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Perhaps the most melodic and atmospheric of Legion of Doom's works, God is Dead expands upon the average but appreciable legacy of the prior albums with a better sense for variation and narrative embellishments. That's not to say that I necessarily like it more than Kingdom of Endless Darkness or For Those of the Blood, and in fact I feel it has less of an ultimate impact. But it's clearly a positive that the band would mildly reinvent themselves for such a release rather than persist as a 90s Scandinavian sound-alike. The classic artwork and Nietzschean overtones of the title seem like a swerve away from the mythological and fantastic Greek elements the band were lyrically incorporating, but this is not actually the case: God is Dead is just as concerned with the divine, occult and ritualistic as its precursors.
The Legion of Doom truly paces itself with this album, giving the majority of the tracks room to breathe. "Necromantion" is almost Cradle of Filth-like, with a ton of Gothic based keys, a cutesy rasp and deeper, conversational narrative being applied to the thrusts of moderate speed. "Bridge of Lunar Tears" returns to a raunchier, desperate melodic strain of writing with thick streams of melancholia in the notation; while "Lasselanta" hones further in on the guitars, for some memorable, mid-paced melodies that accelerate much like a lot of the Swedish 90s melodic death metal (At the Gates, Dissection, old In Flames or Dark Tranquillity). Ditto for "Sacrifice and War" and "Ancient Wisdom Within", the latter my favorite single track on the album. There are also a couple of pompous, ambient/organ pieces like "Message from the Gods" and "Illusions" that are very well managed, although they don't necessarily do wonders for the overall structure of the album.
God is Dead does feel a decade too late. Had this album dropped in 1995, it would have likely become a veritable cult favorite. The sound, the riffing, all seem highly redolent of black and melodic black/death releases of that period, and it carries a clear current of accessibility when compared to either of the previous records. Then again, they DID release two decent efforts during that period, and received little fanfare, as those fascinated by the emergent Hellenic scene were likely more interested in the unique sounds of Rotting Christ, Necromantia, etc. I will admit that the album plays it rather safe, and there's not a song among these which I'd rank alongside past pieces like "ARSIS...God of Brutal War", "The Black Queen", "For Those of the Blood" in terms of total quality. The cleaner production and generally slower tempos here are not unwelcome or unpleasant, but it doesn't scream cult classic either. One of those albums I could listen to and nod along with, then subsequently forget that I ever had experienced.
Surprisingly enough, even with its provocative title, this is likely Legion Of Doom's most accessible release; at first glance, almost uncomfortably so. In a rather drastic 180 from previous releases, and in some ways extending back towards the material of 'The Desecration', 'God Is Dead' isn't quite as austere and black as albums like 'Kingdom Of Endless Darkness'- it actually has pronounced rock elements of all things, very strange coming from a band who seemed to typify the 'black metal minus the rock' style I hold so near and dear. The first few seconds of 'Necromantion' sort of sent my heart plummeting on first listen, but listening further revealed one of the albums which incorporates such influences without cheapening the strength of the compositions.
This album's riffing is something of a continuation of the slightly more melodic sound of 'For Those Of The Blood', but certainly with a great deal more modern trappings than any of the band's previous releases. A great deal more experimentation with rhythmic structures as opposed to pure tremolo riffing can be found alongside the more traditional and Norwegian melodic direction. There are some rather strange songwriting decisions to be found, whether it be 'Necromantion''s Nokturnal Mortum style verses of 'Bridge Of Lunar Tears'' bizarre pseudo-electronic opening, but apart from these quirks this is still decidedly Legion Of Doom, albeit a form of the band which is more accessible and less utterly stark than on previous releases. Much of this seems to be found in a much more rock-influenced and grooving style of drumming rather than the barren blast/fill form of before, in addition to an overall slightly lower tempo than any of Legion Of Doom's previous works, making for, again, a more accessible form of the band's signature style. The interludes of the previous album have returned as well, with two quite lengthy neoclassical tracks popping in at the halfway point and end of this release; unlike the previous album, though, there's enough black metal meat on this release to make it less troubling.
More notable is the rather insistent use of keyboards on this album, frequently bringing to mind 'To The Gates Of Blasphemous Fire'-era Nokturnal Mortum and other Slavic symphonic black metal bands to mind, with similar synth tones used and a generally similar usage alongside the guitars when they're employed. Fortunately, Legion Of Doom's unique style of riffing is most certainly intact, though it does drop down in complexity when the synths are at their most present. Unlike many bands which use keys in this manner, Legion Of Doom are able to make the synthless sections equally interesting, allowing the guitars to flourish and let loose with torrents of Legion Of Doom's custom style of heavy-influenced black metal riffing, even if it does have a little more rock and roll than usual.
While I don't think this is Legion Of Doom's best album, it comes so close to the rest of the pack that it hardly matters. I sometimes wonder what this would sound like without some of its more overtly weird moments and rock influences; I certainly enjoy the album for what it is but a tiny part of me nags that this would have been better were it more in the style of the previous two albums. Regardless of what might have been, however, 'God Is Dead' is an excellent album from one of the more masterful bands in the modern black metal scene, letting it be known that despite the best efforts of many involved, black metal isn't dead yet.
Great band from Greece right here. In this release you really feel like the band is giving it their all. For Legion of Doom this has been a definite thing about their style, every release is quite dark and powerful, a tradition carried on by "God Is Dead". Its very apparent when it comes to tracks like, "Bridge of Lunar Tears", and "Lasselanta", that the time is taken to make sure that the listener is pleased because of how much is going on in each track. Each track consists of well written tremolo styled riffs with perfect attention, not only on the riffs but also on the drums which are always keeping the music alive and active rather than just being a blastfest. So with so much going on in each track, its definitely not a snoozer or a repetitive album. Aside from amazing tremolo styled guitar playing and awesome drumwork, the vocals however are well, nothing new, just common black metal style growls, it fits the music well and doesn't ruin the music, just a shame that they weren't well, a little more interesting. But with such great songwriting and energy, who cares if the vocals arent as fresh as the music, the music alone is powerful enough to make up for not so fresh vocals. The only complaint about this release, I know this is a silly complaint, but to me, the instrumental tracks are far too long for their own good. They aren't at all bad, just too long at times feels like filler, or really just doesn't seem to fit with the music at all because of the orchestra type setting. But good thing there are only 2 completely instrumental tracks and not more. In the end, because of the well done instrumentation this is a great album and a really exciting listen with very memorable parts in just about each song thanks to the time and thought put into this latest Legion of Doom release.
Well..Half a year ago a friend of mine asked me if I wanted the new Legion of Doom album because he was going to order a lot of copies for people here in Cyprus. That particular day, I entered the LoD website and had downloaded the mp3 sample of Lasselanta. I had to admit I liked it but I haven’t heard LoD before so I wasn’t much interested on buying it. But luckily I was curious and a friend who had ordered it gave it to me.
And just listening to the first 2-3 songs I was really amazed. Prodution,riffing,vocals etc.. And now after listening to it a dozen of times I’d like to write a review for it..
Starting of with Necromantion. Starting with a clean riff continuing all over the song and then after a nice tremolo riff and of course blast beats :) … Overall a nice melody throughout the song getting up this melancholic atmosphere.. This song made me want to listen to the next songs..
After that, Bridge of Lunar Tears is maybe my fav song from this album..the tremolo riffing and the drumming is just great + those extreme vocals..this song blasts continuously into my mind.. what was that? “Hellenic bm ofcourse!”.. there is a nice break part in this song getting all thinks straight up and then again blasting to the last riff..
Next next Lasselanta..Oh yeah ive heard this song by downloading it from the lod website.. really cool riffs, getting up a unique melody and really powerful drumming..
Message from the gods is the next song to follow..which is an instrumental..basically its just keyboards and drumming..but still pretty nice
Ancient Wisdom Within…this song begins with clean riffing..again those really well written tremolo riffs..
God is dead..entitled to the album..an overall nice song..not one of my favs from this album but still nice
Sacrifice and war..yes this is ofcourse a fav from the album..and basically I like the lyrics on this one..
And closing up with Illusions..an outro..again instrumental and I kind of prefer it more than message from the gods..
So after listening to it I already added it in my wanted list..and Im looking forward for the next release.. 90%