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The Legion: Ghost - With Courage of Despair

The Legion: Ghost
With Courage of Despair
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 28 January 2018, 8:30 AM

With Courage and Despair,” is this German band’s second full length album; Germany is no stranger to the metal scene with such diverse acts as BLIND GUARDIAN, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, and KREATOR, to name just a very few.  As a newer band, do THE LEGION: GHOST have what it takes to find a place among both the legends of yesterday and the growing emergence of Metal bands?  Yep.

There are obvious comparisons to the aforementioned HEAVEN SHALL BURN. Although they don’t really sound too similar, both could be thrown under the Melodic Death genre, and both use higher pitched screams rather than a lot of low end growls. However, whereas HSB combine “Gothenburg” elements with more BOLT THROWER inspired groove, THE LEGION: GHOST have a much more modern sound and have extensive use of clean vocals that are, thankfully, well done.

The album begins with “Discharge,” and, indeed, the band unloads and leaves it all on the stage. The rhythm guitar is fast and tight and the melodies compliment them very well.  Kearns’ vocals are screamed but every word can be understood.  The chorus allows him to show off his clean vocals and I am impressed.  So many Metal bands have such whiny cleans but his are even toned and expressive, reminding very much of later day CATAMENIA.  The lead guitar work here rides the line between melodic and shredding, a la SHADOWS FALL.

The fourth track, “The Counterweight,” is one of the best on the album.  The clean vocals are very well done here, showcasing Kearns’ singing style to be very different than the songs that came before it.  I really liked his deep growl around the 3:08 mark and his continued vocal assault towards the climax of the song that leads to him screaming while the guitars go into a melodic duel. “Take Away My Scars,” has a driving bass line that really lifts up the rest of the song, which is another heavy hitter with a catchy song.  The drums are intense, particularly the double bass that hammers away during the mid-section of the song alongside the guitar solo.

In the end, this is an extremely solid and surprisingly catchy album.  I can’t say it’s very original and, perhaps, the band uses the “scream verse and sing chorus” format a bit too much.  The song “Sex Up,” is a bit of an off track. Musically, it is fine but the lyrics don’t really seem to fit the rest of the album and aren’t as deep. Still, there is a lot to love about this release and very little to hate as it is a mature release from a band that is still young but clearly knows their sound and craft well.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Discharged
2. No Happy End
3. Thy Will Be Done
4. The Counterweight
5. Xenophoebia
6. Family Ties
7. Take Away My Scars
8. For The Greater Good
9. F60.0
10. Sex Up
11. Until The Day We Die
12. Swan Song
Kevin Kearns – Vocals
Uli Werner – Guitars
Christoph Budny – Guitars
Markus Ganzmann - Bass
Ben Overmann - Drums
Record Label: Noizgate Records


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