Legacy - Where We Go


Year of Release: 2001
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 41:18:00

Symphonic rock is unquestionably what many people think of when they hear the term "progressive rock," but that's not exactly all they think of. Overblown lyrics out of proportion with reality, exceedingly showy music that is boring as all hell, annoying hippie or pseudo-intellectual attitudes, and songs that belong in a museum are all concepts that may very well appear attached to the music, and not entirely without reason. True, a number of symphonic rock bands have struggled to bring the subgenre out of a rut and revitalize it in order to try and make it relevant to today, while some of its pioneers keep transforming with each album to stay fresh, but the music is still a long way from coming out of its proverbial tomb.

It is thus that when a new symphonic rock band enters the fold, the bars by which it is to be measured reside not only in the skill of the musicians involved or in their ability to put those skills on record, but also in how well they manage to avoid the wide collection of clichés threatening its every move. Legacy is one of such bands, and its debut album, Where We Go..., does not entirely earn a passing grade according to the guidelines just mentioned, although the music of Mitch Hensdale is not a lost case either.

If something is readily apparent after listening to this album, it's the fact that these aren't technically challenged musicians struggling in an attempt to make something coherent out of their limited abilities. In fact, Ricky Chaffin immediately demonstrates his guitar proficiency at the beginning of the record, bassist Dale Black follows his colleagues with conviction, and Hensdale's multi-instrumentalist abilities certainly show that the band has been practicing more than enough. On the other hand, however, the talent fails to solidify into writing proficiency, as most of the album's tracks are really nothing but the old run-through across the all-too-well-known clichés of symphonic rock; something that Frank Hartis doesn't help with his lack of singing identity.

The main problem with Where We Go... is the fact that the music contained therein, as well as Hartis' manner of working with it, is just too reminiscent of other pioneering symphonic rock bands at times, and at others both instruments and voice conjure combinations that are too pretty to really bring up any true excitement. Actually, most of the album's best points are relegated to sections where there aren't any vocals at all, as in the enjoyable "Cosmic Waltz" section of "Trappings," the surprising percussion break of "The Power," or an awesomely catchy bass line that jumps in midway through "No Where to Run." Elsewhere, the musical turns and avenues chosen are just too predictable, and thus do not really manage to keep the listener interested for long. It must be said out of fairness, however, that the album does indeed start to grow on the listener with repeated listenings, and thus is not a complete waste of time, as initial impressions might intimate. It is then that some of the initially unimpressive passages begin to show a certain quality that remained hidden before, and that the album's songs suddenly don't seem that bad. The revelation, however, is only partial, and doesn't quite bring the album out of its constant state of predictability, adding Where We Go... to the growing list of symphonic rock releases that don't really have anything new or truly interesting to say.

Similar artists: Kansas, Yes, Genesis


Tracklisting:
Take A Look At Yourself (5:37) / Choices (6:00) / West World: Object Of Desire (7:24) / Trappings: Ocean Of Light / Cosmic Waltz (8:29) / The Power (4:27) / Time Travelers (3:36) / No Where To Run (5:45)

Musicians:
Frank Hartis - vocals
Mitch Hensdale - keyboards, acoustic guitar, drums and percussion
Ricky Chaffin - guitars
Dale Black - bass, bass synthesizer

Additional musicians:
Kevin Best - saxophone
Mike Chamis - guitar

Discography:
Where We Go (2001)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin

Added: November 17th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Score:
Artist website:
Hits: 517
Language: english

  

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