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Legend Second Sight album cover
3.09 | 25 ratings | 7 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dance (6:20)
2. New Horizons (4:48)
3. The Healer (4:59)
4. The Wild Hunt (13:05)
5. The Legend (6:51)
6. I Close My Eyes (6:42)
7. Mordred (12:20)

Total: 55:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Debbie Chapman / vocals
- Paul Thomas / guitars
- Steve Paine / keyboards, co-producer
- Martin Rouski / bass guitar
- John Macklin / drums

- Tony McKormack / vocals (not confirmed)

Releases information

Artwork: Courtney Davis

CD Pagan Media Limited ‎- PMR CD6 (1993, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LEGEND Second Sight ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (28%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LEGEND Second Sight reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progrules
4 stars First thing that struck me after a number of listening experiences is the difference with Legends'debut, Light in Extension. Main differences are the slightly less folk feel I get when I hear this release and the other notable aspect is the somewhat rougher sound of the guitar. On the debut the guitar sounded friendly and light and Second Sight ends up to be almost heavy prog.

The opener Dance proves these two things immediately. I'm not quite sure if I like the changes but I do like this song without going overboard about it (3,25*). New Horizons is next and with this one they suddenly switch back a notch in heaviness and this song sounds more like one of the debut though this doesn't really make much difference for the quality level compared to previous song. Good vocals here (3,25*). The Healer is more of a ballad-like song actually the first time I hear a song like this by Legend. It's a nice track but again not mindblowing (3,25*). The Wild Hunt is where they definately go back to the heavy sound. This is mainly obvious in the second half of the song where a long guitar part takes place. Great and impressive track though probably not popular with everybody (4*). The Legend is a middle length song where both vocals and guitar go the dark road halfway the song making the song a bit spooky, later on turning back to normal (3,75*) I Close my Eyes is the second quiet song of Second Sight and it creates a slight folk atmosphere like on the debut (3,5*). Mordred is the other epical track on this second release by Legend and is in the same vein as The Wild Hunt. Also here on and on going heavy guitar going to extreme. (4*)

It's hard to determin the rating for this album since the average is around 3,5. It's a bit higher than that and I personally feel they made big progress compared to Light in Extension. So I will round up this time. Very good album.

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars This is not a very good album, I’m afraid. Really, I’m not sure how this came to be considered progressive rock music. The term un-ambitious permeates just about every track here.

Way back in 1971 a guy named Bill Fifield was recruited to play drums in the British band Legend. Later that year he would be christened Bill Legend and appear on the debut album from T. Rex. This is not that Legend. These guys aren’t legends at all in fact, except possibly in their own minds. The sound here is pure late eighties/early nineties commercial rock with enough keyboard showboating to make it sound like something remotely progressive to undiscerning listeners. But it’s not – it is mostly commercial fare that probably got more credit than it deserved like other ‘neo’ prog bands of the early nineties, a time when standards were pretty low and this sort of music was able to pass for the real thing.

After from the monotonous keyboards and overdone guitar arpeggios, the vocals are the next worst thing about the record. Debbie Chapman actually sounds like one of those early nineties Canadian guys singing falsetto that consumed the MTV airwaves back then. It took a look at the credits to confirm this is actually a woman singing; no offense meant to her talents, that’s just the way her voice ends up sounding here.

There are a couple of long tracks here that might lead one to believe this is a progressive album, or at least something substantive. But in reality both of them (“The Wild Hunt” and “Mordred”) go on far longer than they need to and don’t amount to much beyond keyboard progressions and spacey vocals intersected at times by lulls in the arrangement filled by even spacier keyboard sounds. There’s a story being told in both cases but I can’t be bothered to take the time to absorb it thanks to the lack of anything interesting in the music. “I Close my Eyes” sounds like a teen pop star singing their personal anthem by the way, and I don’t really mean that in any good way.

Enough here. Not much of an album, forgotten mostly because it should be, and not recommended to anyone but dedicated fans of the band. Two stars fits this one perfectly.


Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Forgotten legends!

Legend was founded in Britain in the 80's and they released their first album in 1991. They apparently found some success in mainland Europe and Japan, but sadly not so much in their homeland. Considering the immense quality of their music they should have been very successful everywhere! The present album is, as hinted at by its title, the band's second effort and it is really a hidden gem.

As stated by the band's website "...if you like Rush, Jethro Tull, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Yes, Solstice, Steeleye Span, Renaissance... the list goes on... then you will probably like Legend". Indeed, the voice of Debbie Chapman is in several respects similar to that of Annie Haslam of Renaissance (and she has nothing to envy Haslam for!). But Legend's music is very much harder edged and darker than that of Renaissance. Legend's music is primarily based on metallic guitars and modern keyboards with a powerful Rock rhythm section and operatic female vocals. Legend is the forgotten forerunner to all those Metal bands with female vocals that flooded the late 90's and the new millennium. And as in most other contexts too, the original is the best!

The keyboards are very well played by Steve Paine (apparently the founder and leader of the band) who seems to be influenced by the likes of Rick Wakeman and Tony Banks. However, the keyboard sounds used are not incredibly varied and you should not expect any vintage keyboards sounds here. The guitars are also very well played and there are many instrumental passages with great guitar and keyboard work on display. The guitar sound is clean and razor. While there are no instruments over and above the "usual" keyboards, guitars, vocals, bass and drums, they use this limited palette very well to express many moods and atmospheres. The music has an intriguing Pagan and slightly Celtic feel, but it is not overtly folky apart from on a couple of passages. I think that Legend has developed a sound of their own!

All of the seven songs here are strong and very melodic numbers. The two longest tracks, The Wild Hunt and Mordred will undoubtedly please any Prog Rock fan with their great melodies, interesting tempo changes and strong instrumental work outs. There is also a nice variation between different moods and tempos on the album. The opener Dance is, as its title implies, an up tempo danceable tune, that could perhaps have been a Folk dance played in Rock style. Some of the songs, I Close My Eyes in particular, has slight Pop sensibility but nothing that puts me off at all. This song sticks out in another respect too. The lyric about the horrors of the second world war is very moving, but it does not quite fit into the "Pagan" themes of the rest of the songs. There is also the song that bears the name of the band and it represents pretty well the band and the album even if it is not the best song.

I have had this album for less than a week, but I have already played it very many times (five times today!), it is strongly addictive! The production is not perfect but this album sounds just fine to my ears and whatever imperfections do not distract at all from the very well written melodic songs, and the unusual band sound, the very strong guitar and keyboard work, the great vocals and the powerful rhythm section clearly makes up for it and in the end Second Sight is an excellent album. I think that many Prog fans as well as many non- Prog fans might enjoy this music.

My CD version is issued by Pagan Media and features a nice booklet with full lyrics and some pictures of this forgotten legend of a band.

There is no doubt about the rating here; a solid four stars and highly recommended!

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second Sight is the sophomore release by Legend, birthed two years after their 1991 debut Light in Extension and a rather interesting enigma in that my first spin through needed a lot of aural adjustment (read as hearing the music for what it is and not what I believe it should be ? How arrogant of one to be that selfish!). 'Dance', the opening track sounds like a 90s track, modern electronic synths, robotic drumming and slash guitar, while singer Debbie Chapman does some British Debbie Harry voice emulation , this sounds like a prog Thompson Twins (wink at Paul?) but in a good way, the swift lead guitar solo follows sinewy grooves. On 'New Horizons' the theme becomes more conventional, a mid-tempo rocker with soothing vocals , a middle section that stretches Debbie's abilities to the 'nth degree, successfully might I add. Guitarist Paul Thomson is the star of the show, delivering a series of opulent solo blasts that are reasonably memorable, the marimba synths and vrooming bass doing double duty up front and center. But this crest passed is where things get really interesting from a prog standpoint, the sensational 'The Healer' is a medieval hymn of the loftiest order, proving that their deep-rooted folkier influences are as tight as their Gothic rock slants, even when Paul unleashes a beastly guitar arpeggio. This is an admirable tune, a near classic with more to follow. The 13 minute+ 'The Wild Hunt' further underscores their progressive inspirations, combining historical call to arms in order to defend the village from the foreign invaders and coating the fabled story with deeply dynamic musical cornerstones, a bastion of bombastic bass and fortress drums, walls of keyboard and towering guitar slashes. Steve Paine gives his fingers a free rein to travel along his synthesizer keys with resolute abandon, while vocalist Chapman wails away. This is repeated again with increased intensity as the fretboards light up with little mercy. What a killer track again. 'The Legend' does not decelerate one iota from the message, a recounting of Excalibur's magic quest, spearing a chugging almost reggae-ish lilt as it pulses throughout the soaring theme, providing the ultimate spark for some extended pyrotechnical soloing from the axeman and the keyboardist. 'I Close My Eyes' is an overt anti-war song , a soldier eyewitness account , begrudging the horrors of mustard gas in the Flanders, the marching fascists in Europe and worse of all, liberating Belsen concentration camp. Showcasing once again the historical fact that WWII was an atrocious yet just cause, perhaps the last and only one. As an avid student of history, I pray. This is a song Al Stewart would perhaps consider but for its gloom-laden sadness. A total, gut-wrenching treat. While we are in a historical mood, 'Mordred' is the somber figure from Arthurian myth, the King's rival, who ultimately died at the hands of his monarch at the battle of Camlann . During Arthur's absence, Mordred crowns himself king and marries Guinevere, forcing Arthur to return to Britain. The music is uniquely cinematographic, a battle ground for tormented riffs, colliding rhythms and ravaged themes in an almost heavy rock context. The terrain is now calm, eloquently expressed by lingering keyboard work, swaying synths croon a funereal tirade as the forlorn lady's voice scours the mist for some relief. This is a very inspiring recording that bodes well for the next leap forward in the amazing Triple Aspect and the recent magnificence of Cardinal Points. 4 Avalons
Review by Modrigue
2 stars 2.5 stars

Second album the british pagan prog rock band, "Second Sight" shows LEGEND's improvements in songwriting and sound. The compositions are now heavier, more complex, epic but still a bit unequal. The music can be described as a neo hard prog version of RENAISSANCE. However, it has less few folk elements than their other opuses.

The opener "Dance" is surprisingly the weakest song of the record. Despite its punchy riff and synthesizer typical of neo prog, this track is rather flat and fails to really lift off. "New Horizons" is more varied and pleasant. Then comes "The Healer", an average and little cheesy soft ballad. But don't leave now, the second half of the record is better.

The 13 minutes mini-epic "The Wild Hunt" is the highlight of the disc. Longest and most progressive song, it features rhythm changes, various soli, and alternates slow and nervous moments. "The Legend" is the other catchy epic moment, displaying a soundscape of castles and knights. On the contrary, not much to say about "I Close My Eyes", a sweet acoustic guitar driven piece neither good nor completely uninteresting. The ender "Mordred" is the other long composition of the record. It contains some good moments, but is a bit messy and not very coherent. Not as convincing as "The Wild Hunt".

"Second Sight" is an uneven but nonetheless promising second effort. Despite weaker songs, LEGEND refine more and more its personality here. After all, "medieval fantasy hard prog" is not really a widespread genre, the band is one of the few to propose such refreshing music. It just still require some more time to mature.

Don't worry, the next albums will be more inspired...

Latest members reviews

5 stars Where do i start......what an amazing album from the thumping prog rock melodies, syncopated guitar/keyboard riffs to the fantastic, solid rhythm section (how does john macklin get his head round some of those time signatures!!!) With interesting subject matter making the songs very involved with w ... (read more)

Report this review (#46104) | Posted by | Friday, September 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'd heard a lot about this band that was very favourable when I spotted this disc in a cheap second hand store. I was bit disappointed on playing it as the recording was very muddy and some of the sonds a bit heavy on the guitar histronics. It does have promise however and indicates a band t ... (read more)

Report this review (#19921) | Posted by Dave Preston | Saturday, September 11, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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