Review Summary: Luke 8:30 – Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said “Legion,” For many demons had entered him.
Where to begin with what I consider one of the best, if not most influential death metal releases of all time. Yes, their seminal self-titled release was a bench mark of brutality and blasphemous drumming. The heavy (and I mean HEAVY) lean on the satanic themes and imagery only helped to add to the sinister ambiance of that release. However the question left lingering at that point was “where do they go from there?” The answer my friend’s is into the dark pits of hell itself.
Ramping up almost every single aspect of their game Deicide returned in 1992 with a simply soul-crushing assault of death metal unlike almost anything heard yet. Legion has the band pushing themselves to their limits musically. It’s as if they sat down, listened to Dead by Dawn
(arguably the best track on the Deicide release) and said to themselves “we can be better than this”. Every track here pushes the limits of the band to the extreme. Whether it be through the music or the ranting, violent vitriol spewed at organized religion it is simply non stop. The only moment one has to breathe is when a riff burns by that is so frantic and heavy that you one can’t help buy stop and marvel at the beautiful brutality.
Starting out with a few moment to remind everyone that goats = Satan, the listener is given about 40 seconds to wonder to themselves what the hell is going on. When Satan Spawn starts in, all hell breaks loose. It is my job as a reviewer to put into words what you should expect when listening to a release. It is a rare time that I find myself as tongue tied as I do when trying to describe Legion. It is everything that a death metal fan can and should ever ask for. It is one of those rare occurrences where technicality simply exists in beautiful harmony with the music and songwriting. Yes, lyrically the themes are as blasphemous as one can ask for. However they are delivered with such an honest hatred that any thought of humor is quickly forgotten.
The brother’s Hoffman shred as technically and ferociously as possible here. The layering of the solo’s, riffs and fill is perfection. Even Benton, who is not widely know for his skills as a bass player has some amazing fretwork to contribute to this release. Steve Asheim is just ***ing evil behind the drum kit. The best instance of this all put together comes in the last track of the release. Revocate the Agitator
is just… damn. Production wise, everything sounds great for 1992 and beyond. The bass is clean in the mix and easily audible, the drums are pounding and the guitars and distortion all marry together well. I’ve said this many times before, early death metal is great for the “real” feel that it adds to the music. It is fast and furious but you know
there is a real person behind the kit, not just pro tools and studio effects. The drumming on this release is exceptional, and on my top 5 list for metal performances (right after Reinert’s work on Human) .
If you have never heard this set aside 30 minutes (hell, the entire release clocks in under :29) and be ready to be simply blown the hell away. I cannot give a higher recommendation.