Legion – Darkness Arkeyn Steel Records
Release Date: 23/01/2017 Running Time: 76.51
Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8 OUT OF 10
Finding information about the band Legion is not easy. One of the bands lost somewhere in the late 80’s / early 90’s, they had no big record deal, budget or promoters/managers to help spread the word about them or their music. Which is a real shame as they had the work ethic, dedication and talent to make it as big as the likes of Metal Church, Agent Steel and Exciter.
But let’s start at the beginning.
Legion were originally formed in 1985 by multi-instrumentalist Doug Calloway and hail from Augusta, Georgia in the US. Described on their own Facebook page as ‘power metal’ this doesn’t really do justice to the full scope of their talents. Mixing in speed metal riffs and thrash metal guitar and drum work, with the extensive vocal range of singer Loy Mitchum, they could be considered the ultimate all round metal band.
But I digress.
Between 1985 and 1994 Legion worked tirelessly and recorded lots of material but due to various difficulties only one independent LP-Tape, “Darkness,” was ever released, back in 1991.
But now, with the help of Arkeyn Records, “Darkness”, one of the rarest and most obscure LP-Tape’s of the 1980’s, along with the band’s previously unreleased fourth album “For We are Many”, have been remastered and both are released together on an epic 21 track cd!
And what a cd! With songs averaging at just about three and a half minutes each, there are no marathon tracks, no complicated and intricate guitar work and no massive drum solos that add no significance to the songs whatsoever (for those who do not know me, I am NOT a big fan of drum solos, on cd or live!)
This is a record of pure, unadulterated metal. It sounds like it was written in the 1980’s but that is in no way a bad thing. I love metal from that decade and if you are a fan of bands such as Metal Church, Agent Steel, King Diamond, Nazareth, Judas Priest, (the list can go on and on), then you will love this album.
Doug Calloway’s guitar work can rival any of the leading guitarists from that day, the percussion section of Marvin Mitchum on drums and Chuck Goodwin on bass are tight and they hold the rest of the band together well, and, as previously mentioned, the vocal range of singer Loy Mitchum easily equals that of Rob Halford, King Diamond and Geoff Tate. I, personally, love the high range vocals in metal music but some people might think he uses it a little bit too much on some of the tracks. This, however, does not extend throughout the whole album, and he does prove he has more strings to his bow that just his high-pitched voice.
This really is a gem that should never have been lost in time. If this album is anything to go by, with the right promotion and manager behind them, Legion could and should have been one of the big bands of the 1980’s.
I hope Arkeyn continue to remaster the rest of the material recorded by Legion as this band is a vital addition to any metal lovers collection.
2. Watching the Sky
3. Eternal Life
4. Living Free
5. Lo the Star
6. All Become One
7. Evil Mind
9. Wake the Dead
10. Simple Rhyme
11. River Song
12. The Spirit
13. Where is the Laughter
14. Everybody Wants To Be
15. Within Your Eyes
16. Empty Graves
17. Message Intro
19. Judgement Day
21. Sunday Shoes
Doug Calloway – songwriter, guitar, backing vocals
Marvin Mitchum – drums
Chuck Goodwin – bass
Loy Mitchum – vocals