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In Legend - 'Ballads 'N' Bullets' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c9/e8/8a/1460_InLegendBalladsNBullets_1311359355.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 22, 2011    
 
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A surprisingly strong release with an original slant.

I can't speak for everyone else at this web site but I suspect one or two or our more adventurous souls might get something out of this debut release from German trio In Legend. I'm always up for listening to something a little different, particularly the use of unconventional ways to present rock and metal music through instruments other than the guitar, so in the pioneering spirit of bands like Apocalyptica (cello) and Van Canto (a capella vocal) I give you Berlin's own "piano metal" stars. In Legend are the brainchild of Van Canto drummer Bastian Emig, but in this band it's Dennis Otto who's the drummer, bass is handled by Daniel Wicke, and Emig provides piano and vocals for what he jokingly refers to as "Tori Amos on cocaine!"

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Don't be thinking In Legend has much in common with keyboard-led trios like ELP or UK, their songs are written in the style of modern metal with Emig hammering out the riffs and playing intricate solos over the unmistakably metal drums and bass, along with him having a tuneful and powerful multi-tracked voice. 'Ballads And Bullets' starts particularly strongly with the well-written melodies of 'Heaven Inside' and the superb piano flurries and great harmonies of the thumping 'Pandemonium'. 'Vortex' is another great upbeat song which belts along over an irresistible drumbeat, as do 'Heya' and 'Prestinate'. There's no small amount of variation too, with the stirring melodic closer 'Universe', the pounding bass and big chorus of 'Elekbo' and the beautiful solo piano piece 'Yue', whilst 'Souls Apart' is quite commercial and the semi-operatic 'Stardust' is a duet between Emig and Van Canto's Inga. Some songs have string instruments that don't try to contend with the main trio and are used just as backing, although the breathtaking violin parts on the semi-ballad 'At Her Side' are particularly effective on the slow section before it speeds up.

At fourteen tracks the album is a little bit long and I would have dropped the discordant 'A Hanging Matter' and possibly 'The Healer (incl. Remedy)', and also Bastian Emig sometimes has a strong accent if that puts you off, but 'Ballads And Bullets' is a surprisingly strong release with an original slant. It's too early to see if this approach will soon get old but I'm sure Emig and his cohorts will have something a little different planned for the next one.

Phil Ashcroft

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