I can’t rightly think, off the top of my head, of any metal bands from South Korea I’m familiar with. At least not any black metal bands. Here to rectify that is the unassumingly named Sad Legend.
If I only heard the name or had only seen the cover art I’d likely not have imagined the black metal majesty contained within. Like I said based on visuals alone, it’s rather unassuming, but as soon as you hit play it’s clear you’re in for a blasting ride.
But it’s not just straight forward black metal. While Sad Legend fall more into the “symphonic” black metal category, particularly the slightly more gothic or theatrical side of it, the music is varied and unique. First off, this album is melodic as fuck. Killer riffing. Killer fucking melodic, addicting riffing. The symphonic parts are played up throw most of the album but peppered through out are the duel vocals, one a screeching black metal vocal and another a more folkish, bellowing clean vocals, which typically brings with it some more folkish musical aspects as well as lighter, or more “airy” song writing qualities. There’s parts that remind me of those operatic goth bands like Nightwish, or the over the top folk metal theatrics of bands like Ensiferum, but also the fog filled, castle corridor black metal sounds of early Marduk. Those are all mashed into some furious, Swedish like, melodic black metal songs. It’s eclectic for sure, with a bit of weirdness because wouldn’t you expect a black metal band from South Korea to be at least a little bit weird?
Suffice to say, it’s a fucking killer of an album so you should probably listen to it.