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This is supposed to be special? - 45%

Cynical, September 24th, 2004

If you've read any forum that has a decent number of black metal fans, undoubtedly you've heard of Les Legions Noire- a few black metal bands from France that are unbelievably "kvlt", who's albums are next to impossible to get and horribly expensive, and are supposedly excellent. And Vlad Tepes is one of those bands. If you're curious, and thinking of spending way too much money buying a bootleg of this album on eBay, let me save you the money- this is at best mediocre in every conceivable way.

Simplistic mid-paced riffing is what this album is all about. This alone is not a bad thing, many excellent artists have built masterful works based off of ultra-simplicity- Ildjarn, Darkthrone, and Beherit just to name a few. However, in all of those cases, the ultra simplistic riffs give off an essence- whether it is the completely feral nature of Ildjarn, the hypnotizing evil feel of Darkthrone, or the downright nightmarish ambience of Beherit. All that the riffs on this album can muster, however, is a vague feeling of darkness and aggression- which one can turn to any number of bands to get. There's also a few absolutely terrible guitar solos in here. Occasionally, a riff tries desperately to be "epic", but when compared to the likes of Graveland or early Enslaved, fails miserably.

There's not much to say about the structures- not verse/chorus, but not put together in such a way as it's going to help the whole. They're just sort of there.

The drumming is terrible- sometimes the typical simple beats, but sometimes totally unfitting "bouncy" drumming, playing remarkably tepid fills every once in a while. Nothing to see here, folks.

Vocals are sort of a low to mid range rasp. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible.

The production is god-awful, but if you wanted clean production you probably weren't considering this album anyways.

In conclusion, if you really want a LLN album, download "Remains of a Dead, Ruined, Cursed Soul" by Mutiilation- it's excellent. Don't get this. It's not worth the time it takes to d/l it.