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Delusions of grandeur are crippling - 50%

zeingard, October 3rd, 2007

A score of 50% is rather ambiguous and in fact before I had heard this EP I would have quite happily petitioned to remove the number '50' from being a potential review score since it basically screams that the reviewer in question is an indecisive asshole. So, uh, I guess I'll get it out of the way and say I'm an indecisive asshole, although I'm sure the latter hardly comes as a shock. Abigail Williams are yet another disposable metalcore band out on the scene but with a catch; they have a hot scene chick on keyboards! Okay so the real catch is that they apparently fuse metalcore with symphonic black/melodic death metal. Their music has keyboards but isn't really symphonic in the same way as Emperor or (thankfully) Dimmu Borgir, and it manages to utilise both melodic death metal riffs as well as a few melodic black metal ones. Admittedly it works to some degree; maybe if they'd stop listening to 'Slaughter of the Soul' they could take up writing some original riffs.

To be honest this EP, despite only being five songs, runs together a bit too easily. The difference between each riff is minute due to the majority of them stemming from SoTS and not really doing anything revolutionary with them. Occasionally they bust out into a nice little tremolo picked riff that helps to break up the monotony and it works pretty damn well especially in 'Watchtower' and 'Procession of the Aeons'. The keyboards sit comfortably in the mix, something that other bands fail to do all too often and while they can be fairly generic and bring nothing ground-breaking they work nicely in the background providing atmosphere and the occasional line during the quieter moments. The keyboards in the introduction to 'Procession of the Aeons' are pretty nice actually; in fact that song is definitely the highlight of the EP thanks to having a lower production value and using the keyboards tastefully throughout with a good mix of ATG and tremolo riffing. It lacks a solo but makes up for this by lacking an annoying breakdown.

The drumming is phenomenal and while I base a lot my opinion on the crushing double bass pattern he manages to maintain near constantly, I can hear him hitting a bajillion things at once and being in about the middle of the mix which is good. At times the double bass can get far too overbearing such as in 'Conqueror Wyrm' but that has more to do with the mixing. On the topic of production this album is a bit polarised with the first three songs having rather high production values and the last two having lesser production values, although I find this enhances the last song 'Procession of the Aeons' but greatly hampers 'Watchtower' since the solo now sounds like a bad synth.

Unfortunately the vocals are fairly atrocious and only sound good on the final track since they're buried further down in the mix than usual. Sorceron's attempts at a black metal rasp are poor at best and sound as though he took a cheese grater to his oesophagus before recording. His clean vocals aren't much better either, being the typical metalcore whine: irritating but forgettable.

'Legend' is an average EP with an equal amount of good and bad moments. Whether you'll enjoy this release is wholly dependent on how much of an elitist cock you are when it comes to judging metalcore bands; it is far more talented than other keyboard laden contemporaries such as Bleeding Through and Still Remains but the guitar work is lesser than Shadows Fall and (some of) Lamb of God. I think the most important thing is to avoid trying to compare it actual symphonic/melodic black metal since in that frame of mind this release falls flat on its face. I can't really recommend nor denounce it but it's interesting for a listen regardless of outcome.