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Review: Legacies Unchain - Satan Is Strong and Always Near
Legacies Unchain
Satan Is Strong and Always Near

Label: Descending Towards Damnation
Year released: 2016
Duration: 50:39
Tracks: 5
Genre: Black/Death

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: February 5, 2017
Reviewed by: Omni
Readers Rating
Satan Is Strong and Always Near

Rated 3.88/5 (77.5%) (8 Votes)

Legacies Unchain is a Finnish band that plays barbaric, crushing black metal with death metal influences. The band is comprised of two self-proclaimed black death metal warriors known as Kutchek Gorealis and Dirtmaster, both of whom also performed in Hail. As soon as I opened the jewel case, I was greeted with photos of the band that were clearly used as reference for the cover art and a list of comical evil duties assigned to each band member. The irreverent and rebellious nature of the liner notes immediately gave me a good feeling in comparison to the many black metal bands of today who take Satan very seriously. I also learned that this album was recorded in 2004, not long after Hail's Inheritance of Evilness. While there are some clear similarities between the two bands, Legacies Unchain isn't just more of the same recorded under a different name. One of the immediately obvious differences is that this band makes prominent use of the didgeridoo, which is played by Grigori Kovamyrsk and referred to as "didgeridoom" in the liner notes. Spooky!

The album begins with two short instrumental tracks that serve as an introduction for the barbaric black metal assault offered by the band. Unlike a lot of useless intro tracks or interludes, these don't feel forced in and they offer a really good opportunity to showcase the didgeridoom that the band promised would be present on the album. I was not disappointed by this, and the instrument offers a fantastic low rumble that really enhances the ritualistic feeling and gets me in the zone before the real party begins. "All Hail the Great Sperm" and "Dragon City" are disgusting slabs of filthy, primitive black death metal in the vein of bands like Varathron or Beherit, sure to please fans of the old-school evildoers while offering a unique brand of distinctive and bizarre perversion that is unique to Legacies Unchain. The riffs are primitive and bludgeoning, backed by very audible bass that offers its own layer of melody and the sloppy, hard-hitting drumming of Dirtmaster. Both Kutchek Gorealis and Dirtmaster provide vocals, with each having a distinctive voice. The vocal range from disgusting low growls to high-pitched wailing.

Another fantastic interlude featuring the aforementioned didgeridoom begins the second half of the album, offering a breath before the titanic 23-minute "Satan Is Strong and Near" begins. This epic song is hateful, evil black death metal at its finest. The band churns out an almost endless assault of crushing music while they call out praises to the strength of their infernal master. In case I haven't been clear yet, that's Satan. The track begins slowly and gradually escalates in power and intensity before the band breaks down in the middle of the song due to the fervor of the preceding blasphemy. The reprieve is short-lived as the duo quickly begins again and finishes off the track with renewed aggression, shouting out their praises with more vigor than ever. I was able to tell that they mean business because they scream, growl and shout with amazing conviction. Their message is readily apparent. Satan really is strong and near. The spirit of irreverent extreme metal is still alive and well in this recording.

Too many bands nowadays have gone to the extremes of elevating Satan to a serious religious figure presented as a centerpiece of their music. This band plays music for people who are tired of this trend and just want to experience music inspired by earlier decades of black metal when Satan's name was invoked to spread fear against those who were afraid of real metal. There are no trends on this album. This is a sincere and honest statement from those who seek to keep the old fire alive for a new generation of black death metal warriors. This was far and away my favorite album released in 2016 and a welcome breath of fresh air amid the countless new failures in the modern black metal scene.

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