you to follow the story.

If you liked "Legend Part I" this is a must. And you can also look forward to "Legend Part III" that they are planning for a 1999 release. I still think that "Legend Part I" am the album to buy or the first time listener.

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#29869)
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the second installment of the Legend series, which details the events of the apocalypse as foretold in the Bible. Saviour Machine gets more and more advanced and pompous with each release I hear. Legend II was definitely their most technical album to date, with more atmosphere and energy than the best movie soundtrack can manage.

Eric Clayton, the singer/composer even dubbed the Legend series as the "Unofficial Soundtrack to the End of the World". This installment sounds very soundtrack-like too. The drums are more "supressed", with the strings and orchestration more up front this time. It makes for a very interesting and fitting concept, given this album's apocalyptic content.

Saviour Machine is one of the few projects/bands left that I think actually writes music. They don't come up with some riffs and play around until they get a platinum song. They don't steal other musicians' jams and twist them up for their own. They actually write music and compose it the old-fashioned way, as real musicians should do, in my opinion. You can definitely hear the difference on this album too, between composing and "pretending" artists.

There are so many instruments on this album I can't keep track. Guitars, bass, drums, choir, piano/keyboard, violin, cello, and probably tons more fill up this release with some fantastic arrangements and epic melodies. The song "The Whore Of Babylon" has a very Egyptian sound to it, while "Behold A Pale Horse" is an odd blend of classical music and rock. Legend II has the best variety between tracks I've ever heard. The 10 minute long masterpiece "The Promise" has some incredible parts in it also as it takes you on a musical journey. The closing song "War In Heaven - The Second Fall" is an excellent gothic/symphonic piece that ends the album.

If you're looking for real music to escape the monotony of rock and metal, look no more. Saviour Machine has elements of so many styles, and its great to hear something different and creative every once in a while. I would recommend this to everyone. This is usually the most popular Saviour Machine album in America, and I would think anyone who can appreciate the talents of well composed music should love Legend II.

Synopsis: "Legend II" is definitely NOT for everyone, but is a unique musical experience, that is very worth to make, even if you're not religious. Saviour Machine is already a legend in christian music circles and remain as the leading force of the White Metal genre. Even "Legend II" hasn't much in league with metal anymore, but the musicianal progress from a progressive goth metal band to a more pompous, operatic gothic rock act already started with their second album "Saviour Machine II". Personally, I prefer the more song-oriented first two albums by the band, specially Saviour Machine I shows the more rock/metal-biased side of the band. But as a concept album, Saviour Machine created a truely rare and phenomenal musical masterpiece with "Legend II", that shouldn't be overlooked. Because I must stay as much objective as possible, 8 points and 4 stars must be enough for a recommendation for you folks. Since you need the special "acquired taste" to truely appreciate the music of this band and specially the complex Legend Triology.

rating: 8/10 points = 82 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#73142)
Posted Saturday, March 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
niemax@planet
5 stars LEGEND II is in my opinion Saviour Machine's best release so far... In fact, LEGEND II is my all time favourite album! From start to end (all 79.30 minutes(!)) this cd is dark, heavy, depressing and yet hopeful, overwhelming ands so detailed... More than any other release of Saviour Machine is LEGEND II symphonic... Immagine this great cathedral with in the center a stage on which this rock band stands and in the circle around them this great orchestra with violins, fluits, horns and great percussion and an enormous choir! And the ceiling and the walls of the cathedral are painted with dragons, beasts of all sorts, storms and oceans, wars of angels and demons and suddenly all comes to live! That's the feeling I have when listening to LEGEND II... The songs are detailed, Eric's operatic voice is dramatic, emotional and sounds full of despair, hope, anger, wrath... I guess you have to hear it before you'll believe it...

The covenant is a great album-opener... It starts slow, but soon the song is getting faster and getting overwhelming... The whore of babylon is almost aggressive... The following four songs form in fact one musical unit: the highly symphonic False prophet, more guitars in the Mark of the Beast and finally the climax in The Antichrist II: how I love the desperate voice of Eric when he calls out: 'at the time of the end the king of the south will attack, and the king of the north will come with his armies cursed to fall. I will annihilate them all and their flesh be consumed from their bones, and their eyes be dissolved in their heads and the tongues from the mouths of the dead will scream in silent horror of defeat!'

The second half of the album is less harsh than the first and speaks of hope and promises... But then when the last song falls in the dark athmosphere continues... A great song about the fallen angel with this huge choir at the end! Awesome!

I can only recommend this album to you... I'm sure it's the best you've ever heard!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#91238)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Legend Part II is the 4th full-length studio album by American progressive/ dark metal act Saviour Machine. It´s the second ( as the title says) album in the Legend series which lyrically is based on The Book of the Revelation of John. A dark concept well suited for dark music.

The music on Legend Part II is unmistakably the sound of Saviour Machine. The commanding and emotional operatic baritone vocals of Eric Clayton are as always the center of attention, while the basic instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and keyboards are boasted by extensive use of both choirs and orchestration to create a grand epic sound. This is the band´s most epic and symphonic effort. Saviour Machine is not your usual progressive metal act by any means. You´ll find no impossible to play solos, technical playing or other progressive metal clichés on Legend Part II and Eric Clayton isn´t your usual high pitched metal singer either. The man posseses one of the most unique voices in the progressive metal genre and is actually closer in the sound to David Bowie or Andrew Eldritch than he is to James Labrie or Ray Alder. The music is mostly slow to mid-paced and contains layers upon layers of instruments and overdubbed vocals. A very hard soundscape to penetrate and appreciate when initially listening to the album.

The music can be dark and gloomy with Eric Clayton reciting bible passages but also grand and epic with Eric Clayton singing in his tortured emotional style. The music can seem repetitive and the songs too much alike and I have to admit that I find this a very hard album to get through even though it´s quite fantastic when I´m in the mood. 79:25 minutes of music is very long for an album and maybe a bit too long in this case, but on the other hand I greatly appreciate songs like The Whore of Babylon, Behold A Pale Horse ( which is the most accessible song on an otherwise extremely inaccessible album) and the 10:35 minute long The Promise. This is of course one long concept and all songs seque into each other to form one long epic story. One thing is for sure. Legend Part II is the kind of album that takes much patience to appreciate. I´ve listened to this album for a couple of years now and I still only feel like I´ve scraped the surface. All those layers of incredibly well composed music just leaves me breathless and exhausted every time.

The production is professional and suits the music well. Personally I would have preferred if the guitars were a bit louder in the mix because sometimes they drown in the many layers of keyboards, choirs and orchestration.

Legend Part II is an excellent album by Saviour Machine which grows on me every time I listen to it, but for newcommers to the band this might be a pill too big to swallow and I would strongly recommend starting with the self-titled debut full-length album if you´re interested in a dark and unique take on progressive metal. Legend Part II gets a 4 star rating from me.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#262477)
Posted Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars It seems that everything Saviour Machine did on their first three albums was leading to this point: the rawness and energy of "I", the dark, slow atmosphere of "II" and of course the orchestral epicness and Middle Eastern themes of "Legend Part I" all find their satisfaction on "Legend Part II", a true masterpiece in my eyes. The heavy gothic guitar leads and riffs, trademarks of Jeff Clayton's guitar playing almost drown in a chaotic ocean of classical drumming, various 19th century inspired string and horn orchestrations, partly dissonant choirs and bells, clips of apocalyptic news, Bible segments, echos, whispers, experimental synth sounds and the beautiful, unmistakable baritone voice of Eric Clayton. This kind of mixture of elements could have easily ended in a disaster, had it not been in such good hands as those of the SM guys. Instead what resulted is a unique album in which no part or song seems out of place. The almost 80 minutes just flow by as flashes of "the greatest tale ever told" are seen in musical vision as Babylon rises, the Antichrist and False Prophet take their place as leaders of the newly unified world , the martyrs cry for the blood spilled in their persecutions and finally a war occurs in Heaven and Satan is struck down to Earth. This is by no means an easy album to digest, for there is so much to hear and experience. Yet as they say "those who are patient shall receive the greatest rewards in the end". Behold, apocalypse!

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Send comments to Morsenator (BETA) | Report this review (#788751)
Posted Monday, July 16, 2012 | Review Permalink

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