Legion – Bible of Stone

Bible Of Stone Cover

Legion – Bible of Stone
Arkeyn Steel Records
Release Date:  13/03/2017
Running Time: 71:51
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

After reviewing the previous release by this “power metal” band from the US, it felt only right that I should also review this one. Already established that, with the right promotion and manager behind them, these guys could and should have been one of the big bands of the 1980’s, possessing the right work ethic, dedication and talent to make it as big as the likes of Metal Church, Agent Steel and Exciter.

Dedication and talent are two words not lost on these guys. Formed by natural musician and multi-instrumentalist Doug Calloway in 1985, Doug was an original producer of his own material at the age of just 16 years old. He ran an ad looking for a high range metal vocalist to record and perform his music, and when Loy Mitchum, from South Carolina, answered the ad at 15 years of age, he was just the type of singer Doug had envisaged performing his songs.

Doug worked tirelessly over the years writing new material, often on the one album before the previous has been completed, and even a break in the band didn’t deter him. In fact, it fuelled his writing, recording and performing (with other bands) and this resulted in over 20 albums of original material, most of it unreleased.

The band split in 1994 but reformed in 2004 for a reunion show. This, however, wasn’t a permanent reunion but 2016 saw a re-birth of Legion and, despite 22 years apart, it sounds like Doug and Loy have never been separated. Original members Chuck Goodwin and Marvin Mitchum have also returned to the band.

Says Doug Calloway: “We have rekindled the fire in our hearts and nothing short of DEATH will separate us ever again.”

So what of this album? Produced by Doug Calloway (who has also done the cover artwork) and re-mastered by Kostas Scandalis, this is both an unreleased album from 1985 and a previously unreleased compilation spanning 1985-1990, now for the first time on cd.

At just over an hour and twenty minutes, it is 21 tracks long and, quite possibly, should have been released as two separate albums, as they were intended, but I can see the logic behind it. As most cd’s can hold 80 minutes of music, why not put two albums on the same cd? Listeners are exposed to even more music and two albums from those long lost archives see the light of day. It’s a win-win situation all around.

As with the previous release “Darkness”, which itself was also a compilation of the first album “Darkness” originally released in 1991, and the previously unreleased fourth album “For We Are Many”, this has a very retro feel to it, sounding like it was written and recorded in the 1980’s. Very much focused on the extensive vocal range of Loy Mitchum, who could, in my opinion, give the likes of Rob Halford, King Diamond and Geoff Tate a run for their money, it is actually one of those “love it or hate it” albums. Some people might think the high pitch vocals are too much on this album, used a lot more here than the previous recording. As I said in my last Legion review I love the higher range vocals in metal music, but I must admit, that I did grow a bit tired of it on “Bible of Stone”

That being said, the guitar work of Doug, along with the solid percussion section, the speed metal riffs and the thrash metal guitar and drum work, that gives this band their sound, prove there is more to them than just vocals. Each is a very talented musician and I would like to add here that I do not think Loy Mitchum is a bad singer, which is by no means the case. His vocal range can extend from the very lowest to the very highest and I think he should make more of the range he possesses.

So who should listen to this album? Well, according to their own PR notes, this is for fans of Deadly Blessing, Metal Church, Omen and Enchanter, but I think every metal lover should add it to their collection. They have described themselves on Facebook as a “power metal” band but I think they have sold themselves short. Flitting from sounding like Exciter and Agent Steel to Metal Church and King Diamond, there are also reminiscences of heavy Led Zeppelin, and even early Rush.

To me, they have such a wide appeal, that to try and pigeon-hole them would be wrong and insulting to them as musicians. And why do we need to categorise bands anyway? Let bands play the music THEY want to, how THEY want to.

That way, we, the fans, get to listen to a whole range of metal music and, like me, we get to find a little gem that we otherwise might not have found!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Bible of Stone
2. Running Away
3. Out Of The Blue
4. Chalice
5. Warrior
6. Eye of the Beholder
7. Destiny
8. Red and Black
9. We’ve Been Watching
10. Welcome the Storm
11. Go to Sleep
12. Memories
13. Tonight
14. Broken Pieces
15. Marie Mary
16. T-total Destruction
17. The Keeper
18. Monsters
19. Tiny Acoustics
20. Endless Nights
21. No Place to Go

LINE-UP:
Chuck Goodwin – Bass
Marvin Mitcham – Drums
Doug Calloway – Guitars
Loy Mitcham – Vocals

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Scare Tactics – Legion

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Scare Tactics – Legion
Self-released
Release Date: 31/05/2015
Running Time: 49:33
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

Being of the “older” generation of metalhead, I’ve never done that typical “old” metalhead thing and stuck to what I know, never wanting to leave to confines of my preferred “genre” of metal just in case I might actually like something new. Ok, that is probably a bit of a sweeping statement BUT there are people out there like that.

I am always on the lookout for new sounds and new bands and I am glad I found this one (I say found, more like “given” to me but you get my meaning!)

Scare Tactics are a UK-based metal band, hailing from the northern city of Liverpoooool and have been together since 2010. In that time they have made a few demos and played a few gigs, including a couple of very prestigious ones, namely Bloodstock Open Air in 2012 and Download Festival in 2015, and from what I hear on this album, they very much deserved their spots.

Describing themselves on their own Facebook page as “a slice of old school metal with a whole new approach” this is very much an accurate description. With influences such as (deep breath here!) Pantera, Alice In Chains, Alter Bridge, Devin Townsend, Gojira, Lamb of God, Metallica, A Perfect Circle, Racer X, Ugly Kid Joe (you keeping up?) Dream Theater, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani to name but a few, they have a whole range of material to draw from while still making their sound their own.

Andy and Paul are absolute masters on their 6-strings and Stu is a maestro behind his kit, while Danny is a master on the bass. They combine (easily I might add) old school grooves and great riffs with fantastic vocals and perfect musicianship, creating an album that is crisp and clear, and that totally rocks.

I might be getting old(er) but I must say that I am enjoying a lot of the new talent that is coming through on the metal scene, which some people say is dying out. This is NOT the case. There is a lot of fresh, new blood coming through the ranks and some of it is actually really, very good. Scare Tactics are one such band. Bringing together “a mutual love of great music to create a blend of power, groove and that melody that encapsulates music lovers everywhere” these guys could be one of the next big things! They certainly have the right sound, the right attitude and they make damn good music.

Legion is their debut album that was released in 2015 and I am waiting with baited breath for the next thing they bring out. Keep up the good work guys and I’ll see you at a gig sometime \m/

TRACKLISTING:
1. Discover
2. Remain
3. Little Time
4. The Sign
5. False Power
6. Drunk Fuck
7. Someone Else
8. LFW
9. Right Hand Man
10. We Live
11. Wrong But Righteous

LINE-UP:
STUART BARKER – Drums
ANDREW BARKER – Guitar / Vocal
MARTY VENTURA – Guitar / Vocal
DANNY WILLIAMS – Bass

LINKS:

scare-tactics-band.jpg

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

This review was first published on Metal Gods Tv

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Legion – Darkness
Arkeyn Steel Records
Release Date: 23/01/2017
Running Time: 76:51
Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

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.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Dream
2. Watching the Sky
3. Eternal Life
4. Living Free
5. Lo the Star
6. All Become One
7. Evil Mind
8. Darkness
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
18. Message
19. Judgement Day
20. Memories
21. Sunday Shoes

LINE-UP:
Doug Calloway – songwriter, guitar, backing vocals
Marvin Mitchum – drums
Chuck Goodwin – bass
Loy Mitchum – vocals

LINKS:

promo-pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.