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Deathless Legacy - The Gathering Award winner

Deathless Legacy
The Gathering
by Anton Sanatov at 04 April 2016, 12:44 PM

You know you've pulled something special out of the goodie-bag when it makes you smile like a hyena on mescaline. Allow me to elaborate… The metal world is a pretty sombre place - crows, axes, pentagrams, sacrificial rituals…goat blood - and when those amps begin to buzz we don't fuck around, we are committed to the paradigm shift and go the distance, for this is a genre of hardcore principles. Yet it is often that metal bands get too committed to the hard-edged formula and forget to take a peak through the looking glass and try something spectral; to sprinkle a pinch of fairy dust across the battle honed blade. Granted that there are a lot of experimental offerings out there, but a niche is the direction of the brave, and there are a lot of bands that undertake a particular eclectic direction only to finds themselves in over their heads and end up backing down and producing a standard product with only a few superficial adjustments; choosing the safer route in order to find their way home. DEATHLESS LEGACY, on the other hand, have made a complete trip down the rabbit hole and scourged the wonderland on their own terms with their latest offering "The Gathering". So draw the crimson curtain and get Alice an Ambien, for this is one hell of a fairy tale.

I can safely say that this band knows what they are doing. This is what you call entertainment. "The Gathering" is not only unique but it is truly a finely crafted, mature record; a feat not easily achieved given its quirky essence. Sometimes when a band attempts to blend theatricality with metal, one of the sides ends up in tragic suffering. Yet on "The Gathering", the infusion of the band's horror/symphonic touch is well adjusted and unforced. The playful hooks and storytelling verses are matched by some fine grade metal instrumentation and tracks such as "Phantom Manor", "Tiamat" and "Smash Your Idols" are just some of the tracks that induce images of circle pits at a venetian ball; corseted beauties in throes of head-banging and baroque composers swinging on golden chandeliers. Much of the praise undeniably goes to vocalist Steva, who is truly the diva of this production. I believe that this is what Sandra Nasic of GUANO APES would sound like if she landed a role in Wicked. Steva is phenomenal; her energetic delivery truly brings the songs alive, and the raspy contour of her voice slices through the verses smooth as razor blades before opening up the pipes for the choruses. Fantastic performance. And although the fine job done by the entire instrumental band can only be matched by the dapper production, the contribution of Alex van Eden (Alessio Lucatti) on keyboards should simply be credited as divine, for its sets a new benchmark for symphonic metal.

I could start digging and picking bones - every record is prone to an exhumation - but I'm not going to. For what DEATHLESS LEGACY have managed to do with these songs is retain all the staples of a solid metal album whilst doing something different and fun at the same time, and that is truly admirable. From the squealing welcome of the pinch harmonics in "Circus of the Freaks" - which brought on the first two smiles of my review  - to the rockabilly influenced boogie of "Wolfgirl" and "Skeleton Swing", "The Gathering" is a record that you don't often come across. No, it's not for everyone, but if you're a Tim Burton fan, a creature from some bizarre musical lagoon or a zombie pin-up that wakes up to the sound of the HORRORPOPS, this is sure to be your next gig.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. The Gathering (Intro)
2. Circus Of The Freaks
3. Phantom Manor
4. Baal
5. Wolfgirl
6. Tiamat
7. The Tomb
8. The Graveyard
9. The Dove Has Died
10. Smash Your Idols
11. Skeleton Swing
Steva – Vocals, Performances
Frater Orion (The Necromancer)  - Drums, Scenography
Sgt. Bones – Guitar
C-AG1318 (The Cyborg) – Bass, Vocals
Alex van Eden (Alessio Lucatti) – Keyboard
The Red Witch – Performances
Anfitrite – Performances
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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Edited 06 December 2021

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