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He is Legend and Destroy the Runner…

Posted on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 @ 8:45am » permalink

He is Legend - Suck Out the PoisonWhat the hell!? I can remember a few years ago when I first heard North Carolina's He is Legend they were a somewhat jumbled metalcore band that I thought had potential, but they couldn't seem to decide what they were going for. Well, I haven't heard any of their releases between then and now, but somewhere along the line they clearly made their decision, because they've tossed out a lot of extraneous influences and (thankfully) abandoned all traces of generic metalcore, because there's basically nothing but heavy, metallic rock to be had here. "Suck Out the Poison" is the band's latest Solid State full-length, dropping 14 tracks in damn near an hour, and it's pretty fuckin' good, too. It's sort of a unique blend of influences they've got going on. There's a little bit of grit and sludge happening in terms of both the riffing style and the tonality of the recording, but there's also a lot of melody in there, which makes for both some catchy elements and some dissonant sort of post-hardcore textures. Vocally I don't mind the screams that pop up from time to time, but the dude's got a great singing voice, and the character of his delivery really works well with the overall vibe of the songwriting. I have to say, though, despite the rock-based nature of the material, it's not what I would call straightforward, because there's a lot of diversity happening, and you can pick out a lot of little layers where there's some experimenting going on with different sounds and textures to spice things up, so… they've shed the excess, but they haven't necessarily stripped down, you know? I'm stunned by the growth these cats have undergone since those early days. Good stuff.

He is Legend "Dixie Wolf (The Seduction Of…)"
He is Legend "Stampede"

As always, downloading is a load o' crap, so make the purchase if you're into the tracks:

@ Solid State
@ RevHQ
@ Very Distribution

Destroy the Runner - Saints"Saints", the debut full-length from San Diego's Destroy the Runner, may be a fairly typical dose of modern metalcore, but what can I say? I've tended to be a general fan of the quality of the Solid State roster and visual aesthetic over the years, and I dig this album. Screaming and clean singing? Yep, yep. Some chunky riffing that never really sheds the melody? Of course. Super polished dual guitar melodies that are a little more Iron Maiden than In Flames? Indeed… fuckin' tons of 'em. Like I said, it's nothing original, and I wouldn't exactly spin this on a regular basis, but for the most part I like it, and I could see these kids doing something a little more powerful/creative down the line based on the overall quality of their riffs/musicianship. As with all such bands they could stand for a little more diversity, though oddly enough on rare occasion I have to admit that when they branch out there are relatively mild elements of the songwriting here that sort of feel too pristine in terms of leaning towards a huge, almost major label-sounding kind of heavy alternative radio rock or something, which is sort of weird since I don't really get that vibe from the overall album. Part of that association probably stems from the nature of the recording, which is pretty damn slick (and I like that), I don't know. It's a decent record, though. And as always from the Solid State camp the layout looks ridiculously great, so I've gotta throw that in there.

Destroy the Runner "My Darkness"
Destroy the Runner "Thoughts in Reverse"

If you like it, buy it:

@ Solid State
@ RevHQ
@ Very Distribution

4 Comments...

  1. Dunamis says:

    Compare Thoughts In Reverse with As I Lay Dying's Confined. It starts out just like a rewrite.

  2. Adrianoso says:

    I remember when I fiirst heard He Is Legend's album "I am Hollywood" and I it was strange cuz there were maybe only three songs that just blew me away. (The Seduction being one of them and this new version is even better, I think) However, the rest of the cd was jus TOO melodic for me so I was kinda torn on em but this new shit sounds like they've finally meshed their rocked out style nicely. Kudos.

  3. Adrianoso says:

    ….as for Destroy the Runner. bleh. too generic for me. I'm actually a lil disappointed. and that "breakdown" in "My Darkness" are you serious? I mean I swear it feels like I've heard this type of stuff way too much especially here in SD. I'm not saying they arent talented but….nothing special.

  4. Good call on the He Is Legend – that 90125 CD was great, I gotta pick this one up.

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