Friday, December 29, 2017

Legendry – Dungeon Crawler

With imagery that would make all RPG fanatics proud, Pittsburgh’s Legendry immediately draws comparisons to similarly fantastical USPM power metal groups. While “Dungeon Crawler” unquestionably displays a band influenced by these giants, Legendry has their own unique spin on the style that hearkens back to 1970s hard rock. In many ways, the earliest Manilla Road material is an apt comparison. Imagine the production and vocal approach of late 1970s Riot crossed with the speed and majestic might of late 1980s USPM, and you’re left with the epic “Dungeon Crawler”.

This combination of sounds lends itself quite nicely to a fantasy-themed record with few boundaries. There are several songs on this release (including the 10-minute title track) where the band enters into a spacey jam for several minutes, letting their shredder do his thing. Often times the guitar playing isn’t all that intricate, but it does take you on a musical journey that once again recalls Manilla Road, and surprisingly, Ashbury. Yes, as alluded to earlier, Legendry flirts with hard rock almost constantly. Whether through the subtle vocals, or barely overdriven guitar tone, the band opts for atmosphere over pure heaviness. One unexpected highlight comes in “The Conjurer”, where there are some harmonized leads before the long jam session (despite Legendry being a single guitar band). This particular instrumental break really gets out of hand with some Deep Purple-inspired organ sounds. 

The subdued sound the band has allows everyone to stand out. The drumming in particular shines on several occasions, with relatively busy fills that feel as though they were influenced by Randy Foxe. The aforementioned “The Conjurer” also features an exceptional, lengthy drum solo. Though many of the beats in these songs are tame, it makes the fills sound even more technical. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the bass playing, but it fills its role adequately. Truthfully, Legendry’s aversion to a heavier production is a double-edged sword. It absolutely makes the band stand out in a positive way, and to their credit, they’re very talented at what they do, but it just doesn’t satiate the heavy metal spirit. Anyone who is a fan of jam bands or any type of 1970s rock is likely to eat this up, but it can be more difficult to swallow for 45 minutes if you crave anything more extreme.

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"Dungeon Crawler"
"Quest For Glory"
"The Conjurer"

Final Rating
3.9/5 or 78%.

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