Legendry - The Wizard and the Tower Keep
High Roller Records
Epic Metal
7 songs (47'12")
Release year: 2019
Reviewed by Alex

I love fantasy genre, and often rush to that aisle first when I get to the bookstore. I can’t be certain if Pittsburgh Legendry like fantasy as well (or if they like bookstores at all for that matter), but if you listen to The Wizard and the Tower Keep and look at its cover art you certainly get that impression. The Wizard and the Tower Keep, being Legendry 3rd album, the band has made it into a concept story with Earthwarrior as its main personage. It has long been a gripe of mine that getting only digital material to review these days I can’t fully brief you on the story without booklet. It remains same with Legendry’s The Wizard and the Tower Keep, yet the pictures the band paints are quite vivid even without full understanding of the lyrics.

The band ropes you in somewhat unexpectedly with all acoustic Celtic tinged The Bard’s Tale. Compositions like this are normally reserved for interludes, but opening with The Bard’s Tale Legendry immerses you in their tale, the heroic world of fantasy, immediately. Going all soft is definitely not in the band’s plans, as following Vindicator is much rougher and faster epic stoner/NWOBHM with fuzzy guitar fabric and booming drums. Indeed from time to time Legendry can be real muscular, The Lost Road is another example of the rough tumbling until it slips into phantasmagoric prog folk. Behind the Summoner’s Seal riff is almost thrash after opening up with 70s stoner with weird wah-wah effects, but as much as Legendry can be tough, The Wizard and the Tower Keep is far from a rocking album. Instead, the main focus is sprawling atmospherics with long twisting instrumental sections, of which just about every composition has plenty. Winding pathways in vastness, drifting away, and sighting Rush as its influence, Legendry does what it really wants to do on the title track and latter half of The Lost Road. Adding strings to Sorcery’s Bane, they make it really sound like a Celtic movie soundtrack, although the overall production on the album is purposefully grainy and not overly polished. The lyrics phrasing on that composition saying “my sword is sorcery’s bane” is almost early Manowar, but if there was a complaint about The Wizard and the Tower Keep it is the band keeping vocals totally in the back and making the vocal range quite pedestrian. Since Vidarr is the main figure in Legendry it is doubtful he will relinquish vocal responsibilities, yet it would be interesting to hear how Legendry would sound with someone like Bruce Balich from fellow Pensilvanians Argus on vocals. By the time the main attraction Earthwarrior rolls around I was completely sold and enjoyed the album drifting along to its expansive tracks. Monumental riffs of Earthwarrior, its alternating gallops and grounded dreamy section, all lead to where it all started, that full acoustic immersion, so the album comes full circle.

Without copying Manilla Road, early Manowar, Brocas Helm or its prog rock heroes Rush, Legendry deserve multiple kudos for trying to carve the path all their own, whether it includes punky D-beat or ethereal psychedelia, all in one track like The Lost Road.

Killing Songs :
Title track, The Lost Road, Sorcery's Bane, Earthwarrior
Alex quoted 80 / 100
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