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He Is Legend few

2017 Spinefarm Records

One of the proud few.

He Is Legend - few

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He Is Legend have displayed an exhausting work ethic since properly returning from hiatus with 2014’s “Heavy Fruit“. The relentless touring in the years since no doubt helped the group accomplish what few others have succeeded at in the past: fully crowdfunding their album. This latest effort, “few“, came to be as a result of $71,894 USD being raised for it by fans and friends back in late 2015 via Indiegogo.

For a band with a relatively smaller stature, it was impressive to see such an outpouring of support. Perhaps it’s also why there seems to be a sense of gratitude and bolstered confidence pervading much of this album. Previous efforts tended to find He Is Legend exhibiting somewhat of an outsider mentality—vocalist Schuylar Croom has always felt like a bit of an ‘old soul’ as it were.

There’s still a bit of that present on this newest affair, but with “few” the band don’t feel as much like the angsty denim clad goth kid thumbing their nose at today’s metalcore/deathcore mold. Instead they’re now comfortable enough in their own skin to just not give a shit.

That’s not saying they’ve conformed by any means, but with “few” their evolution feels organic and internal rather than influenced by external pressures. Boundaries are still being pushed to be sure, but not at the cost of sacrificing their ‘core’ sound. Thus “few” feels more unified not only in approach, but in overall progression.

The majority of the album doesn’t stray too far from the path the band were headed down on their last few records. An insightful blend of smoky melody peppered with elements of staccato funk and lingering rock n’ roll wanderlust. In a way it’s almost like the musical equivalent of eavesdropping at a bar, where tales of hard luck and depression readily mix with freedom from responsibility, intoxication and uninhibited release.

Air Raid” kicks off the album with a roar, opening with an “It Hates You” era reminiscent buildup that bursts into some of the outing’s most fierce riffing and grungy bass driven verses. “Alley Cat” adopts a funky Red Hot Chili Peppers styled take on rock, except rather than polish it up, the band slow the tempo and scuff up the vocals for a grittier voyage.

Fritz The Dog” is easily the most adventurous cut on the album, seemingly playing up the sleaze and ridiculousness of the early 70’s adult animated feature ‘Fritz The Cat‘. Throughout the sauntering jazzy verses, Croom tells the proverbial tale of one nightmare of a ‘dog,’ proudly stating he’d be the first one “to shit on your lawn.”

However, perhaps the most memorable track on “few” arrives in the penultimate cut, “The Vampyre“. While the opening half unfolds in a cloudy haze, the band eventually ignite with a sultry stomp groove and an instantly memorable chorus that is nearly impossible to not indulge in. It’s almost certain to become a fan favorite for crowd participation and an instant highlight of this record.

Honestly, He Is Legend fans who ponied up their cash for this album’s crowdfunding campaign should have little to complain about with “few“. The moody, witchy rock with saturated funk overtones featured here are the band’s bread and butter. Sure it may be old hat for them at times, but there’s certainly enough variety and tasty riffage here to keep the album feeling vital for lengthy periods of time.

From gnawing distortion and listless melancholy to swirling song structures and barn burning sing-alongs, “few” is a hungry and confident listen from a band who’ve proven themselves to be a cut above their peers time and time again.

Buy it now on Amazon | iTunes

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