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With a name taken from the legions in and around Jerusalem in the time of the crucifixion of Christ, Norway’s Legiones sound as if they are calling out from the bleakness of the early 90s. On first listen, there appears to be nothing new here. There are no solos, no provocative melody lines, and no clean vocals, just tremolo-picked lines, unholy shrieks from a lacerated larynx, blast beats aplenty, and the pure black mist production that tends towards the inaudible. The blast beats and raw riffage of ‘Threat of Captivity’ at first make this track appear to be no more than generic Black Metal. But when the guttural vocals begin, the track takes on a deeper and more desolate texture. The track is further augmented by the drums, with strategically placed cymbal crashes that help the riffs surge and develop. In ‘Against Judah’, it’s the vocals again that open the track out into new territories, and being able to hear the words is particularly unnerving. There’s something about the veiled style of “traditional” Black Metal vocals that augments the mysteries concealed within. But here the anti-religious message can be distinguished throughout and, with it, the veil is removed. No mystery. Just the hate and fury of the Old Testament exposed for all to see. And as with ‘Threat of Captivity’, it’s the drums, the cunning blast beats and complex fills that standout. At around the four-minute mark, the ambiance transforms as the tempo slows and the track takes on a post-metal/doom groove where, with no vocals, again the drums stand out over the belligerently melodic riffs. Diverse and intense, this is an extraordinary track. Evidently, Legiones like their low-fi Black metal, so much so that it seems they have gone to great pains to recreate the style to the letter. This could easily be considered their downfall, but the nuances of each track, the lyrics, and the vocal style set this apart, not a lot, but enough to make it curiously catchy, vicious, and evocative. If Burzum, Darkthrone, Mayhem, and Gorgoroth are your thing, give this a blast.
Duplicate Records
Review by Jason Guest
18th July 2011
1) Threat of Captivity
2) Against Judah
"Evidently, Legiones like their low-fi Black metal, so much so that it seems they have gone to great pains to recreate the style to the letter."