Artist: Legacies Unchain
Title: Towards the Barbaryan Satanations
This is a compilation of the first two demos from Legacies Unchain, a Finnish band with a member from Hail. They play chaotic black/death/thrash metal.
It's not easy to think of a "sounds like" description for this band. The riffing on this album ranges from blackened thrash to death, with a dash of doom and even some traditional Heavy Metal. The wild, relentless nature of the guitar work brings Sadistik Exekution to mind, but Legacies Unchain is far more directed than SadEx ever were. The vocals are heavily echoed croaks and screams, somewhat reminiscent of Beherit (and, of course, Hail!) The drumming isn't too precise, but that's to be expected with something this raw. This album also has a didgeridoo. The didge work here is excellent, with plenty of variation and power.
The first seven tracks on the disc are the band's first released demo, "The Barbaryan Legacies Must Unchain!". It starts off with a short didgeridoo intro, which leads into "Barbarick Legacies Unchained". This one begins with a triumphant guitar theme, and moves from there into a thrashing section. Then this gives way to a middle section in which variations on the initial theme are combined with a number of other strong riffs. Some of these summon a melancholy mood, but this is short-lived, as another fast section takes over. The remainder of the song is spent at a gallop.
"Barbardreaming Part One" slows things down with discordant guitar work and eerie vocals. The dominant guitar line seems quite self-reflective and dreamlike, in keeping with the name of the song.
"Majestik Triumphant Life in War" starts out with another didge intro, which transitions neatly into a warlike beginning. The didge comes back in for a second, and after that, the middle section of this song is nothing but one vicious riff after another. This gives way to a blistering closing section.
The first part of "In Unknown Terrain" is a first-wave black metal stomper, leading into a huge thrashing section. The vocals here are especially notable - the refrain of this one is probably one of the best vocal moments on the demo. There's a monster riff about two minutes from the end that reminds me of Bolt Thrower at their best, and then the conclusion slides into wild chaos.
"Barbardreaming Part Two" closes out the first demo on this disc. The guitar theme recalls the first Barbardreaming track, but becomes even more discordant before fading into an outro that features the best didge work on the album.
The second demo, "In the Age of the Scythed Runes", is a bit more straightforward than the first. "Legend of the Scythed Runes" starts out with a horn and some great heavy metal riffs. There's a touch of rumbling, thrashy death metal in the center, and the remainder is dedicated to more mid-paced, old-school riffing, with a reprise of the death in the last few seconds.
"Distilled Evil Faith" begins with a crushing doom section, and keeps a slow-to-mid pace until halfway through, when the horn returns to introduce a tempo change. The main guitar theme here is played out faster and faster, until it is broken by a second slow section. The final two minutes are ritualistic and strange, until the song rushes forward toward its conclusion.
"Downhill to Battle" is another song where the vocals take center stage. They echo madly over the black/thrash guitar work, and both become increasingly frantic as the first half of the song progresses. The second half has a few short, slower breaks, but the main theme here is speed.
"The Fucking of Their Corpses" has a slow, nasty Beherit-style vibe to it, with grunting vocals and high, strange screams. There's a couple of speedy sections, but these serve only to highlight the sludge. Great atmosphere on this one.
"The Celtic Warlord's Speech" is a piano-and-vocals outro with a strong medieval feel to it. A sound like the clanking of chains can faintly be heard. The vocals here are bombastic, as befits the overall mood.
"Towards the Barbaryan Satanations" is an excellent demo. Nothing here sounds done-before in the least, the compositions are varied and powerful, and the underground spirit is obvious. Legacies Unchain's first full-length album should be forthcoming, but until then, "Towards the Barbaryan Satanations" is highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "Barbarick Legacies Unchained", "In Unknown Terrain", "Distilled Evil Faith"