Endangered Reign - Unborn Legacies
Traditional Heavy / Thrash Metal
9 songs (46'04)
Release year: 2005
Endangered Reign
Reviewed by Marty
The seeds for U.S. based Endangered Reign were planted in the early 90's by Marc Ridenour (guitar/vocals) and Brian Newman (lead guitar). Refusing to bow to the pressures of the media and American radio that was currently embracing the current grunge wave, they forged on; playing 80's metal influenced by the thrash metal of Megadeth, Metallica and Testament as well as the more intricate styles of Queensryche and Iron Maiden. A five song live demo was recorded in 2000 and in 2001, they recorded their first full-length album entitled Fallen Breeze. Unborn Legacies, the band's newest offering sees bassist Karl Seitz also handling the drums in the studio and they've put their best effort into this new album in hopes of attracting label attention.

From the thundering heavy mid tempo metal to the wild and frenzied lead guitar breaks, right from the first track, Surreal, it sounds like you've uncovered either a long lost demo or some other obscure band from the 80's that never quite made it. The thundering heavy riffing is very typical of Endangered Reign's sound and occasionally they let loose with a flurry of speedy double bass drumming which propels the thick and chunky riffs spewing out of Marc and Brian's guitars. Marc's voice sounds a bit like older Joey Belladonna when he did the first couple of Anthrax albums and he harmonizes with himself for most of the vocal tracks on this album. His voice is not a strong one and although the doubling of the voices adds more depth, his vocals are very "dry" sounding and thin. Endangered Reign likes to mix up the tempos of their songs to give them dynamics and more variety. Tracks like Endless Maze, Silent Train and the title track Unborn Legacies use quieter clean and acoustic guitar interludes as well as bass interludes to break up the barrage of riffs. Lots of thrash metal styled riffs are found throughout the album but many are not really developed or used to their full potential. Epic metal styles are explored with the track Desert Island and In Due Time, besides having some nice tasteful melodic lead fills, also has more of a melodic edge and catchiness than most tracks on this album. Lead guitarist Brian Newman really lets loose and delivers some nice shredding leads but for the instrumental track Andeas Gryphus (a play on actor Andy Griffith), someone should remind him of the value of root notes when soloing over a quiet clean guitar track. With the relatively simple backing track, it's a wide-open page for any guitarist to let loose with. Instead, he just noodles all over the place and only occasionally offers something that even remotely fits the melody of the song. As I mentioned before, there's lots of places where opening riffs sound pretty good but they are not developed enough and overall even with the thundering heavy sound, there's a real lack of solid memorable riffs. The production is not bad for a self-financed release even though the vocals sound thin and overall there's a boomy quality to the mix. With the promo that Marc sent to me, Endangered Reign has a mission statement and it reads as follows:

"The mission of Endangered Reign is to give the metal faithful the exact music they want to hear. We are dedicated to pure metal and refuse to be swayed by any of the horrible trends that pollute the American airwaves today. We will consistently write awesome songs that are aggressively heavy, melodic, intelligent and original. Our main focus is writing top quality songs without any gimmicks...WE WILL NOT SELL OUT OR DISAPPOINT OUR FANS!!".....amen to that....I wonder if Metallica ever put such a thing in writing years ago???

These guys gets full marks for effort and their dedication in staying true to their metal roots. Being in a band myself, I realize how much work it involves. They do have the one thing that I don't have though...a full-length album of their own music. However, there are many bands around and every city seems to have one like this that releases albums but never really get anywhere. Without some improvement in the song writing and especially the vocals, these guys aren't likely to get noticed above the literally thousands of metal bands out there that are all trying to attract a major label. Endangered Reign look like normal everyday guys and I'm guessing that their music, although very important to them, is more of a hobby. I applaud their efforts in trying to keep more "pure" heavy metal alive and with the name of "Endangered Reign", it symbolizes the threat that exists in the future of heavy metal today. With the title of their latest album being Unborn Legacies, they're peering into the future in hopes of seeing the coming of a new "saviour" who will continue to carry the legacy into generations to come.

Here's a couple of clips from this album via the band's website:

Endless Maze
Unborn Legacies

Killing Songs :
Desert Island and In Due Time
Marty quoted 65 / 100
Other albums by Endangered Reign that we have reviewed:
Endangered Reign - Fractured Reality reviewed by Marty and quoted 70 / 100
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