With one full-length and an EP to their name, New Jersey death/thrashers Legionary set off to record another EP. This release shows the band taking another step forward in terms of upping the quality of their unique brand of extreme metal. Typically, death/thrash bands tend to sound like thrash bands that are pushing the limits of the genre so far that it spills over into death metal. By contrast, Legionary plays thrash metal, but in a death metal context. What I mean by this is that “Once And For All” is an endless bombardment of thrash riffs, but each riff is surrounded by highly precise drumming that is almost mechanical in nature. Add in vocals that skip right to the mid-90’s, and you have almost no thrash influence outside of the riffs themselves. This style of metal is actually really effective because it adds a lot of emphasis to the percussive nature of the riffs.
The four tracks on this EP tend to be pretty similar. The only deviance is the opener, “Marching Towards Ascension”, which, as the name implies, is a militaristic instrumental preparing you for the upcoming onslaught. “Once And For All” is the strongest of the three full tracks, mostly due to the fact that it is the most memorable. The riff that breaks out a couple minutes into the song is sure to get some violent pits going when played live. Additionally, it ends with a shredding solo that also shows some melody, and ultimately caps off a pretty enjoyable experience. The instruments on the EP all have a great tone to them (vocals included), though the mix isn’t ideal. The drums and the vocals are a bit more at the forefront than the guitars, and there are a few moments where great riffs are buried. Rest assured, however, that as soon as a lead pops up, the guitar volume increases to be in line with the drums and vocals. In this respect, I’d compare the mix much to a typical live performance of any metal band. With that said, however, this issue isn’t too damaging to “Once And For All”. The riffs can still be heard well, especially when there are no vocals or blast beats.
Overall, Legionary has provided an EP that will definitely get a lot of heads banging. The proprietary blend of death and thrash metal that the band plays is reason enough to check out this release. “Once And For All” is certainly not perfect, but it shows a band that has an excellent understanding of what makes their style of metal enjoyable, and it seems like their future releases will only be better if they keep this up!
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"Once And For All"
4.0/5 or 80%.
Written by Scott