“We are the army of light, against the darkness we’ll fight!” Years ago I ran across the album Legacy of Hate by Finnish epic power metal band Celesty. I was immediately captivated by the Microsoft Windows 98 cover artwork, and knew it was worthy of my time. Revisiting this album after so many years, it is clear to me now how truly awesome it is.
Released in 2004, Legacy of Hate was the second album put out by Celesty and to this day is the only one by them that I’ve ever heard. Being an album that tells a story, vocalist Antti Railio utilizes distinct vocal styles, from the traditional power metal vocals that represent humanity, to the death/black metal vocals that represent a race of reptiles in the tale. He does an excellent job going back and forth which really demonstrates his talent. Pulsating drums, lightning quick guitars, and epic fanfares fill this album to the brim. Unbreakable gets things going, setting the stage for the majority of what you will hear throughout this fifty-five minute journey of epic proportions. Horns and electric guitar solos shared with keyboards are typically heard, though regretfully absent in some songs. Many of the songs are very similar, with occasional slower breakdown moments such as on Dream. Settlement is the best song on the entire album, beginning with a smooth piano that then belts out into a morale boosting choir. Railio then lets out a long reptilian scream as the vocals go back and forth throughout the song. It is the high point of the album, and is worthy of listening alone. The final songs, Legacy of Hate Part I and II, are very long and is where the storytelling vibe really shines. Being about ten minutes each, the tracks keep the listener interested by providing enough variation, transitioning between slow paced piano to ultra-fast power metal, and then back again.
Being one of my first introductions to power metal, I cannot help but have a soft spot for this album. It really set the bar high years ago when I first got into Power Metal, and today it still stands the test of time. I can only hope they’ll re-release it on vinyl one day, so I can have some nice Windows 98 artwork to hang on my wall as a reminder of yesterday.
Genre: Epic Power Metal, Power Metal
Label: Arise Records
Location: Seinäjoki, Finland
Release Date: May 10th, 2004
4. Breed From the Land Unknown
5. Army of the Universe
8. Legacy of Hate Part I
9. Legacy of Hate Part II