After too much time (the release date was scheduled 12.31.99), and after having overcome some personal problems, Saviour Machine introduces us the first delivery of the third part of the "unofficial soundtrack of the end of the world", the most pretentious conceptual project in the history of music.
After an impressive "Legend I" (97) and a disconcerting "Legend II" (98), overproduced and with a very dense sound, my expectations on this new album were certainly contradictory. The fact that Michael Waneger (Accept, Metallica, Scorpions) has helped Eric Clayton (voice, piano, composer, etc.) in mastering, mixing and producing this CD, and the collaboration of Carljohan Grimmark (of the boring Narnia) playing the guitars, only contributed to increase my fears.
I shouldn´t have been worried. "Legend III:I" is, up to now, the most mature and varied CD of the band. Perhaps I´m wrong, but I think Clayton should have listened a lot of progressive rock in order to compose this CD The sound is clean and clear, sounding the orchestral shades and chorus in a crystalline way. In the 78:35 minutes (almost the limit) of "Legend III:I" and the eighteen tracks are moments for all tastes. Delicate pianos that precede and are mixed with epic instrumental storms with the powerful voice of Clayton taking control, sometimes with the compassionate tone of a tormented prophet, sometimes with the violent tone of an implacable angel of God. And when I speak about epic poetry I mean Epic Poetry... an epic heiress of Basil Poledouris, not of Blind Guardian, which is appreciated in great songs like "Twelve hundred sixty days", "Image of the beast", "Antichrist III: The king of Babylon", "Two witnesses", or "The plague of the darkness". Also Saviour Machine continues composing its habitual songs with Arabesque flavors, although with some more imaginative guitars ("Revelation 13", "Abomination of desolation" - why does its riff remind me to "Five Miles Out"?), and, of course, those wonderful and delicate songs full of keyboards and mysterious flavor (the Floydian-like "The ancient serpent"; the cold beauty of "The final holocaust", with some startling angelical choirs; the shiny "Three angels"; or the martial and orchestral "The sixth judgment" and "The dead sea"). As usual in Saviour Machine CDs, the last two tracks are the epic poetry taken to the paroxysm, with "The fall of Babylon" and, mainly, with "The end of the age". And the whole CD is sprinkled, like it should be, with musical references from the first two parts.
With this review I don´t say that you have to buy this CD blindly. The world of the progressive rock is varied and we are many progheads with different tastes. I simply recommend you this CD if you want to listen to an extremely epic band (although so much epic poetry can sometimes tire certain listeners), as epic as any movie of Cecil B. of Mille, as baroque as any movie of Milos Forman. Without a doubt, this is "The unofficial soundtrack of the end of the world", a great backing sound when you´re watching any classic film. In one year the band will release "Legend III:II" and they will definitely disbanded. You can love or hate this CD, but I´m sure you won´t consider it as "another CD".