Here's something that, though not uniquely novel, is quite interesting. German band In Legend forges their melodic metal from piano melodies and, when playing live, fronts the band with a least two pianos in performance. The band is the brain child of singer, songwriter, and musical autodidactic Bastian Emig who uses piano, rather than guitar, to compose his music. Then he leaves the piano, mostly, to two band members Daniel Schmidle and Daniel Galmarini.
And those pianos are everywhere on their second album, Stones At Goliath. The piano lines weave there way through the songs by doing everything from developing the melody throughout to offering simple atmosphere or accents. It's a pleasing approach, something you don't here much of in heavy metal these days. Yes, bombastic synths, but not the lightness of piano playing a definitive and equal part with the riffage and sturdy rhythm section.
And, if my ears heard correctly, there is not one guitar solo on this album. Being somewhat of lead guitar lover, I was surprised when I did not miss hearing one. Though I wish they were there, this merely shows how satisfying the piano lines were at building and securing the arrangement of each song. In one sense then, In Legend reminded me of Muse or Cold Play if they went more towards traditional melodic metal.
The wild card in this mix, unfortunately, is Emig's vocals. Whether by his natural accent or perhaps the mixing and mastering, he isn't all that clear at times. While he's melodic and sings clean, Emig sounds best when the music is softer. Otherwise, he just folds into it.
Ultimately, the music is the thing. Where a metal band, somewhat typically, can revolve around the guitar riffs and leads, the significance of In Legend's piano foundation for their melodic metal should not be underestimated. It's a somewhat daring approach that commands attention and, in the end, becomes richly entertaining. Favorite songs: Envoys of Peace, Monuments For Eternity, Alienation, A 1000 Paper Cranes, and Lonely, all sweet tunes. Easily recommended.
In Legend's piano foundation for their melodic metal should not be underestimated. It's a somewhat daring approach that commands attention and, in the end, becomes richly entertaining.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]