DEICIDE — Legion (review)

DEICIDE — Legion album cover Album · 1992 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Legion" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Florida based death metal act Deicide. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in June 1992. Deicide enjoyed great success with their 1990 self-titled debut album and was at this point already considered one of the most prolific US death metal acts. Therefore the anticipation among fans and press were huge when "Legion" was finally released.

Stylistically "Legion" continues the blasphemous/anti-christian themed death metal of the predecessor but with a slightly more technical approach. The pace is predominantly very fast, and the material is raw and aggressive. 8 tracks distributed over a 29:04 minutes long playing time and then it´s over almost before you know it. Deicide deliver their music with great conviction and a burning passion. Fast-paced precision drumming, fast aggressive riffs and screaming atonal solos, and Glen Benton´s brutal growling/higher pitched screaming vocals in front. There´s the right authentic brutality and mean bite to the proceedings. Compared to the debut album the more technical playing is just one of the changes. Glen Benton´s vocals have also changed quite a bit. He still delivers both deep growling vocals and higher pitched screams, but his growling vocals are more the barking throaty type growls (completely intelligible) than the more brutal growling of the debut album. According to the liner notes it´s a consequence of no pitch shifters or harmonizers being used on the vocals on "Legion". Uncompromising as ever, and probably to proactively defend his new vocal sound against critical comments from reviewers, Glen Benton wrote these words in the liner notes: "This album was recorded with no harmonizer on my vocals, so for all my vocal critics, SUFFER".

The material is generally well written, but there aren´t as many catchy and memorable tracks as the case was on the debut album. The focus here seems to be more on brutality and the technically more challenging playing. Tracks like "Satan Spawn, the Caco-Daemon", "Dead but Dreaming", and "Trifixion" are still quite memorable though, and there´s nothing on the album which isn´t of a relatively high quality. There just aren´t as many tracks which stick as there are on the debut. The sound production is handled by Deicide and Scott Burns, and not surprisingly "Legion" therefore features a pretty classic sounding Morrisound Studios production. Powerful, raw, and brutal. The rhythm guitars are maybe placed slightly too low in the mix, which means the drums, the bass, and the vocals are quite dominating, but it´s not really much of an issue.

Upon conclusion "Legion" is a high quality death metal release. It shows development of style since the debut and while I personally don´t think it quite reaches the heights of it´s predecessor, it´s still a great sophomore album by Deicide, featuring high level musicianship, a powerful and brutal sound production, and good quality songwriting (although some tracks could have been a bit more memorable). A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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