Legend - Cardinal Points


Legend
Cardinal Points
(NoFish Productions NF CD3)


Fifteen years after Tripal Aspect Legend finally released a new studio album called Cardinal Points. Legend excists since 1988 and between 1991 and 1996 three albums were released on the Pagan Media Ltd lable. With the loss of their recording contract in 1999 Legend disappeared into oblivion, at the very moment they were in the advantage stage of the inclusion of Cardinal Points. Ten years later Steve Paine, the founder member and keyboardist of Legend, picks up were they left and the collection Ritual Echo and the live album Playing With Fire, a registration of their 1992 tour, are released in Japan, a country Legend always has been better known then in England. And finally Cardinal Points is released. A conceptalbum of only four tracks dealing with the four wind directions and their relation to the elements (earth, air, fire and water) of the Western mysticism. They have a varied length of thirteen to seventeen minutes and are characteristized, besides folk and progressive rock, by a wide range of styles like new age, metal, hardrock, spacerock and gothic.
Singer Debbie Chapman has been replaced by Kerry Parker who has one hell of a voice, which compared to her predecessor is very strong in the lower range and resembles a comparison with Máire Brennan. Each piece has its highlights: the magnificent opening of Carved In Stone with flute and didgeredoo in which Parker through her singing seems to ask the other instruments to participate in the song, the new age / ambient centerpiece with oriental slant in Whisper On The Wind the complexity in Spark To A Flame with strong organ and an unprecedented guitar solo by Dave Foster at the end, the strong vocals of Parker in Drop In The Ocean, she's sounds a bit like Panic Room's Anne-Marie Helder, and the beautiful acoustic interlude on guitar and flute. Actually, each song is a series of strong breaks, tempo nuances and changes in atmosphere and style, where you, the listener, are never bored or have the idea that parts are only added as padding. Fifteen years between two albums is a long time but Cardinal Points therefore has become a growing diamond and the best that Legend has delivered so far.

Tracklist:

Carved In Stone
Whisper On The Wind
Spark To A Flame
Drop In The Ocean

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