He Is Legend return with their 5th studio album few. The band have had quite the journey evolving from The Uriah Omen to their first efforts, the EP 91025 and their first full length I Am Hollywood. As they progressed in their discography to prove they weren’t just another 2004 metalcore band, they injected more southern rock and blues elements into Suck out the Poison creating a true style that separated them from the rest.
Then in 2009 they unleashed their magnum opus It Hates You only to break up before being able to capitalize on the greatness of that album. The band went back under and eventually resurfaced for some reunion tours, almost enjoying a Failure-like break with their last record becoming one of those great hidden gems realized years later. They followed up on the success of their reunion shows with 2014’s Heavy Fruit, an album that dug even deeper into their southern rock and blues roots while still retaining that heavy style they built a name on.
Initially the concept of making a new album was introduced under the guise of making it if they succeeded in their Crowd Funding goal, which they did to 124% of their goal. Not sure what to expect but the band came back with an album that dives back into where they were on ‘Heavy Fruit’ yet burrowing a bit deeper on the bluesy side, with a lot more coil splitting action on the guitars. The album starts out with a signature sounding He Is Legend track in “Air Raid” which has a nice flow, great riffs and a slamming end.
The album was mixed by Adam “Nolly” Getgood of Periphery, and hearing a lot of different sides of his mixing and production he did a great job here enhancing Mitch Marlow’s engineering and producing which he’s been doing with the band for quite some time. I’d have to say “Sand” feels like its radio ready with a great active chorus. As with each album, Schuylar’s voice is gold, and Dennis Deslodge make a great addition on guitar on top of Adam Tanbouz’ signature riffs and leads. Matt’s solid bass playing brings the record together, a severely under-rated player. Also the seemingly departed Sam Huff has some great percussive work throughout the album, especially on the song “Call Ins” and “Jordan”. The band gets experimental with songs like “Alley Cat”, “Gold Dust”, and “Fritz the Dog.” With an almost Tom Waits like influence to the flow of the songs, which has always made minor appearances throughout their discography. To say this record is soft is off by a long shot when you throw on songs like “Eastern Locust” and the almost Sabbath/Type O Negative like heavy intro for the closing track “The Garden”.
Bottom line: this band continually makes classic albums that can appeal to almost anyone including radio thanks to their heavy rock influence. This will receive heavy rotation from me through out the year. This is one of the few bands I get super enthusiastic about when they release a new record, a you should be too!
Notable Tracks: Sand, Air Raid, Eastern Locust, Gold Dust, Fritz the Dog