The cover art for Legions of the Dawn (by Remy from Headsplit Design) is sure to seize attention. The sight of all those humanoid horrors shambling through horned tentacles sprouting from hellish ground makes a vivid and ghoulish impression. There’s murder in those eyes and ruthless hunger behind those teeth. But what lies within the album behind that ghastly artwork? You’re about to find out.
Legions of the Dawn is the work of The Malice, a two-headed death-metal monster consisting of Hubeister (Father Death) Liljegren from Sweden and Claudio (CorpseFührer) Enzler from Germany. With a pair of EPs and a single behind them, they first released this album as a demo last September under the title of The Unholy Communion, but it has now been picked up by Satanath Records and More Hate Productions for re-release on March 25th with new mastering, that eye-catching new artwork, and of course the new title.
So, to return to our original question, what lies within this record?
The labels behind this new release strongly recommend it for fans of Morbid Angel, Origin, Hour of Penance, Dissection, Malevolent Creation, and Deeds of Flesh (Dying Fetus also comes to mind). As those references suggest, these nine songs are hybrids, amalgamating furious fret-leaping riffs and maniacally athletic drumwork, brutal bone-smashing grooves, scorching vocal hostility, and hints of spectral, icy, and morbid melody.
The references to Origin and Deeds of Flesh might be the most relevant, because the elements of technical death metal in the music are pronounced, and operate at a high level. The pacing is turbocharged, with the drumming ejecting obliterating percussive munitions but shifting rapidly among various patterns of merciless destruction and the fretwork generating a blazing extravagance of tremolo’d scything, shrieking mayhem, insectile darting, and reptilian slithering — coupled with freakish but fluid soloing that’s often white-hot and just as often supernatural in its feeling.
Augmented by horrid bellowing roars and rabid wolfish howls in the vocal department, the music is also just plain mean. In keeping with the band’s name, there’s a palpable feeling of malice in the music, a throat-slashing, body mauling hostility that floods through these sounds. But as much mean-spirited and mauling mayhem as this duo generate, the execution is so razor-sharp and it’s so frequently segmented by jolting, pile-driving, start-stop grooves that it never devolves into unorganized chaos.
On the other hand, you’d better take plenty of deep, hyperventilating breaths before you hit the play button below, because The Malice aren’t interested in giving you space in which to breathe normally. They go flat-out from start to finish, with no mercy and no remorse.
Satanath and More Hate will release Legions of the Dawn in a jewel-case pit-art CD edition with an 8-page booklet, as well as digitally. You can explore the buying options via the links below.