Thursday, June 5, 2014

Deicide - Legion (1992)

Certainly not the "be all, end all" Deicide album that everyone cracks it up to be. That, my friends is a sentiment reserved for the band's self-titled debut. 'Legion', for me, is bullet ridden with flaws galore.

Sure, there are great songs scattered throughout and hell, some of them I count among my favorites of the band, but there are also things that drive me fucking batty, like the happy-go-lucky thrash riffs found in songs like 'Behead the Prophet' and 'Holy Deception. In fact, most of the lamer songs are found on the album's second half. It's almost like the first four songs were so taxing in their manifestation of evil that the band were reduced to some faggy version of themselves by the time 'Behead the Prophet' came prancing out of the gates.

The production on this album is also very aggravating as, despite its inherent "tinnyness", the bass is just overwhelming. Oddly enough, the actual bass guitar is jangled and high tuned. Musically, it doesn't even sound like Glen showed up other than to record himself haphazardly punching the fretboard of his bass. I mean, nothing makes sense in that department. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not the grammar Nazi equivalent of precision and technicality but god damn, at least do what David Vincent does and "pretend" to know how to play. Worked for Martin Van Drunen.

My last gripe is that Benton ditched the gnarly vocal effects slathered over the first album because some whiny faggots complained about him using "vocal harmonizers" (?) Fuck 'em. Personally, I liked hearing the vocals spiced up such as they were on the band's debut. I've NEEEEEVER complained about a band's decision to sound nastier and more monstrous via technological gadgetry and studio trickery. So be it. If that's what it takes to conjure fourth the ancient ones than I'm game.

As I said earlier, the first four songs are on point. The band basically took the formula that made the first album successful and warped it up a bit this time around with peculiar results, most notably in the album's opener 'Satan Spawn the Cocky Demon'. The dissonance found on this track can be a bit dizzying, but I mean that in a stupendously good way. Also of "note", 'Repent to Die' may be Deicide's most technologically "notey" song to date. Not a surprise at all to see that Glen was in no hurry to play that song live every night. Small wonder why the band opted for hooks next time around.

While there's nothing terribly offensive going on within the confines of 'Legion', I certainly do not share everyone's slobbering approval of this album. It's cool and it certainly carries with it many memories from my youth but overall I'll always consider the band's self-titled to be their "pinnacle moment".

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