Epic, Pittsburgh traditional metal power trio Legendry recently let slip their third full-length concept album within a four-year span, The Wizard and the Tower Keep telling a harrowing, musical fantasy tale of virtue challenging evil in a far-off land that time has forgotten.
The album begins with an earnest medieval folk tune and never looks back, its Manilla Road aspirations effectively filling a void left by the death of that band’s key member Mark Shelton, and he is done proud by Legendry captain Vidarr The Silent, who is anything but quiet. His elegant, mature, storytelling, mystical NWOBHM vocals favorably call up long-lost acts such as Gaskin on tracks like the galloping, Hammerfall-ish and mighty “Vindicator” while Faithful Breath and Uli Jon Roth rear their influential heads on the title track.
Celtic touches brush “Sorcery’s Bane” with gold mined by Skyclad as the staccato Judas Priest-meets-Savage of “Behind The Summoner’s Seal” bears the group’s fangs for those who would doubt their power. “Earthwarrior” brings the album to a triumphant finale complete with introspective acoustic flourishes and Heavy Load vs. Mahogany Rush pyrotechnics.
The only time I ever caught Manilla Road was when Legendry (and Lady Beast) opened for them two Autumns ago at The Smiling Moose, and even then I had a vague sense that it would not only be my only encounter with the headliner but that these local openers would keep their flame burning when Valhalla beckoned.
Legendry, Mark Shelton looks down on thee from the Golden Hall, and he is pleased. Carry on, young crusaders. Carry on. Such is your destiny.