Legacy - Stand And Conquer

Year of Release: 2003
Label: self-released
Catalog Number:
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:39:00

Formed in Ohio in 1999, this independent power metal troupe by the name of Legacy has apparently gained quite a following in the last couple of years. This album, Stand And Conquer, is the 2003 followup to their acclaimed debut Slay The Beast (2000). Hitting hard and heavy, Legacy's a band which will please many; their music is strongly grounded with rich songwriting and punchy riffs.

At just the first glance, you'd expect Legacy's material to be pretty cheese-stuffed. With album titles sounding like B-grade fantasy novels and cartoonish, D&D artwork for their CD covers, they could have chosen better for their presentation. However, looking beyond that to the actual music within, Stand And Conquer is pretty good, and doesn't deserve to be relegated to the shelf along with the multitude of silly power metal releases which flood the independent market. Though this disc has weaknesses, they are the kind of flaws which could be ironed out with better production (and hence, a proper recording deal and more funding), so these will be guys to watch out for. Stand And Conquer shows that Legacy has the strong talent required to write and perform technical, interesting prog and power metal.

I love the first song "Free To Fly;" the opening riff shifts from beauty to heavy chugging, and I really like this vocalist (Randy Allen). The guitar sound is great - somewhat distorted rather than crisp, but this fits well and I suspect it is deliberate. The drums are a bit shrill and trashy at times; the mix is good though, a nice rich bass sound (from Patrick Palmer) balances it out. "You Can't Hide" is another chugger - it opens less well, dragging slightly, the playing here could do with a bit more energy and tightness. Again though, the sound is good and the vocals have great tone to them.

The next song, also the title track, is back up to standard straight away, and here's a good spot to listen to the technical prowess of guitarist Darin Moore (who has also released his own instructional video). A fast and furious power metal song which is definitely one to listen for. "Sky Will Burn" is another highlight; I'll always have good things to say about a song which features a percussive entry, and the drumming of Andy Hall is in the spotlight here. "Sold Your Soul" is a great one for vocals (which I'd like even better if they were brought forward in the mix more), probably Allen's best performance, also featuring a catchy main riff and melody lines - certain parts of it remind me of the verse in Dream Theater's "Lie." The final two tracks, "Survival Of The Fittest" and "Battlecry/The Reckoning" are both very well-written and played instrumentals to listen for. The one song I didn't actually like was "Without You," and boy is it unmitigatedly awful - boring songwriting, unimaginative lovelorn lyrics, and whiny vocals - yuck. This is the only one which detracts from the otherwise good quality of the album.

Though as I said there are some things which need improvement - mainly production wise - this is worth a look. Legacy is a talented bunch of guys who would probably kick a lot of arse live; they just need to give their studio presentation a bit of polish and they'll be something to really go for.

[This review originally appeared March 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Free To Fly / You Can't Hide / Stand And Conquer / Sky Will Burn / Without You / Sold Your Soul / Say Your Last Goodbye / Killing Yourself To Live / Survival Of The Fittest / Battlecry/The Reckoning

Randy Allen - vocals
Darin Moore - guitar
Patrick Palmer - bass
Andy Hall - drums

Slay The Beast (2000)
Stand And Deliver (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: January 1st 2005
Reviewer: Karyn Hamilton
Hits: 852
Language: english


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