Legend - Midnight Champion,
Unfortunately, this isn’t the amazing British progressive rock band, nor is it the NWOBHM act, but instead what we have here is a rock outfit from the heart of Reykjavik, Iceland, consisting of Krummi Bjorgvinsson (Minus, Esja) and Halldor "Dori" Bjornsson (Solstafir), as well as live members Frosti Jon Runolfsson and Bjarni Sigurðarson (Minus). Possibly there were no other bands called Legend in Iceland, but choosing a name that is already in use by others is fraught with issues, and by choosing a common word it also makes it hard for this version to gain much traffic though Google. Formed in 2010, they released their debut, ‘Fearless’, on Toronto-based Artoffact Records in 2012, which took album of the year nods from Sonic Seducer and Zillo Magazine as well as high praise from media as diverse as Terrorizer, iTunes, and the Toronto Star, and after plenty of live gigs they have returned with their sophomore release.
Musically this is all over the place, with Krummi Bjorgvinsson’s voice keeping it all together. While the music is industrial and dark electronic, combined with metal, in a way that would be familiar to fans of Trent Reznor’s work, the vocals are far more melodic. Somehow it all manages to make some sort of sense, with pop-like vocal melodies on top of experimental backing. The drums are incredibly important to the sound, with a harsh 4/4 beat keeping it all together, while musically it is rarely vibrant and forcing, reliant totally on the vocals for any signs of life and energy. It is a Yin and Yang album, with the two parts coming together in a way that makes sense, even though on paper it shouldn’t. I did find it quite a hard album to listen to, just because it is so dark in places, and there is a real sense of despondency, but there is no doubting that is intriguing and while the more dance-oriented numbers such as “Time To Suffer” wash right over me it is something I can see appealing to many.