FOREFATHER has evolved into one of the absolute killer bands of the Pagan Metal genre. By the time “Legends Untold” was released, though, they were still a very new band. This recording is a compilation album that consists of demo versions of “Deep Into Time” songs and demo songs that would later be included on “The Fighting Man”. (Then there is the previously unreleased “The Fyrdmen Cometh”, “These Lands II”, which has been used as bonus track on “Deep Into Time” re-releases, and a synth version of the “Deep Into Time” song “Ancient Voice”.) Even though FOREFATHER are far from their later melodic brilliance on this release, the signs of what is to come are there. The drum machine alternates between blastbeats and usual mid-paced Metal drumming. Guitars and bass play and riff along to this with a Black Metal tone to them. A certain folk-tinged sound is present throughout the record, tough, and that is what mainly separates it from Black Metal. The main evolution from this material to their later releases has come in the guitar sound, which later found a unique niche by including NWOBHM influences and a more distinct folk sound into this basic riffing.
The vocals have also evolved a lot since this time. The growls have become more well-timed and the clean vocals are more mature and much better. Here, the clean vocals are more shouted and though there are chants, they are neither as well-placed nor as well-performed as they would become. Furthermore, “The Paths Of Yesterdays” also gives a strong introduction to FOREFATHER’s keyboard usage.
The songs that were to be included on “The Fighting Man” are the best on this record and especially “The Paths Of Yesterdays”, which sounds very close to finished. The song material on this record does not add any particular quality to the FOREFATHER catalogue. This release is only for the hardcore fans who wish to hear how the songs have evolved or complete their collections. Musically, this record is inferior to the later releases, with their more mature ides and developed vocal performance.
(Online August 18, 2009)