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Legend - Triple Aspect CD (album) cover





3.53 | 26 ratings

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5 stars Legend was one of those slippery eels that slithered through my absent-minded hands and I hesitated. It vanished from my ever hungry prog agenda until I landed on a PA review that rekindled the scent (southsideofthesky). Ordered it and presto, a new lost gem from the past (the burgeoning mostly Neo 90s) that was their swan song third album recorded in 1996, though it has been alleged that they have reformed! Well that bodes well, Triple Aspect is a sensationally inspired progressive structure that has the luxury of a female vocalist that takes the Annie Haslam approach head on but even more distinctively British , if one could possibly believe that! After a blistering "Cunning Man" with its delirious lead guitar solo, the true nature of Legend appears on "Holly King" with its pseudo-medieval tinge enflamed by an edgier style. Incredibly astute rock music that is built around a firm bottom and tantalizing axe work from Paul Thompson who doubles on relentless bass , grueling keyboard work courtesy of leader Steve Paine and those Debbie Chapman vocal exaltations. John Macklin keeps everything supremely tidy , very much in an Ian Mosley manner (now that's a compliment). The epic dozen minute long "Lyonesse" is a magnificent slice of sheer prog perfection, the essential melody is woven meticulously, all instruments blooming in a Floydian psychedelia that only elevates the celestial voice even further. What a performance, I can only bow to the beauty and brush my lips over her glove and utter "marvelous Madame"! I know by now that this is gonna be a winner! And it goes on, a mind blowing guitar parade furtively in the Hackett/Gilmour camp only adding to the symphonic grandeur. The second segment actually bristles and the crackles like some nervous campfire, the riffs rushing forward and slashing through the vines, the pace panting and the bass battling. This muscular rock renaissance is exhilarating to the utmost, creating the right contrast and uplifting even more the pleasure, a neat but simple synthesizer solo followed by a wicked guitar rant seal the deal with aplomb! "All Hallow's Eve" has a hint of 90's band All About Eve (an aroma that permeates the whole disc), a slight Gothic chill gives this an "anthem to Odin" feel mostly due to the choir mellotron work, the jarring/jangling guitar gales and the voice haunting icily. Drummer John Macklin bashes with authority, keeping it steadily on course undeterred. Another thrilling track that will please unfalteringly. No pity, no mercy is given, the next and last piece is a monster 29 and a half minute 5 part extravaganza that defies description, a title track that has the classic traits of all Prog epics , a basic and recurring melody wrapped around various shifts in tone and texture , liberally sugared with startling and multiple solos from both Thompson and Paine, a sheer sonic adventure that stretches the gratification beyond the merely pleasant. After a lengthy symphonic overture called cunningly "Overture" , "The Maiden" reintroduces the floating vocal glory of Debbie Chapman , who here has a style between Cathy Alexander (of the Morrigan fame) and Annie Haslam (yeah, it's there!). A cool Jon Lord-like organ solo heightens the fury into a powerful storm (I swear I hear a hint of "Sweet Child in Time") which morphs again into a whirlwind on "Mother". A more ominous tone is set , getting biting and searing in Thompson's gifted hands, a flight that would make Mick Rogers of Manfred Mann Earth Band fame, proud. The electro voice rant at the end is sheer genius as it blends in the beeping synths into "Crone", an authoritative partition that brings a sense of passion into the mix, thrusting the epic along like a sturdy locomotive, spewing linear Fripp-like streams as the electronics foxily babble in the background. A Jig like synth solo, very Celtic and the perfect platform for another whopping axe solo. A tremendous discovery and if the other two previous albums are as good (they are allegedly), then I will eagerly await their new release with trepidation. The closing "Full Circle" segment takes the proceedings into a rising crescendo of bliss, very obviously crafted preciously to provoke such an orgasmic response. A monster album that deserves serious accolades, applause and encores! I fully intend to place this among the greats . 5 Cheshire cats
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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