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One of the all time best epic heavy metal albums - 90%

Egregius, July 25th, 2004

If we're going to talk hidden gems, we must discuss Legend from the US. Who actually knows these guys? You'll have to be lucky to find mp3s of them, and I sure was lucky I did.

The subgenre of Epic Heavy Metal isn't particularly huge. We all know Brocas Helm, but a late 70s viking-themed epic heavy metal album? That's something special.

It's hard to describe the fantastic vibe I get from this album, the atmosphere. I guess it's like listening to an encapsulating story, forgetting your worldly worries. Basically comparable to 70s rock, where you get carried away by the recognizable tunes; on From The Fjords it's with the smooth melodies and those warm vocals.

The sound is rooted in the 70s rock-sound, but transferred to melodic heavy metal with a distinct quality. When you put it on, you recognize it's Legend's From The Fjords immediatly. It helps that it starts with the best track, the sadly merely 5 minute epic 'The Destroyer', immediatly followed by the second best 'The Wizard's Vengeance' where we're treated to emotionally laden dual vocals.

If there are downpoints to this album however, they're minor ones. First track on side B, 'R.A.R.Z.', is a rock song, with a country intro, and as such completely stands out of the rest of the album's theme and breaks up the atmosphere. It isn't particularly good either, so I can only imagine they left it on here to make the rest sound good by comparison.
Second, the drum-solo in The Iron Horse takes way too long. It reminded me of Rat Salad on Black Sabbath's Paranoid album, although it isn't quite that bad. As such, the album doesn't seem to reach the brilliance of the first 4 tracks on the A side.

In spite of the above, this remains highly recommendable epic heavy metal, from an overlooked subgenre. If you see the original, the repressing or the upcoming cd-release, buy it out immediatly. This stuff is rare and precious.