After a five-year hiatus from songwriting, North Carolina sludge-rock quintet He Is Legend craft an unusually satisfying blend of styles on their fourth album, building on their previous records. “No Visitors” starts the album off with a bang, with powerful melodic choruses spliced between groovy southern riffs. This dynamic recurs throughout ‘Heavy Fruit,’ and what stands out is how well the band executes each of these seemingly disparate elements. Their sludge sections are as good as they come, but what really makes He Is Legend’s sound unique is their penchant for writing colorful, emotional melodies and harmonies that somehow manage to complement the heavy-hitting core. While some might compare the band’s alchemy to Mastodon, it’s more accurate to say that He Is Legend is exploring novel musical territory. Their melodicism seems to take influences from many styles—grunge, emo, and post-hardcore among them—but never sounds forced amid heavier elements. “This Will Never Work” features a soaring vocal harmony chorus that’s followed by a pummeling hard-rock riff. “Time To Stain” starts as what seems like a token acoustic ballad, but builds into powerful, cathartic rock song. Overall, ‘Heavy Fruit’ is a impressively consistent record that fans of heavy music should absolutely check out. DAVID McKENNA
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