Greetings, dear adventurer! If you, like I, spend entirely too music time traipsing the hallowed halls of metal twitter, you are undoubtedly familiar with the work, wit, and glorious flowing locks of one Laurence Kerbov, the face of Legendarium.
If you aren't familiar, prepare to get acquainted real damn quick.
Legendarium plays heavy metal for heartfelt fans of heavy metal. In other words, this two-man crew reliably delivers the expected sonic goods alongside a jubilantly old-school ethos. Their projects never shy away from the overtly nerdy fascinations of yore--sword and sorcery is a common theme, and the profoundly epic nature of his influences shine through across every album released thusfar. As I wrote in regards to 2020's Reign in Repose, "Legendarium plays good ol' heavy metal with a healthy tinge of jubilant punky bounce...a highly melodic affair, with an emphasis on fun riffage, triumphant solos, and narrative cohesion." The forthcoming Under the Spell of Destruction, out this Friday, mirrors yet improves upon this winning formula in every way, resulting in an album that demonstrates a consistent evolution in both technical proficiency and compelling songcraft.
We're honored and pleased to present here today the excellent title track. Give it a listen below, and, as always, we'll meet ye on the other side!
Much like previous singles "Live at the End of Time" and "Fear and Loathing in Hell," this track features a menagerie of head-bopping riffs that remain both timeless and grin-inducingly earnest. Despite the triumphant guitar, there's a melancholic undertone that defines this era of Legendarium, and that juxtaposition is very nice to see. The vocal delivery, which is becoming pretty trademark at this stage, maintains the wavery crooniness of previous efforts, but demonstrates a confidence I've been awaiting. I'm reminded of the vocal stylings of Purification, and while this style certainly wouldn't work with every band, it works increasingly well for Legendarium.
"Under the Spell of Destruction" is a prime exemplar of Legendarium's strongest suit: the ability to write traditional metal songs that balance earwormy hookiness with intriguing composition. This track is willing to shake it up at the drop of a hat, featuring a series of distinct motifs before leaning into a very elegant acoustic passage that lends a little levity. Punky intensity and nostalgia-derived comfort are both factors, and though seemingly distinct qualities, they remain well-moderated. The last minute or so demonstrates Legendarium at full prowess--that beautiful moment where everything kicks into high gear and gallop towards the climactic solo is pure heavy metal gold, plain 'n' simple.
This is a beast of a track heralding the arrival of an equally beastly album. Give "Under the Spell of Destruction" another well-deserved spin, play it loud, and prepare thyself accordingly for the album's full release this Friday. Pre-order for a ridiculously fair price here!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.