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Thursday, 4 August 2022

Reviews: We Are Legend, When Rivers Meet, Mislead, Prometheus (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

We Are Legend - Fallen Angel (Metalapolis Records)

German progressive/power metal band We Are Legend return with their first album since 2013, which received good reviews but couldn't stop them from splitting up in 2016 however in this down time guitarist Dirk Bauer and singer Selin worked on songs before reforming We Are Legend on 2021. Rounding out their new version with another guitarist, drummer and bassist, they return to bring more muscular, mature metal sound than they've done so before. 

They are based in progressive power metal sound, with tracks that bring a myriad of technical flourishes, and shift signatures as well with influences from Dream Theater, Fates Warning. Though Selin has an Eric Adams vibe to his vocals on Only God Forgives especially which brings flashes of Manowar, while the European power metal sound of I Am This One is also prominent too. They do all of it very well a band who despite the hiatus are still all on top form as musicians. 

They also bring in some female vocals and more orchestrations on this record to expand their sound, like the keys/synth and a real brass ensemble on The Inner Circle. Helped enormously by Simone Mularoni's mixing skill Fallen Angel is a strong return from a band that many may have written off. 8/10

When Rivers Meet - The Flying Free Tour Live (One Road Records)

Recorded at 3 dates on their April/May 2022 tour of the UK. The Flying Free Tour Live is the first live record from this extremely talented husband and wife duo and their talented band. With Grace Bond's incredible blues vocal, in unison with her husband Aaron's slinky six stringing they carve a niche of their own in the blues rock world. 

Aaron displays his fuzz/slide magic on Walking On The Wire in duetting with Grace as Roger Innis (bass) and James Fox (drums/keys) bring the thunder in the backroom, guaranteed to get the huddled masses to shake their asses, drawn from their two albums and two EP's they take a slower route on Don't Tell Me Goodbye where Grace also shows here her mastery of mandolin and fiddle on this torchlight ballad. 

As Free Man brings back the swampy riffing, though Bury My Body again is a stripped back magical track where When Rivers Meet show their power as ballad writers, Tomorrow does this as well, bringing a lot of soul and crowd participation. At 60 minutes The Flying Free Tour Live is gives you a glimpse into the warm embrace of When Rivers Meet live. A great starting point if you're new to them, or if you want to relive those recent shows. 7/10 

Mislead - Find You Enemy (Self Released)

First the name, very clever calling yourself Mislead when you have a female singer in Katerina Garofallidi. Second the music, well done on making some classic styled metal with a modern touch to it. The title track apparently was the inspiration for the entire album and it's got a thrusting early NWOBHM style to it, a galloping bass line, choppy guitars and echoed vocals, used by bands like Angel Witch, but with the powerful sound of bands such as Benediction and even the Gothics of Unto Others. However both this and Break The Chains have flashes of symphonic metal too as all of the songs deal with never giving up and fighting against anything that tries to hurt us, even our own emotions. 

Find Your Enemy is this Athens based bands debut record and they come out of the gate strongly with what they call alt metal, and I can hear a lot of the alt metal groove on No Ego. Yes OK Burst Into Flames is literally all chorus but then so is Tailgunner, but most of the album is anthemic metal music with some decent compositions and excellent vocals especially when they slow things down with This Game and the introspective You're Leaving. Mislead highlight their strengths on Find Your Enemy and I'll be keeping my eye on them in the future for sure. 7/10

Prometheus - Aornos (I, Voidhanger Records)

Hailing from the dark depths of Thessaloniki, Aornos is the third album from Greek blackend death metal band Prometheus and it's a visceral journey through the story of Charon and the river Lethe, it deals with death and the beyond vocalist Meleagner handling the lyrics as Esophis (guitar/bass/percussion) wrote the record, and plays most of it too. Building on their second album which shifted between black and death metal, this one does it a bit more seamlessly, songs evolving as they progress. Tremolo picking and more other worldy cinematic on  are fused with blistering death metal blastbeats from Nodens on a track such as The Alpha And The Omega Revealed Part I where both black and death metal combine. 

What they have done more of on this record is allow the keyboards to have more of an impact as Qsnc's synths build on the extreme metal assault for more atmospheric textures, tracks such as Vessel Of Empiricism which is just a slithering intermission that features chants/empirical lyrics from V.P Sorcerer of Acherontas. This more symphonic style is also evident on The Alpha And The Omega Revealed Part II a 13 minute closer which ups the epic content of Aornos. What I especially appreciate is that there's also some usage of Greek instruments on this album with an Ancient Greek Lyre on Epiclesis and Ancient Greek Aylos on Mnemosyne both of which create another layer to this blackened death experience. A progressive, expansive offering from this Greek band. 7/10 

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