Review: Deathless Legacy – Saturnalia

Deathless Legacy is a horror metal band hailing from Tuscany, Italy. Started back in 2006 as Deathless they changed their name to Deathless Legacy in 2013 due to copyright issues. Initially a DeathSS tribute band they gradually developed in a band that composed material of their own, remaining true to their, and DeathSS’ musical roots. Their musical path lies along the lines of King Diamond, Rob Zombie and, not at all surprising, DeathSS. Quite big shoes to fill, and, quite frankly, those shoes are not only big, but also impossible to fill. It never hurts to try though, which is exactly what Deathless Legacy does. Their first steps on this path were rather disappointing in my opinion, lacking originality and an identity of their own. However, over the years they have shown growth with every one of their four releases, developing a somewhat recognizable, own sound within the rather illusive horror metal genre. As to be more or less expected in this genre its members keep a shroud of mystery around themselves, seeing as their line-up consists of vocalist Steva, drummer Frater Orion, organist/keyboardist Alex van Eden (Alessio Lucatti), guitarist Sgt. Bones and bassist/vocalist C-AG1318 (The Cyborg). Add to this Anfitrite who, together with Steva is responsible for ‘performances’, whatever that may be, and Frater Orion’s extra role as scenographer and the confusion is complete. No matter, as long as the tunes are good I couldn’t care less about names, so let’s get on with it.

After four full-lengths the guys and girls from Deathless Legacy decided it was time to release a one-song rock opera which is accompanied by a black-and-white short film, which sadly wasn’t included in the material I got sent at first. I can imagine it’ll be a nice addition to the music though. Either way, the story tells the tale of the Roman slave Lucius who runs onto the goddess Laverna as he tries to steer clear from the revenge of his master. The story is, as said before, packed into a single song only spanning 24 minutes and the whole is called Saturnalia. Now, composing a rock opera is no small feat, due to the at times insane complexity of the song structure that has to perfectly match the build-up of the opera itself with all its various musical styles. Trying to pack this into this sole 24-minute piece is even more challenging, seems almost impossible, and yet Deathless Legacy pulls it off.

After an easy, almost dreamy start with friendly humming framed by sweet tunes the song takes off in style with a bombastic guitar-and-drum combo which continues in heavy, high-paced fashion with a distinct power metal vibe. The big difference with traditional rock operas is to be found in the vocals. Rather than the more or less usual characteristic high-pitched, somewhat hysterical vocals, Steva’s raw, strong voice brings an awesome new vibe into the song, immediately taking to the next level power-wise. From there on the song gives rise to an intriguing, highly entertaining musical piece with the choruses as a recurring theme. Style-wise there’s much to be found, proving the band has developed quite a bit and on a wide level. This of course also goes for their skills, which have equally improved in my opinion. The implication of all this is that there is room to shine for every single member and every single aspect of Deathless Legacy’s musical spectrum is highlighted. Prog, symphonic, death, power, you name the genre, they deliver. Even the occasional guitar solo makes an appearance. All this is contained within a pleasantly composed, carefully build complex song structure that despite the relatively high amount of turnovers and style changes in such a short time remains coherent and easy to follow at all times. Needless to say I truly, thoroughly enjoyed this release and it’s equally needless to say I highly recommend this. Now, if only I could get my claws on that movie…

And you know what, I actually did. I wasn’t really sure what to expect to be honest, a clip to go along with this complex concept song. Even though this is not even close to being a professional movie, it does add something extra to the song. The story as it unfolds becomes more clear and although there’s probably a lot to be commented on where it comes to both the acting as the editing of this clip, I couldn’t care less. There’s little need to watch this clip to enjoy Saturnalia, none whatsoever even, but if you do get the chance, make sure you do. If anything it’ll help you get the entire concept behind this great song.

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