Feb 2018 01

Legend - Midnight ChampionLegend
Category: Industrial / Rock / Synthpop
Album: Midnight Champion
Blurb: After a five year hiatus, Legend is back with the follow up to Fearless, and is an improved band in every way.


 

When Legend released Fearless in 2012, it came out of nowhere and caught people by surprise. Krummi Bjorgivins wasn’t known within the industrial and goth genres, having fronted the Icelandic hard rock band Minus since 1998 and the alt. country band Esja in 2008. With the help of keyboardist Halldor Bjornsson, Bjorgivins managed to translate his rock radio voice into the world of dark electronics, the album becoming well loved by critics for its excellent production, unique and well seasoned vocals, and some truly great songwriting. Five years later, we have Midnight Champion, and it is an improvement on every level.

The band disregards the overly long intro on Fearless and jumps straight into the songs with “Cryptid.” Right away, you can tell the differences – the synth work is better, guitar and bass that were largely absent on the previous album are now included, and the songwriting has better hooks. “Cryptid” builds and then crashes into the chorus with pounding drums and vocals that will get stuck in your head. The band continues that trend with the tracks “Frostbite” and “Captive.” Occasionally, the songs will break into a faster tempo like in “Time to Suffer” and “Scars,” which could double as Minus songs if it weren’t for the intricate production and synth work. Bjorgivns showcases his vocals on the ballad “Adrift,” which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Phil Collins record. Midnight Champion takes a dark turn on the titular track, which has a slow buildup of menacing, rhythmic synths that eventually explode into guitars, down-tuned bass, and lyrics about a murder/suicide. The album ends on a decidedly more upbeat song with “Children of the Elements,” which seems downright cheerful by comparison with its chirpy keyboards and lyrics about being “the key to the ocean.”

If Fearless was compared to Depeche Mode, then Midnight Champion feels more like late period Gary Numan with its heavy focus on atmosphere as well as rock and becomes a more cohesive work for it. This album became one of this writer’s favorite albums of 2017 with “Captive” being the highlight. And even though five years is quite awhile to write a follow-up album, Legend makes it up in the quality of the songs and leaves us wanting more.
 
Track list:

  1. Cryptid
  2. Frostbite
  3. Time to Suffer
  4. Adrift
  5. Captive
  6. Midnight Champion
  7. Scars
  8. Liquid Rust
  9. Gravestone
  10. Children of the Elements

 
Legend
Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube
Artoffact Records
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Amazon Vinyl
Bandcamp
Storming the Base CD (Standard)
Storming the Base CD (Deluxe)
Storming the Base Vinyl (Black)
Storming the Base Vinyl (Cream)
 
2017-10-13
 
Douglas Leach (nowandforalltime)

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