ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Leger De Main - 2005 - "A Lasting Impression"

(100 min 2CD, PMM & Progman)


Prolusion. Formed in 1993, Pennsylvania's LEGER DE MAIN (LDM hereinafter) consisted of Chris Rodler on guitars, bass and keyboards, his brother Brett on drums and singer Melissa Blair, who soon became part of their family. The band was in the ranks until 1998, but the fact doesn't imply that its founders were also inactive since then, not at all! I am well acquainted with most of their other projects (the only exception being RH Factor) that the brothers continued their forward movement with: Gratto, Mythologic and Razor Wire Shrine. This double CD set, entitled "A Lasting Impression", is the reissue of both of the albums the Rodlers made under the banner of LDM: "The Concept of Our Reality" and "Second First Impression", remixed and remastered by the well-known engineer John Trevethan (Echolyn, Queensryche). The eastern people say: "Throw away a bag of your old ideas to a dusty attic of your memory when you do something new." I'll try, as I haven't heard LDM before.

1995/2005 - "The Concept of Our Reality" (53 min)


1.  To Live the Truth 8:38
2.  Crystal Fortune 5:41
3.  Immobile Time 4:05
4.  Enter Quietly 20:00
5.  Distorted Pictures 5:38
Bonus tracks:
6.  Crystal Fortune Acoustic 4:11
7.  Immobile Time Acoustic 4:23

All music: by C & B Rodler. All lyrics: by M Rodler.
Produced by Leger De Main.


Chris Rodler - electric, acoustic & bass guitars; keyboards
Brett Rodler - drums & percussion
Melissa Rodler - vocals
Mike Ohm - electric guitar
Kevin Hultberg - fretless bass

Analysis. The first five tracks on "The Concept of Our Reality", i.e. all those from the album's initial edition, run 45+ minutes and have much common ground between themselves, mainly on a stylistic plane. Equally inspired by both, vintage and modern schools of Art-Rock and Prog-Metal, LDM have effectively created a high-energy music that is almost exclusively their own. Well, with the exception of the opening song, To Live the Truth, which is a classic symphonic Progressive (intense, but without true heaviness), there are traces of Rush's influence on some of the other tracks, but only in places. Besides, this album is much more intricate and more progressive than probably any by the legendary Canadians. There is also little place for rest on the other three shorter tracks: Crystal Fortune, Immobile Time and Distorted Pictures, each also being much heavier, though it still occurs rarely that the keyboards (either pianos or synthesizers) remain "exterior observers". Thanks to the proper use of overdubs, the album has a very saturated sound, symphonic shades being an integral part of the overall palette in most cases. Chris's electric guitar work is reminiscent of many styles, yet always rocking, with an excellently sonorous sound going on under the distortion and overdrive. As a bassist, he adds punch to the mix with his perfectly timed bass lines, which, as it seems to me, were recorded after the guitar riffs, though I may be mistaken. Chris also really shines while playing acoustic guitar, particularly on Enter Quietly. Brett is a vivid drummer, as greatly proficient with technique as his brother. Melissa Blair complements the picture with her dynamic and powerful singing, though each track features some more purely instrumental arrangements than those developing alongside the vocals, Enter Quietly being largely instrumental. I am not certain whether I like this 20-minute epic better than the other songs, but its structural diversity is just striking, and the acoustic guitar solos (with which it begins and runs throughout) are interwoven with electric textures. They are fantastically inventive, those following right after the introductory theme being done in a distinctive Jazz-Fusion manner. As everywhere on the album, the music never has a simple chord progression to build on, consisting of dozens of different, carefully integrated, pieces that fit together like a well-built puzzle. Furthermore, these musicians have a way of getting right into your soul while making you think, which means that their music is both highly complex and mesmerizing, certainly touched by the wing of magic. Top-20-1995. Oh, I've almost forgot. There also are two bonus tracks on the first disc, the acoustic versions of the second and third songs. Inasmuch as they feature only acoustic guitar and vocals, both sound vastly different from the originals, especially when the guitar is alone in its flight.

1997/2005 - "Second First Impression" (47 min)


1.  Some Shall Search 11:53
2.  Changes With the Day 11:05
3.  Silent Monster 5:16
4.  Do Whispers Die? 8:44
5.  The Story 9:11

Credits / Lineup: same

Analysis. On their second album LDM continue the further exploration of the path they have paved with their debut album. However, "Second First Impression" is not a blind copy of its predecessor. There are some changes in the stylistic department, as the music is less heavy overall. There is also a certain improvement in composition, but what is especially pleasant to me, gone are resemblances between LDM and Rush, the music appearing to be not only outstandingly original, but also mesmerizing. A strong magnetic power reins everywhere on the album, as the band has found the right salt for each of the five tracks they have prepared for this release. So although one of them, Do Whispers Die, is certainly their most accessible song ever, featuring relatively many vocal sections, that very salt makes it an essential part of the material, without which it would have lost something significant. Upon the first spin it may seem that Changes With the Day, which is basically a guitar-laden Art-Rock too, is much in the same vein, but the resemblance exists only on the stylistic level. This song is strikingly progressive, as the instrumental arrangements never stop in their development, Chris solos on acoustic guitar, that run all through it, being especially diverse and inventive. The album's boundary tracks, Some Shall Search and The Story, are closer to the primary style of its predecessor: a mostly intense Prog-Metal with elements of guitar and symphonic Art-Rock and ever-changing configurations of the picture. It seems like these musicians have never heard of the existence of a 'squire' 4/4 meter. Although nearly half as long as the others (on average), Monster's Silence is highly intense, dynamic and eventful and is by all means the true centerpiece of the album. I don't know whether it has been titled so for being an instrumental composition, but I must tell you that monster's silence is more than merely expressive. The flight of the band's fantasy is so high that it takes my breath away. With the integration of symphonic and heavy textures, they've put a lot of new twists on the two classic genres, Art-Rock and Prog-Metal. Overall, I find "Second First Impression" (Top-20-1997) to be some better than "The Concept of Our Reality", although both are excellent.

Conclusion. This double CD release is a must have for anyone into Art-Rock and Prog-Metal. It's a great music by a great band of great compositional and technical value. I'd also recommend Mythologic's "Standing in Stillness" album, which features the same trio and is musically similar to LDM too.

VM: October 31 & November 1, 2005

Related Links:

PMM Music / Leger De Main
Progman Records


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