Monday, July 8, 2019

Legacy Black album out on July 12th, 2019

Previously this publication began a commentary on Legacy Black's debut album. If you already read the earlier commentary, please scroll down and see the new part--the final part for songs 3, 4 and 5--that begins after the third picture down below. Thanks.
Legacy Black
Legacy Black
July 12th, 2019
Legacy Black: Legacy Black July 12th, 2019 1.Legacy Black (3:25) 2.While All Along (7:15) 3.Mary (9:32) 4.Current State (5:24) 5.The Winter of My Discontent (11:46) total time 37 minutes
Legacy Black (Chicago, U.S.A.) issues its self-titled five-song 37-minute album. The band is Donovan Torres on bass guitar, Juan Cardenas on drums, Joyce Jenkins on keyboards and vocals, and Clint Davis on guitar and lead vocals. This publication just received the album a couple of days ago. The existence of this band, while perhaps no mystery to the fans in Chicago that have witnessed the shows long before there ever was a recording, was not clear, when seen from a long distance here in the Seattle area. Was this a tribute band? Was it a covers-only band? It wasn’t until the answer came straight from the horse’s mouth that, no, this is new and original compositions and they were working on an album. In addition, supposedly the singer was Clint Davis who, despite making music and being in bands for some two decades (maybe longer), had never been a lead vocalist, only a guitarist. However, the drummer Cardenas, a musician that has done work with Davis in a couple of other bands, has known for a long time that Davis can sing and has been putting a bug in Davis’ ear to finally do lead vocals. Cardenas apparently knew Davis’ dirty little secret: that he sings rather well. Still, the band, despite playing shows in the Chicago area, had posted exactly jack squat online for non-Chicago people to hear. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. It seemed like you had to contact secret sources in Chicago to find out what the deal was.
Until now. The summer of 2019. While still working through it all, let’s see the first song called "Legacy Black." The guitar tone is ear-friendly traditional heavy rock that just about all metal fans will recognize and be comfortable with, and it features a big riff that demands hearing it again. This one is a show-opening type of song. Relatively short, and ear-friendly big-riff music. The song is very likable, with some proggy keyboards, with a classic rock feel. The singing? It’s a very attractive singing voice that stays on the strengths of the male voice; a voice that projects, and not thin, not nasal, not high, not weak but rather robust while still melodic. The Legacy Black drummer Cardenas was right all along. Davis has an appealing rock voice. Well, now, if this is any indication of the rest of the album, then we’re about to be pleasantly surprised by an accessible adult contemporary metal album that metal moms and dads are going to enjoy, and be ok playing in the minivan while driving the kids to the ballet, kickboxing and lethal combat classes, in an effort to indoctrinate the children into metal music.
2.“While All Along” is the song that they streamed online in advance on May 24th. Lyrically, it seems like a story about the I-know-it-all fool finally understanding that they know way less than they used to think they did. Musically, the band might have chosen to make it available for advance listening as an illustration of the ideas of Legacy Black, as both classic-rock adult contemporary metal music that is listener-friendly, and as a band that works with prog elements by spicing up songs with some variety. This song is a pleasant listening experience; it’s not meant to shock you or to blow up your anger but to make people reflect and sing. Let’s look at two questions: (A) Is this a ballad?, and (B) What genre is Legacy Black?
You can tap your toes or bob your head; it’s not a headbanging tune. It is classic-rock bluesy, melancholic melodic metal, but this is not some hokey, contrived ballad calculated to imitate some 1980s cheesy model. It’s not a ballad. The song is progressive, blues-based rock, but interpreted through the skills of longtime Chicago metal musicians like Davis and Cardenas, and their friends Jenkins and Torres, without pressure to prove that they are metal because that’s what they have been for decades. The band is working with other emotions besides the usual stereotypes of raging anger, shouting contests, animal noise exercises, shredding abilities, look-at-me vocals, speed or heaviness competitions. It’s not about showing off but about letting the emotions show in the music. If you take Davis’ and Cardenas’ longtime love of metal music, as musicians and fans, when added together comes to some 50 years (maybe longer, actually) drawing from the classics of the genre, and also from other genres, that range from the 1970s to the present day. An open-minded listen will go a long way towards allowing the song to make sense.
3.With “Mary” the band kicks up the classic rock-prog metal another notch. The lyrics are completely intelligible; no screaming, no shouting, just a band relaying some hard lessons from life. The song goes from a folky/acoustic feel to electric prog metal and then back to the mellower part. In the mellower segment you can hear echoes that perhaps may recall the prog metal/rock inspirations, and the electric part offers a good contrast so that the song is not a one-mood track. Musically, due to the smooth instrumentation and nice vocal melodies, it is another ear-friendly, melancholic song should be liked by people who are not uptight about metal music definitions, genres and rules.
4. “Current State.” With the sound of Legacy Black the 1970s get bundled up into the 1990s for a multi-layered new century roll. The sound of blues-based heavy rock hooks up through a time wormhole with progressive metal, the headspace might be the 1970s United States/Britain and just easily post-1995 Sweden, all coming from Chicago. Despite the consistency of this particular track as a song, there are some things that you will need to hear for yourself to feel it. For instance, the beginning of the song will take you to a place in the 1970s that, with 99.99% certainty, no metal band has ever taken you. When you hear it, it’s going to tell you something good. It’s not weird because this is not a weirdo band, but it’s different, in a good way. As the song goes on, it kicks up into heavier territory, for another interesting balance.
5.“The Winter of My Discontent.” We were saying that Legacy Black goes to a bunch of different headspaces and this last song might just throw you for another loop. After the previous song, the progressive death metal feel of the start of the song is a bit of a jolt. However, there is no growling vocals as might be expected, and this keeps the melodic singing as a consistent vocal style for the duration of the album. Anyway, once again, 1974 melts into 2001 into 2019, and it’s interesting to try to piece the timeline together, but it’s best to forget the puzzle, save yourself the headache, and just enjoy the song.
The band is melodic and progressive, but they do not want happy/poppy songs. Melancholy is as close to uplifting as it’s going to get, is how the band likes to explain the music. The music is recognizable as progressive metal in a general way, but it’s still substantially different from whatever expectations or images the term might conjure up. At any rate, all will be revealed on July 12th, 2019.

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