The Dutch metal duo Legendarium is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Laurence Kerbov and Stefano Vaccari, who is also the drummer of the Italian prog band Prophexy. Their third release Reign In Repose is a full-on concept album with every song telling a different part of the central story. The style harks back to the early to mid-1980s where metal, punk, horror and hardcore stood hand in hand to produce music that was raw, aggressive and pure. The different styles suit the stages of the story as the album progresses from its lively intro to its punky opening chapters; its dramatic midsection to the battle and beyond.
Breaking The Seal acts as a prelude to the story and a taste of things to come. It has a real chugging 80’s style metal riff although at times it sounds like The 69 Eyes with less deep vocals. The guitar and keyboards really compliment each other, this is particularly evident on the midsection solo. The opening chapter of Reign In Repose is the calm before the storm.
A dark punk heart
Antidote to Sanity kickstarts straight in without any type of intro with a Misfits style rhythm. It is the bolt that’s needed as the metal from the previous song gives way to solid horror punk. The vocals even turn into a Morrissey like warble every so often. The melodic solo is unexpected but works and The Legion of the Damned lyrics compliment the music. Lifeless, Bloodless drops the mood for the briefest of moments with its slow bass line before it turns into 21st Century pop-punk. Fun goth lyrics about cemeteries and the like are mixed with an Alkaline Trio broodiness that makes for a light filling to the punk sandwich. Master Of Destruction steps up the tempo and delivers a short slab of melodic hardcore. The playing is superb and a lot of fun, reminiscent of Earth A.D. era Misfits.
A Flame In The Night brings the midsection of the album back to old school metal. A fine riff is a heartbeat to its dark melody. The metal continues with Eternal Annihilator. The fast pounding headbanging beat does not let up during this three-minute blast along that is reminiscent of Tank. When we hear the first plucking folky chords of Death March we know we are at a turning point in the story. We get big deep desert rock riffs that turn into a full-on stoner epic; think of Kyuss with funeral keys.
Into the battle
As we approach the closing chapters the album takes another relevant sidestep. The King Is Dead, Long Live The King is battle metal with an upbeat emo heart that acts as a prelude for Gleaming Steel. Gleaming Steel with its dark merciful release lyrics feels like an epic prog conclusion condensed into a battle metal fable with a spoken word narration by Matthew Wade. This is far removed from the album’s early punchy punky chapters and suits the finale. For the epilogue, we get Into The Black. The added vocals beef up the sound on what is the most danceable track on the album. It rocks with attitude and is a fine closer to Reign In Repose, an album that takes us on a forty-minute ride through a bloody battle laced with gothic horror.
Reign in Response is available to buy from 09.10.2020 from https://legendarium.bandcamp.com/ and available to stream from all major platforms.
1.Breaking the Seal, 2.Antidote to Sanity, 3.Lifeless, Bloodless, 4.Master of Destruction, 5.A Flame in the Night, 6.Eternal Annihilator, 7.Death March, 8. The King Is Dead, Long Live the King, 9.Gleaming Steel,10. Into the Black
Laurence Kerbov – Voice, guitars, bass, keyboards
Stefano Vaccari – Drums
Matthew Wade – Narration