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Legionary - 70%

Zerberus, January 11th, 2013

There are tons of bands in the world claiming to play death/thrash metal. But since death metal is inherently thrashy I've always had a hard time hearing any actual thrash in a lot of these bands. Then along came Legionary from the US with their 10 tracks of rolling tremolo thrash riffs, melodic solos and primal vocals.

What first struck me with their debut album "Arcane Divisions" from 2012 is the overwhelmingly imposing songwriting, and I mean this in a very good way. First comes thrashy d-beat parts, only to be overtaken by necksnapping death metal accompanied by the animalistic roaring of the band's vocalist. The band has noticable nods to the 80's while still maintaining a modern focus, which is especially apparent in their melodic solos.

At times the album does seem a bit genre-confused. This isn't normally a bad thing as mixing things up a bit can often save an album from becoming stale or tedious, but in this case the band's tendency to lean against the sounds of early melodic death metal rubs me the wrong way. Especially in tracks like Unfriendly Fire, where the riffs are predominantly light-weight and melody-based and the otherwise very detailed drumtracks aren't as prevalent as usual, does this tendency become apparent.

Suffice it to say that Arcane Divisions is no run-of-the-mill half-melodic death/thrash. Legionary maintain a true core of metal elements infused with hints of the 80's sound and as such have created a vicious mutant of fast yet crushing metal.

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