Legendry, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have returned with their third full-length album.
Following on from 2016’s Mists of Time and 2017’s Dungeon Crawler, The Wizard and the Tower Keep is out now on High Roller Records.
The brains behind the outfit, Vidarr, described the tale behind the album, “The Wizard And The Tower Keep is a concept album based on the novelette I wrote of the same name, published by Millhaven Press in their anthology, Fierce Tales: Savage Lands. The songs were all written in the order they appear on the album and follow closely the source text both lyrically and musically.
“We wanted to take this route as a natural progression of the mystique the band has created. On Mists Of Time, only the title track follows the ‘Warrior With No Name’, and that scene is depicted on the album cover. With Dungeon Crawler, we included three tracks of this warrior’s exploits in a strange world.
“Now, with The Wizard And The Tower Keep, we have created a complete adventure with this central character. Musically, we have gotten a bit more complex, in terms of the song structures. We like to think of the album as an adventure, from start to finish. Compared to Dungeon Crawler, we have included more lengthy songs as well.”
In comparison to previous albums, this one has made a definitive shift towards prog, although Legendry may disagree. They describe themselves and the album as ‘epic metal’ but I can’t see that myself.
We are welcomed into the story with “The Bard’s Tale”, a bit of mandolin scene-setting invoking a medieval atmosphere.
The next track, “Vindicator” is, to be fair, a bit heavy and sounds very New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The first guitar solo of the album is a winner too, and there are plenty more to come.
From then on it’s a prog-tastic affair with four of the five tracks clocking in at between 7:30 and 10:57.
Each track is a swathe of melody, understated vocals, and dreamy solos. There are also musical appearances from keyboards and mellotron.
The Wizard And The Tower Keep is a great album to get lost in. Vidarr (vocals, guitar, mandolin, mellotron), Evil St Clair (bass, backing vocals) and Kicker (drums) have done a really good job producing an album worthy of following up the magnificent Dungeon Crawler.
The highlights for me are definitely the extended solos, the tones of which are perfect.
Enjoyable, The Wizard And The Tower Keep most certainly is. Epic metal it most certainly is not. Let’s settle on heavy prog. Whatever the pigeon hole, please buy and enjoy.