A year after the disappointing release of “Visions Of Gandhi”, Vinnie Paz and Stoupe are back to restore their dominance in the underground scene with “Legacy Of Blood”. While “Visions Of Gandhi” was heavily criticized for its Latin influenced production, “Legacy Of Blood” finds Jedi Mind Tricks returning to their roots. With Stoupe putting forth his best production effort since “Violent By Design”, the group is able to bridge the gap between their past and present sounds.
“The Age Of Sacred Terror” is a prime example of JMT being able to blend such a combination. Stoupe’s vicious production breaths life into the track, while Vinnie engulfs the mic in flames with his verbal tantrums. While Vinnie’s lyrical content has taken a nosedive over the years, his energy and flare is still enough to provide an entertaining experience. Similarly, there is not an abundant amount of depth or variety to “Legacy Of Blood”, however, you will be hard pressed to find a better hardcore street album this year. JMT sticks to their guns throughout the album, making for an experience you will either love or hate. The only real conceptual effort on the album is Vinnie Paz’s noteworthy performance on “Before The Great Collapse”. The track acts as Vinnie’s suicide note to his mother, explaining the pain and hardships he has gone through over the years. “Mommy I don’t want to live no more, I don’t think I got nothing else to give no more. Its like I lost my passion for life, it’s like all of my actions are trife”. Just as Biggie did with “Suicidal Thoughts”, Vinnie paints a chilling picture of a life that is too hard to fight through.
As with any Jedi Mind Tricks release, there are also some standout collaborations scattered throughout the album. “Verses Of The Bleeding (feat. Des Devious)” finds Stoupe stealing the show with his lush piano keys, while Paz and Des provide intense electricity on the mic. “Beyond The Gates Of Pain” is one of the better efforts on the album due to Sean Paul’s show stealing verse. Similarly, Killah Priest amazes with his performance over Stoupe’s beautiful Spanish guitars on “Saviorself”. But not to be outdone is the GZA/Genius himself, who proves he still has some gas left in the tank with “On The Eve Of War”. Even though “Legacy Of Blood” may not be the group’s most creative effort, it does succeed in providing that early 90′s boom bap feel that Vinnie Paz longs to bring. And with Stoupe providing some amazing production, the album is certainly one of the better underground releases of the year.
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