Legion: Knights of Cross

Year1994
Label/DistributionDeath City
FormatLP
Musical styleSpeed Metal
Additional info-
Rarity grading
ShieldShieldShieldShieldShieldShield
2 out of 6 - Quite rare!

Review

How can I label a band like LEGION? Well, perhaps Epic Funk Progressive Avantgarde Metal??? It sounds too stupid perhaps, but I have reasons to label the band like this. The opening track Knights of cross” starts with an intro, of epic tradition, with organ and church bells and continues with a rare funky-like bass, but few later comes the Metal part. The highlight here is the vocalist(s?), who uses his voice in different tones, some times reaching soprano levels. The song goes from one side to another, from heavy riffs to funk parts, and this is just the beginning ….The following Hold on” is another very strange tracks which goes from Metal, to some kind of funk with soprano-like vocals, then a fast thrashing blast, then again the funky chorus, then metal again, then chorus…..!!!! But all in all, it does not sound shitty, rather is interesting in the attempt of the band of being innovative and not minding about anything else than their music. Following this strange second song, enters Hot blood”a very relaxing and epic song with keyboards, acoustic guitars and vocals, with a fine touch of dramatic sense… enjoyable I must say, perhaps a bit similar to BATHORY’s Song to hall up high”. The next is a more progressive song, with some soprano singing along with thrashing screams, but later abruptly changes into some kind of Bay Area thrash, with the soprano singing, and believe me, it sounds very interesting. Keep you faith” is the name of this track that cant be taken lightly I must say…! Of course you must bear in mind that this album was recorded in 1993, when bands like DREAM THEATER wasn’t exactly the big influence they are now, so, I can say that LEGION is the precursor of some of the music nowadays is done, well at least they were of the very first ones to do it, sadly very few know them .. or perhaps I’m too optimistic towards LEGION???? The side 1 closing track is a totally epic piece of music in acoustic guitars and atmospheric, almost ethereal chants, again by the soprano girl….the name: Banners high”. A piano in the background with a synthesized violin makes this even more melancholic NOT depressive. The only negative thing about this song is the shitty finale which sounds as if the recorder ran out of tape!!!! If this is not enough, wait to hear the opening hymnal for the second side: Mystery”. Totally epic, majestic, moody…. Forget Nightwish or Sinergy, this is the real (!!!) Two sopranos in total control of the song, who later leaves the atmospheric part while entering a heavy guitar like those of technical bands; later, again the (funky) bass and guitars, and without any warning comes a break and the sopranos appear again. The vocals are such a well done that a choir isn’t necessary to support the main vocal lines. Perhaps I could compare LEGION to the German maniacs of MEKONG DELTA, in the days of Dances of Death”, not copies actually, but near in terms of innovation and progressive status, LEGION is less” Metal, though. More dynamic enters Fire”, that breaks into a very jazz-like part again following the main soprano, and, as usual turns into thrash in the middle, even a guitar solo appears, and then let pass again the jazz part with piano and guitars... Stay alone” repeats the characteristics of the others songs, with its rare and frequent changes, not just rhythm changes, but a 360° spin which makes you wonder what would follow on. The end comes with Priority in battle”, very funky-progressive, with aggressive vocals of the male vocalist and the soprano girl, the second soprano unites when the thrash part gets aggressive and faster….but suddenly as it gets changes in itself, so it ends the song, without any warning, just ends and so does the album. The innovation of these guys can be easily mistaken as a chaotic union of various kinds of music, but taking a closer look, one can realize that there is a lot of coherence in all the songs and if you want to know something original, then this bands is for you!

Tracks
1) Knight Of The Cross
2) Hold On
3) Hot Blood
4) Keep Your Faith
5) Banners High

1) Mystery
2) Fire
3) Stay Alone
4) Priority In Battle

Created / updated: 2011-02-09
Jose Luis Cano