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Spirit

Spirit

31 Oct 2013
4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Spirit
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Download
According to their website LEGEND are celebrating their 25th Anniversary as a band with the release of this, their fifth album. Whilst this has a certain pleasing mathematical symmetry, to me at least, it does rather pointedly highlight the fact that they have been far from prolific in their output! On the evidence of this album I would suggest that what they lack in quantity they certainly make up for in quality.

The first thing you note about the album is the stunning artwork by Josephine Wall which is wonderfully multifaceted and certainly conveys the feel of this recording in its imagery. The second, and perhaps the most surprising, is that there are only five songs. However the listener is far from short changed as this still combines to make an hour's worth of quality music. LEGEND have a strong Progressive Rock bent and have certainly embraced the philosophy of the epic Prog bands of the 70's, however this album is not by any means old school Prog.

The opening song Leap of Faith sets the tone for the album it burst forth from the speakers with bombastic aplomb, biting guitars, bombastic drums and a cathedral organ that can reach the heights of heaven and shake the foundations of hell. The band effortlessly power through a Bach inspired introduction leading directly to the next surprise; the Choir! This propels the track into an Orfian frenzy setting the listen up for the grand entrance of their new vocalist Beck Sian, whom incidentally is a relative of the iconic singer / songwriter Kate Bush. Sian's vocal seizes centre stage with the authority equal to any of the strong female voices in metal out there today. Like most LEGEND songs this one is a journey of highs and lows all delivered with poise and conviction. A breathtaking introduction to the album.
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The fifth album from this English band who sounds like nobody else. A truly original band.

I became aware of this rather obscure band, who for some reason I don't really understand is described as a neo prog band, through their excellent 2011 album Cardinal Points. An album that blew my head away and it did not take me long time to purchase Spirit too.

A rather inspired choice as it turned out. Due to some unspent Amazon credits, it only cost me two quid anyway. The mother of all bargains. I was smirking like a cat who had just caught and eaten a finch.

Spirit is a bit different from Cardinal Points again. At first glance, make that first listening session, the band sounds like they have gone gothic rock with female vocals & co. In Beck Sian, the band has one of the best vocalists in the scene. Her vocals is very Kate Bush'ish at times. Her range is so big that she can quickly move from one expression to another. In her voice, Legend has something that can only be described as a battle ship among canoes. She easy goes into my top five best female vocalists ever. That among the likes of Kate Bush, Sandy Denny and Annie Haslam.
Her voice is also pretty theatrical at times and reminds me about Christian Deschamps in Ange.

Legend and this album is not only about her. The theatrical and operatic music reminds me about Ange and that French theatrical symph prog scene. What at first glance comes across as gothic is in fact theatrical symphonic prog. While that was the dominant scene in France, England just across the water has not had many of those bands. From the top of my head, Legend is the only band I can remember in this scene.

Hence.... Spirit is really an opera.
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As soon as I knew that Beck Sian was related to Kate Bush I knew this C/D would ooze class It certainly does not disappoint The opening track Leap of Faith has all the quality vocals and musicianship you could wish for Add to this a tremendous choral arrangement and you have the stunning opener .The Wood for the Trees is blessed with simplicity and brevity followed by A Tangled Skien which although at first did not display its intracasies certainly does on further investigation The fourth track has beautiful emotional lyrics a fine guitar solo and vocal class, Whilst the final track State of Grace returns us to the vast sound displayed on the opener
All in all one of the best prog albums I have purchased and will get continual plays
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Orchestral vocals and rocks back music, interesting blend. This is to me unique in its portrayal and thats what makes it well worth listening to. The female vocals are quite enthralling as is the musical fusions.
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I hadn't heard of this group before and was interested to discover that they have been active for 25 years. Well-crafted and produced music and excellent vocals, individual enough to warrant 5 stars. Well worth searching out.
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