Sunday, November 4, 2012

Die Hard - Conjure The Legions

Whether the name Die Hard reminds you of the Venom song or the killer movie, you probably already have some pretty high expectations for the band, and let me you, this band meets those expectations. Venom would be the more appropriate comparison, as Die Hard plays what a thrashier version of Venom would sound like. In fact, if Venom had got their start in 1984 or even a little bit later, I’d have to imagine this is the sound they’d have taken on. The vocals are slightly gruffer and less understandable than Cronos, but also bear many similarities to bands like At War, who also come from the school of Venom. Even most of the riffs are quite similar to that old-school speed/thrash style.

Interestingly, however, the band does manage to differentiate themselves quite a bit from Venom. Guitar solos are much more frequent and played with a considerable level of skill. In addition, Die Hard slows things down every once in a while. Utilizing huge power chord riffs with pounding double bass underneath, the band manages to sound even heavier playing at half-speed than they are in their faster state. At times, the band goes all out, totally forgetting that nobody played this fast back in 1982. The majority of “Antichrist” is a testament to the fact that this band can thrash just as hard as anyone when they want to. In addition, one track I just have to mention for having the most killer riff on the album is the closer, Robe and Crown. About half way through, there is a riff that wouldn't be out of place on a Swedish death metal record, but then the band beefs it up into power chords (making it eternally heavier). The band continues with the theme of that riff before jumping into another verse and eventually ending the song with a killer solo. All I can say is that is truly a skull-fracturing riff. Thematically, these guys are pure evil. If the album cover and song titles don’t give it away (“Satanic UpriseSanctify The Morbid”), Die Hard loves to deal with Satan and his comrades.

Conjure The Legions” is a perfect example of how simplicity can really make for something quite interesting. Don’t get me wrong, these musicians are very talented, but there’s something about that sound that only Venom and Motorhead could really play back in the early 80’s that is really killer. Die Hard manages to take a few more recent influences and fuse them with this sound to create a modern, yet old-school record. The strange thing is that it’s difficult to even classify this band. They’re thrash, there’s no doubt about it, but they sometimes have the brutality of death/thrash bands (Solstice, Demolition Hammer), while at other times managing to sound like a black thrash band (Aura Noir, Witchtrap). Ultimately however, if you are a fan of Venom or At War, this is going to be the record for you.

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"Conjure The Legions"
"Robe And Crown"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%. 

Written by Scott