Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Deicide : "Legion " [1992]

Death Metal
Earache Records
66.51 MBLineup:

Glen Benton - Bass/Vocals
Eric Hoffman - Guitar
Brian Hoffman - Guitar
Steve Asheim - Drums

Legend has it that the original recording of Legion only lasted 20 minutes,
forcing the band to re-record the entire album at a slower pace.

Satan Spawn, the Caco-Daemon

Dead but Dreaming

Repent to Die


Behead the Prophet (No Lord Shall Live)

Holy Deception

In Hell I Burn

Revocate the Agitator

Total playing time


Ma†ías said...

Deicide are well known for their anti-Christian tirades, as well as all the rumors of assaulting Christian youth groups, desecrating graveyards, hosting satanic rituals and orgies, and so forth. Unlike the far more tame albums released after this, this truly lives up to the ideals of evil, Satanic death metal, whether any of what they did is true or not. There is nothing remotely Christian about this, and it's an utter bane to all that is deemed good and wholesome. If you ever needed proof that musical aesthetics and the ideologies and emotions from which it spawned are inseparable, this is it.

This album is fucking terrifying. Everything -- the drums, the bass, and the guitars are deep and relentlessly pounding, with a speed and ferocity that never stops. It's often almost like some of the most insane thrash you could imagine -- heavier, faster, and more intense than even Slayer, Dark Angel, Sepultura, or Sadus. You would probably become a quadriplegic from headbanging to this. The structure is insanely chaotic, completely unpredictable, and unsettling. All of the songs are outstanding -- the only time it is ever slowed down is in the haunting introduction. The production of the album makes it sound utterly violent and loud as hell. The lyrics are pure hatred and explore all which would be considered wicked, blasphemous, and outright evil in Christian mythology -- demonic summonings, refusing to repent, committing suicide and going to hell, and Christians and even the baby Jesus being mutilated.

Though in most of Benton's later vocal work he just sort of growls in monotone (along with the rest of the music, really), he unleashes what are probably some of the most terrifying vocals I've ever heard in Legion. Most of the time they're guttural, feral snarls of insane and blasphemous rage at the top of the lungs, often with screeching and vicious back-ups amplifying it for a supernatural effect. Whatever Christians could possibly imagine of a malevolent Satan's terrifying voice, the work that Benton does on this album is about as close as you could get, and is really never matched anywhere else. The trace elements from memories of being a former Christian many years ago still shiver when I hear the "In the Name of Satan" on Trifixion or the laughter on "In Hell I Burn". What's even more impressive is that Glen's bass is often doing its own creative work, completely separate, like it has a mind of its own.

The only shortcoming of the album is that it's a bit on the short side, but hell, it feels like a lot more. For those who want to get into Deicide or any death metal for that matter, this album is a must have. It is still, to this day, one of the most truly brutal and horrifying albums ever released.

Written by GrimAndFrostbitten on January 19th, 2004

Ma†ías said...

DEICIDE - Legion

This album is simply the peak of the death metal genre. Few albums even approach "Legion" in terms of (I hate to use this word) brutality. This is Hell's national anthem. Beyond that, it’s incredibly addictive. When “Revocate the Agitator” ends you are only left wanting more.

Trust me and just put up with the annoying 45 second ambient intro to "Satan Spawn, the Caco-Daemon". As the Hoffman brothers' guitars break in, you are instantly grabbed by the testicles and thrown into the nearest wall. Yes, the album is that relentless. And it doesn't stop.

Musically, the album is far sloppier than their latest release, "The Stench of Redemption". But that doesn't make any difference. It is the production, more than any other element, that defines this record. The guitars sound ridiculous, like a buzzsaw shredding through fresh pine. The bass is actually audible, and compliments the guitars quite well. Glen's voice is at its peak, his growls sinister yet somewhat decipherable, and those high screeches are killer. The drums sound rather "distorted" but I don't like those damned Morrisound "clicking" bass drums.

But it doesn't matter, because this is a guitar driven album. The onslaught of riffs never stops, and you will be banging your head for the full 28 minutes of satanic skull-fuckery. “In Hell I Burn” will have your head jackhammering until hemorrhage. The crushing verse riffs of “Dead But Dreaming” and “Holy Deception” will stick in your head for days.

The soloing is not even remotely technical. Just listen to "Trifixion" or "Revocate the Agitator", where the leads are just laughably amusing. In a good way. Brian and Eric just shred like Slayer on speed, minus the excessive whammying, with not the slightest attempt at melody.

I won't even bother picking standout tracks. They're all essential. Whether its the instantly lethal opening riffs of "Behead the Prophet (No Lord Shall Live)" or the double bass assault of "Repent to Die", there are simply no weak points (aside from that damned intro). You will walk away temporarily satisfied, only to play “Legion” again twenty minutes later.

I can only guess as to why most of these songs go unplayed at Deicide concerts. Then again, the “When Satan Lives” rendition of “Dead But Dreaming” was a disgrace, and didn’t touch the punishment of the studio version. Rumor has it the album originally clocked in at under 20 minutes, and when I can get a re-release with that recording as a bonus, I will die happy. But until then, buy this album. It's not a fucking option.

Written by Cadence on April 28th, 2007

Ma†ías said...

Deicide's self-titled debut was a milestone in the death metal scene, the album had brutality and conviction which was, at the time, unmatched. Despite the muddy production, the band proved how catchy a song could be while still being raw and visceral. Yet among the majority of diehard Deicie fans, "Legion" is considered their masterpiece. And once you've heard this half-hour slab of flesh-tearing sonic torment, you'll see why. Musically, the band was at their tightest and they sounded energized and enthusiastic, a sharp difference from the trio of duds released after "Once Upon the Cross." Eric and Brian Hoffman's playing was more technical and precise than anything done after, a very tight, honed, twin-guitar attack. Steve Asheim, perhaps the most overlooked of the band's members, is a beast behind the double-bass kit and his drumming is a chaotic, jarring undercurrent. Vocally, Glen Benton has never sounded so evil and horrifying. Some standout tracks include "Repent to Die", "Behead the Prophet (No Lord Shall Live)" and "Revocate the Agitator", which contains some of Glen's ugliest, most horrific sounding vocal stylings. Production-wise, this album is a step up from the debut; a clean, cutting guitar sound and the bass even bubbles to the surface here and there, although the drums sound a bit muffled. Lyrcially, well, this is Deicide; vehemently anti-Christian, preferring to side with the big guy below. But the band knew how to capitalize on this image, and that either makes them shrewd and clever businessmen or unintentionally humorous and redundant. Depends on your perspective.

Unfortunately, not long after this album the band toned down the brash suggestiveness of their image, and the quality of their music suffered greatly. Which has been a point of debate between the now ex-guitarists and Glen, with Glen saying the Hoffmans became self-indulgent, uninspired, and lazy, only caring about money and regularly cancelling gigs, and the Hoffmans firing back with Glen's supposed aversion to playing longer setlists live and his "inability" to play more technically on a bass guitar. All the bullshit and mud-slinging aside, if you want to hear a young, angry, ambitious Deicide, this album is for you.

Written by TheCallOfTheAethyrs on February 6th, 2008

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