Taken from www.rosenoire.org

Review written by Troy Southgate



ROBERT N. Taylor and Changes need no introduction and this, the group’s follow-up to their 1970’s musical time-warp Fire of Life, is stunning. Many of you will recall that the first CD contained a remarkable Eddic ballad entitled The Stranger In the Mirror, which in reality was only a mere one-sixth of the entire composition. Since then, of course, Changes have returned to the studio after more than two decades and added the outstanding five sections to their enduring Legends masterpiece. Coupled with the Vikingesque tales of Thor and Odin, these additional excursions into the realms of superhuman heroics and ancient derring-do concern the brave deeds of notable characters such as Galahad, El Cid, Ulysses, Lancelot, Aeneas, Prince Igor, Arthur and Merlin; as well as a whole host of romantic beauties (both earthly and godlike) such as Venus, Penelope, Guinevere, Elvira and Sol. Against these heroes and heroines stand the vanquished enemies of Europa (“Webs of grey mist turn blackness to grey / The frantic retreat of the Quman disray”); aristocratic weaklings (“The Cid’s men seek justice, the penalty paid / Death is the sentence for the cowards’ display”); and victims of trickery and cunning (“Ulysses soldiers like flames bursting forth / Open the gates of the Trojan fort”). Relying on the engineering skills of Robert Ferbache, Tesluk’s 12-string guitar strums and picks its way amid Taylor’s smooth vocals and fine delivery. As the beautifully calligraphed lyrics in the CD booklet reveal, one of the most striking things about the Legends ode is the structure itself. The various historical epochs represent a continuous whole but are here suitably broken into six musical areas. Each area contains six verses before accelerating into the dynamic chorus: “The stranger in the mirror, I have seen him once before / As I rode forgotten meadows to a time of yesteryear / And for the soul to know the soul / To the soul you first must go / For the answers lie there hidden in the legends that we know.” The second line of each chorus is altered intricately to suit each section; again, ensuring that the song is perceived both on its own merits and as part of a well-rounded whole. Such is the compositional device of the bard and the minstrel, re-created here with incredible accuracy and effect. Meanwhile, the sleeve notes hark back to the early-70’s fascination with a hidden cultural undercurrent that waits patiently to liberate us from the shackles of Western decline. Oswald Spengler would have been proud that his - indeed, our - lost heritage has at last found a voice.

LEGENDS CD is available for $11 ppd USA through the Changes website www.nmia.com/~thermite (PayPal secure order) in their "Merchandise Shoppe".