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Legions Of War – Dark Dimensions

Legions Of War
Dark Dimensions
by Andrew Graham at 08 October 2021, 6:35 AM

Swedish Blackened Thrash outfit LEGIONS OF WAR unleash their third full-length album, blasting the ears with a sumptuous mix of audial carnage whilst also serving as somber testament to the destruction of war. From the opening moments through to its concluding moments the tempo hardly lets up, managing to maintain a momentum of truly astonishing speed. Album opener “Shot In The Neck” offers a panoply of styles and influences in a non-stop rollercoaster ride that, even on its own merit, shows the listener this is a band that demands attention. “The Mob” follows in a similar vein, showcasing the bands roots in Thrash, NWOBHM, Hardcore Punk and, of course, Black Metal. Robert’s vocals plant a flag firmly in the latter territory – indeed, he would easily find himself at home in a more straight-forward Black Metal outfit.

“Heart Of War” showcases an absolutely killer bass tone (because, let’s be honest, how often does the bassist get to shine?!), and even delights the ears by flirting with vaguely melodic elements in the chorus and clean guitar lines in the bridge. The guitar solo and bass break around the three-minute mark possess a deeply IRON MAIDEN-esque quality, really evoking that classic metal sound. “Silent Warfare” builds to a chorus that is so quintessentially Thrash it’s practically an academic study in the genre. There’s plenty of flair and flourish to feast on in this track, with a clear ear for the dramatic on display. “The Killer” opens with piano, acoustic guitar and distant electric guitar in a manner that would be familiar to fans of Post-Black Metal acts like ELLENDE. Quickly enough the listener is banging their head to the beat of ‘one-two-three, one-two-three’. For me it almost evokes the sea for some reason (Sea Shanty Metal, anyone? Pretty sure it’s already been done!)

The title-track, “Dark Dimensions” is a deeply satisfying Thrash anthem, once again incorporating plenty of melodies and a brief, yet absolutely brilliant, solo. “Save Our Souls” ups the tempo, as though there were any danger the listener might have drifted off by this point! It’s been subtle up to this point, but there’s definite rumblings of Melodeath on display on this track. It’s really quite impressive how these guys have managed to blend these many styles together so organically without it sounding the least bit Frankensteinian. Add on a killer riff and face-melting solo and you’ve got a total stomper! “Life Is Burning” builds further on that Melodeath sound, creating a sound that fans of IN FLAMES in the mid-90’s would most certainly have been familiar with – quite the achievement! “Buried Alive” is yet another solid Thrash offering to the metal gods. These guys have certainly hit upon a highly effective formula.

Album closer “Welcome To The End” reminds me very strong of “Get To The Choppa” by AUSTRIAN DEATH MACHINE – go listen to it if you don’t believe me! After a total blow-out parting gift, the track builds up to a crescendo over the course of a couple of minutes with an absolutely stonking riff with plenty of solo wit and flair, eventually fading out entirely. What an epic way to finish! It always strikes me as particularly gratifying when I get a bloody good Thrash album to review. It’s so difficult to stand out in such a crowded landscape that an especially good specimen demands special attention. Any Thrash fan would be thrilled to include LEGIONS OF WAR in their collection, and to watch the horizon for future releases. A Thrash exemplar for the ages!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Shot In The Neck
2. The Mob
3. Heart Of War
4. Silent Warfare
5. The Killer
6. Dark Dimensions
7. Save Our Souls
8. Life Is Burning
9. Buried Alive
10. Welcome To The End
Lineup:
Robert Fogelström – Bass and vocals
Mikael Anneflod – Guitar
Martin Hogebrandt – Drums
Record Label: Careless Records
     


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