The title “Ballads ‘n’ Bullets” immediately brings to mind some kind of cheesy hair metal compilation album that advertises on late night television. Something populated with tracks by Winger and Slaughter and Warrant; the sort of advertisement that causes you to cringe and repress memories from the 80s.
Luckily for me, and everyone else, it’s not that type of album. As it turns out, In Legend gave me something completely new and original for my listening pleasure. In Legend is comprised of lead piano, bass, drums and vocals. It’s sort of a metal band, but one without any guitars. As described by Bastian Emig, the man on piano, it sounds like “Tori Amos on cocaine.”
What initially brought them to my attention was the fact that Bastian was the drummer for Van Canto, an a capella band that performs covers of metal songs as well as original material. All their music, other than the drums, is performed vocally. So the guitar parts, bass parts, whatever, are all replaced with voice. It’s really pretty amazing. So when I heard this was Bastian’s band I wanted to know more.
Other than the piano replacing the guitar the music of In Legend is put together fairly normal. Some tracks are definitely ballad material, while others the piano keys crash so hard along with double bass drums that it’s hard to call it anything but metal. If nothing else the attitude is metal. The vocals as I recall were pretty much all clean strong singing, giving many of the songs an epic feel.
It’s hard for me to say whether this will get much repeat play with me. On one hand it’s a little niche and novelty, but on the other it’s pretty catchy too. I really like Van Canto, but it’s not something I would put on when I’m looking to rock out, you know? I don’t know, this might get a little more regular play.