|Review: Legion - Shadow Of The King|
|Shadow Of The King|
Year released: 2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: November 13, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Shadow Of The King
Rated 3.4/5 (68%) (10 Votes)
Well here's a nice surprise in more ways than one. I came within a hair of ordering this online, decided to wait until a later day, and two days later the thing falls out of my mailbox. I don't even remember giving these guys my address, but good for me I did. There are like 4 US bands called Legion, and I don't know what they all sound like, but this band plays old-school Heavy Metal and is damned good at it.
Legion mix in a lot of old-school influences, from the rockier sounds of old Dio or Manowar to some Randy Rhoads-era Ozzy and even a bit of 70's arena rock like Deep Purple or Night Ranger, though that is in no way intended to make them sound wussy. The mix here is a bit rough, but it's good enough to let the stellar songwriting shine through. The title track will get your head banging in no time with addictive riffs and a great chorus. "Illusion" is a slower stomp, but still rules. The best song here is the power ballad "The Watcher", which has 'classic' written all over it. It sounds like a golden 80's relic dug out of the metal vaults, great riffs, a great chorus, cool soloing – what else could you need? The rest of the album does not quite live up to these first three songs, but tunes like "Medicine Man", and "Stay Away (From The Night)" still kick plenty of ass.
The CD package is scanty, but manages to include all the lyrics, which are well worth reading, as well as a cool cover. More bands should try the route of using classic artwork rather than go with some half-assed amateur crap that makes the album look horrible. (See: Cauldron Born). The performances are good, with some fine guitar playing and the band sounds very tight. Vocalist/Flash Gordon lookalike Mike Bunk is a real find, as he has a powerful wail reminiscent of Robert Plant and plenty of charisma. He adds just the right vintage touch to this album. "Shadow Of The King" is self-produced, and can be had straight from the band's website. Fans of old-school classic metal should not let this underground gem pass them by. Highly recommended.
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