Written by Barlovv
Legendarium – Death’s Hand in Yours
> Released December 9
“Death’s hand in yours
The final descent
Down the drowned steps
You walk to your end
I’m going to be totally honest here, I worried—at first—that Legendarium and I might not vibe and almost didn’t write this review. There is something in the mix that just wasn’t working for me, and I will talk about that, but here’s the thing: Death’s Hand in Yours is an absolute fucking blast, and a good reminder to me to ruminate on the albums that I listen to a bit more. Gut reaction does tend to take over when time is as short as it is and there is as much music as there is, but here we are and Legendarium’s new effort is a genuinely pleasant thing and one I had a really positive experience with. So, let’s get into it.
Let’s get into exactly what my fucking problem is first shall we? Initially, I felt a disconnect between the vocals and the instruments. The instrumental pieces are crisp and huge where the vocals felt a bit more lo-fi and almost didn’t compliment the instrumentals in the way I wanted them to. This is either a stylistic choice or a limitation in recording, but what I’m here to tell you after a few runs of this album, and continuing to listen to it while I write this review, is that I was wrong. It works, it just fucking works. I will say I prefer the clean vocal performance on this album, but that’s more about me than anything else.
So just how wrong was I when I didn’t think me and Legendarium would vibe?
Extremely fucking wrong.
First off, Legendarium’s instrumentals are fucking exceptional. The guitar work alone on this record deserves all of the accolades you can throw its way. Death’s Hand absolutely shreds from start to finish, and it’s one of the few times I’ve felt myself get pumped up by solos. Laurence Kerbov shows themself to be a musical virtuoso, delivering rock solid performances on guitar, bass, keys, and providing the vocals. With Stefano Vaccari on drums, and Jared Archon guesting on the fucking saxophone, this thing is teeming with talent and it leaves it all on the record. The album is high-energy from start to finish and sets a tone matched by that goddamn excellent cover art.
Something that really comes through here on top of all of that, is that it is so clear to me that this album was fun to make. Sometimes you can just sense the energy that came from creating a project, and this album radiates a kind of joy and fun that I didn’t realize I was missing until I heard it. With so many explicitly political albums being extremely good but extremely depressing, you kind of lose sight of the fun that can come from an album. Sometimes you just want a bit of fantasy powerdeath in your life to take the edge off and sometimes you don’t know that is what you want until you put it into your headphones.
Death’s Hand joins the latest from Darkthrone in the “albums I wasn’t sure I was going to connect with and holy shit did I ever connect with them and thank god I went for it” category of 2022 releases; which I realize is very specific but who are you to criticize my internal categorization process? The joy and fun that comes from this really does go along way, there’s an almost wholesomeness to it, which really feels incongruent with the themes and even some of the lyrics. “Blind fury consumes my mind, but they have not seen the last of me” doesn’t exactly paint a picture of my feel good album of the year, but I mean, here we are.
At this point, I’m likely to just start repeating myself so lets just wrap this up here with a hearty recommendation and a polite nod to Legendarium for brightening my spirits at the end of a particularly shitty week – thanks folks, it is much (MUCH) appreciated.
THE BOTTOM LINE
2022 has been long, dark, dour, and hard to get through. We need to find some light in that, in particular as we stare down the impending nightmare that 2023 is likely to be. So if you can end the year with some fun and maybe forget what’s happening around us for a bit, then maybe you’ll get out of Legendarium what I did. Maybe not, but I think it’s worth a shot—plus the band themselves are based as hell, so that should count for something too.