Finland’s Legionnaire attempt a similar style of traditional heavy metal with doom and NWOBHM nodes much in the vein of early Blind Guardian, Sabbat, Manilla Road, Satan and even some of the more progressive nodes apparent in Dark Forest. The approach feels very warm, with a vocal presence much like that of Brian Ross that Satan fans will be especially pleased with. This record seems to take much from Court In The Act, even though it definitely suffers from one thing – I felt that even though the overall progressions in the record were more than just a little muscular and there’s a great deal of technical tinkering and full-bodied prog rock influence to be found in this mix, it didn’t really hit me as hard as other artists in this genre have. It could be all in the recording, as I’ll admit that some riffs seem a bit muddled (even though the solos stick out rather well, and I’ll certainly not make a complaint there) and it all seems to suffer from what I feel is much the same tone throughout, making almost every track sound similar to each other. But I’ll admit that this isn’t a truly bad thing, as the Finns at least remember the sound of progressive influenced traditional heavy metal and are able to emulate it with as much bravado as the progenitors themselves. It also can be said that while Lord Peter Macleod and Aku Tiensuu’s guitar structures are quite brillaint despite their rough edges, Teinsuu’s vocals can get to be a bit much after a while. The man seems to stick with one note, which doesn’t necessarily translate as well as you might expect. He sounds like a singing stone golem, with a light raise in harmony by about a point or two. Though I have no doubt that some of you are just going to go nuts over this one (and no, I don’t hate it – I definitely understand and respect what they’re doing here) there just seems to be something off during this performance that I can’t quite wrap my head around. Maybe I just need to listen to it twenty more times or something, which you can do for me if you really love it. Traditional heavy metal purists are going to love this one regardless and that’s what matters, so pick up a copy if this sounds like it’ll appeal to you.
(8 Tracks, 30:00)