|Review: Legion - War Beast|
Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2016
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: June 1, 2017
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
There are – no lie – like 35 bands called Legion, but this is the one from New Jersey, who put out the overlooked Shadow of the King album waaaay back in 2005. Not many bands resurface after 11 years, let alone with anything worth hearing, but I was eager to see how this long-running outfit was holding up.
This lacks the old-fashioned recording job of the last album, and classic vocalist Mike Bunk has been replaced with a new guy. I have to say the songwriting style has not changed much, perhaps favoring the 70s sound less than their older material. This is US Metal all the way, with a NWOBHM flair to the melodic riffing and the leads. The Adamo brothers were always the core of this band, with a really strong 2-axe attack.
And they lean hard on the guitars, because new singer Ralph Gibbons is not really up to the drill. His midrange is weak and toneless, while his high notes have power, but really have a hard time staying on key. They multitrack his voice a lot, and that goes a long way towards covering his worst shortcomings, but he's still the weak link in the band. It might work better if his vocal melodies were good, but they are really just dull.
When this band is all about the riff, as on "Bricks of Egypt" or the title track, it sounds massive and classic, but then Gibbons comes in and pretty much ruins it. I am glad to see Legion still around, and still writing such strong material, but unless they can get a decent singer, they will never get any farther than this.
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|Review: Shadow Of The King (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)|
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