Artist: Dark Legions
Album Title: Awakening of the Legions
This is the first demo from Dark Legions, a Swedish band playing black/thrash metal.
The sound on this album is dominated by slightly fuzzy guitars and deathy growls. Some straightforward bass work adds additional heaviness. The drumming is crisp and martial, and makes for a nice contrast with the low-end. The production is just dirty enough to fit the music, which is reminiscent of Venom or old Bathory, with an extra shot of primitive thrash.
The intro, "Darkness", is a guitar-and-drums piece that sets the mood for the album quite convincingly. It cuts off a bit abruptly, though. It leads into "Altar of Shame", a short, aggressive thrash song. I like the vocal timing here, as well as the lead guitar near the end.
"Purification" has an amazing rocking vibe to it -- the back-and-forth between the chorus and instruments makes this one quite catchy. The rock'n'roll guitar part at the end is a lot of fun. I like the blasphemous lyrics, too.
The vocals on "March of the Legions" are quite clearly stated, compared to the rest of the demo. It's a good thing, too, because they're a fine example of thrash-metal bragging at its best. Thanks to the relentless drums and the vicious guitar work, this is one of the best headbanging songs I've heard in a while!
"Carpe Mortem" has some Celtic Frost moments, as well as an extended, wandering solo. The middle section has some especially great drumming, and the growls are at their most convincing on this track.
This is one of the most enjoyable demos I've heard recently. They're not breaking any new ground, but Dark Legions have created some highly memorable black/thrash metal songs. I've had "March of the Legions" stuck in my head for a week! Recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Purification", "March of the Legions"