North Carolina quartet He Is Legend are set to release their fifth full length album Few worldwide come April 28. And this release is something special for the fans. After wrapping up a lengthy tour across the globe, the boys took some time to lay everything out on the table and announce a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. They agreed if they didn’t reach their goal, the album wouldn’t be released. Quite a risky move on their part. But fans pulled through and showed just how much love there was for the band by reaching 124% of their allocated target. And with that, vocalist Schuylar Croom chose to title the album Few as a nod towards Madame Helena Blavatsky’s occult treasure The Voice of the Silence. She had dedicated it to Few, being the few fans who made what she did matter. A fitting title for the album. He Is Legend have always been more of a cult followed band, a cult following who made this album more than possible. So there really could not be a more appropriate album title.
This time around the guys worked with producer Al Jacobs, owner of Warrior Sounds. Retreating to a cabin in Carrboro, North Carolina, only 20 minutes out from studio Warrior Sounds where they had recorded their two previous albums. The cabin was something straight out of a Bob Ross painting. The snow encased cabin produced no mobile signal and there were no televisions were at their disposal. They spent their nights around a fire drinking wine. Croom says it brought an element of darkness out of him who at the time was dealing with some personal family issues and that the cabin was a pivotal part of the recording.
Opening track Air Raid encapsulates everything and anything that is considered He Is Legend perfectly. This could very well be the most defining He Is Legend song, pulling in all the emotions of their previous albums. The broodiness, the ambiance that sits behind a ballsy chugging riff, Crooms mellow voice transitioning into a very recognisable gritty tone when everything comes crashing to the table. If I wanted to show someone any He Is Legend track for their first listen, I believe I would turn to Air Raid.
There is no holding back when second track Sand introduces itself with four short hits of the drums followed by a plethora of galloping guitars, distorted and raging. We find Croom this time touching in on some more personal issues he has been dealing with in his life and the emotion shows through out the track.
The rest of the album follows suit. The band know how to blend so generously together, working like clockwork, accenting each other in the most quintessential of ways. They know how to lay out an album. Some albums throw themselves in and out of heavy and slow with no logic to the listeners’ needs. This is anything but that. And if there is anything He Is Legend are great at, it’s ending an album on a high. All their albums tend to end on what is usually one of the best tracks on the album. The Gardener is nothing short of this. Starting out about as Sabbath as it gets; the most intense, doomy and brooding riff. The track continues on a dark road. Melodically it pulls you to the exit as the song fades out perfectly. You’re left with silence and the overwhelming feeling to wind back to Air Raid and start all over again.
The bands’ last two albums It Hates You and Heavy Fruit undoubtedly saw the band tighten and define their sound to a more uniformed and mature level. But when you hear Few for the first time you can’t deny what this album is, the perfect combination of their best work.