Album review: LEGACY PILOTS – Aviation

LEGACY PILOTS - Aviation

Laterne [Release date 23.07.20]

I do find in these strange days of Lockdown I am automatically drawn to the unusual and the previously unknown in terms of bands and albums.  Maybe even the underdog.  And especially those that don’t necessarily attract wide reviews.

I reviewed Q-Bizm recently and that was something of a minor revelation and Legacy Pilots is similar.

This album is special in spite of assistance from a bunch of heavyweight “musos” – Steve Morse and Jordan Rudess amongst them.

Many of these albums – those paying homage to and even employing musical heroes – can tend to be mere clones, rather than merely inspired and therefore more original.

The band revolves around Hamburg-based Frank Us who was encouraged to fashion another prog project after repeatedly hearing that the genre’s big hitters were dying, including Chris Squire and John Wetton.  If I was Rudess or even Pete Trewavas I’d be looking over my shoulder.  Us’ debut album in 2018 was called ‘Con Brio’  and was well received.  Steve Rothery and Mark Kelly (Marillion) were involved.

The album is bookended by two instrumentals.  Opener ‘The Squad Is Back’ is a wonderful, majestic instrumental to set the scene and features Pete Trewavas (Marillion) on bass and Marco Minnemann, drums (who also contributes to several more tracks). Us’ guitaring (and keys) is also on form.

‘An Adventurous Journey’ is  a purposeful prog workout featuring Steve Morse’s fluid and florid guitar figures but not detracting from Us’ impressive acoustic and synth instrumentation.

‘A Different League’ introduces vocals (Jake Livgren) with Rudess’ solo whilst ‘Dreamers’ features John Mitchell (Lonely Robot, It Bites).

‘Innocent’ is a real standout with an irresistible chorus, voiced by Us himself.

The high standard continues with ‘Wide Wide World’ and the two part ‘Fear’ which is a little more dark and proggy, at times evoking Riverside or solo Hackett.  There is not a duff track on this album whether it’s the acoustic-driven ‘Saccadian Rhythms ‘ or the 10 minute masterpiece ‘Immortal’.  Together with ‘To The Stars’ this latter track includes an un-named female vocalist, a nice diversion that maybe could have been further exploited.

I suppose the best general description is “pop prog/AOR” of the sort purveyed by Alan Parsons Project.  In other words, well constructed songs, highly accessible,  and great musicianship.

Is it too presumptuous to say – in August 2020 – this is an “album of the year”?

A truly wonderful album, one to restore your faith during these covid-constrained times.  *****

Review by David Randall

The Best of 2020







Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.

Next session: Sunday 17 July.

Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 June 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 21 June 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com


Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)



Popular (last 30 days)


This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply