Full of longing and darkness, few will make you feel like you are alone in a cabin in the woods with nothing but the creeks of the timber and the howl of the wolf to keep you company. Lonely and afraid, you search for a source of light deep in the murky, winter forest. Though alone, you sense a presence amongst you; That presence being the ever-looming, hard-hitting, monstrous He Is Legend, who guide you throughout their storyline and around their every twist and turn. Their discography has been one of melancholy, lore, and tension, but none are quite as inclusive as few, which binds 13 years of He Is Legend into one suspenseful, thrilling record. Like the best of horror movies, He Is Legend’s upcoming release will haunt you long after its end.
Menacingly rolling in is the album’s opener, “Air Raid”, which forms into an unstoppable avalanche once the chorus kicks in. Apocalyptic and meteoric, “Air Raid” portrays perfectly the fury of the Earth, who is fed up with the human race that lives upon it. Lyrically, this track compares humans to a sickness, making it one of He Is Legend’s most political efforts as well as one of their most eye-opening and profound creations to date. Following is “Sand”, which carries on with the same drive as its predecessor with Schuylar Croom’s timbre, gritty tone emoting every word, “We’re aware that you’re scared, But uncertainty’s always nine tenths of the fun”. He sings the lyric as if he’s begging someone not to leave. That intention and emotion really breaks through in his delivery, which is only further intensified by the urgency of the music flooding around him. We’ve already heard “Sand” and “Air Raid” earlier in the year as single releases, but hearing them in succession on few gives them a whole new impact.
Carrying on with a funkier feel is “Beaufort”, which stands out on few due to its unique and forward personality. It’s a track that not only knows how to break down, but also how to groove. Chilling melodies add another dimension, eerily humming out over the calming, consistent rhythm of the drums and guitar. A solo wails out on “Beaufort”, hitting all those feel good notes and sending the track off into one final explosive chorus. All of these elements combine to create one of the most eclectic tracks on few. Ringing out with a more somber tone is “Silent Gold”, which starts of gently, tip-toeing softly into your ears, only to suddenly drop down into a crawling breakdown that leaves you trudging through a swamp, much like those heard on Suck Out the Poison.
Soon after, Alley Cat will have you howling at the moon as one of the most southern fried, gritty tracks on few. It gallops and wails as Schuylar cries out, “This will all be over soon”. Ending triumphantly with one glorious, “Yeah”, transitioning it flawlessly into “Jordan”, which is heavy as all get out. The guitars feed off of the fury of the drums, creating one of the most sonically impressive moments on few. It features some of the heaviest parts we’ve heard since “Stampede”. With perhaps the best opening on the record is “Eastern Locust”. It is here that Schuylar features a wide range of his vocal capabilities from the more silvery, upper register as he sings, “I’m the shivers down your spine” to a deeper, more theatrical vibrato as the song dives down into darker territory. The track builds flawlessly as it takes you through a series of highs and lows. The best parts, however, are those twangy riffs as the dual power of Tanbouz and Desloge rips through you. This is one of He Is Legend’s most diverse tracks to date, making it one of the most innovative and powerful listens on few.
Summing up few is the doom-filled and sludgy, “The Garden”, which cracks open the Earth around you. Paired again with haunting background melodies that dance amongst the chaos that is ensuing around them. An atmospheric, wah-infused guitar solo trails off, sending us all back into the night. This time unafraid of the darkness. They said this was an album for their fans, and they were right. It celebrates everything that rocks about He Is Legend by weaving together elements from every single chapter of their career, spinning one giant, elaborate web that is sure to capture anyone who listens to it.
few is releasing on April 28th via Spinefarm Records. For those of you who haven’t picked up your copy, make sure you pick up this banger of a record here.
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