Glory Or Death
posted on 1/2009 By:
England's Lost Legion was formerly known as The Clan Of Steel, and whether or not they were any more or less interesting then, I don't know. What I do know is that now, under this latest moniker, they're bringing us a pedestrian take upon epic warrior/fantasy metal, somewhat accurately self-described as between Manowar and Blind Guardian. Unfortunatley, while Lost Legion has the basics of style in place, they’re lacking the quality of either of those primary influences. Think of it like a toy sword: it looks the part, may even act the part, but in the end, it doesn’t pack the heft of the real thing, and it’s dull.
Warrior metal should be majestic, fiery, spirited; it should fill the mind with images of sword-wielding heroes battling fire-breathing dragons or axe-swinging orcs or armies of evil whateverthehells. Glory Or Death has moments that evoke those barbarians and beasts, but the combination of a flat production, generally average songwriting and an overall lackluster performance makes the entire affair feel underdeveloped. The speed is here; the dynamics are passable. But the snare drum sounds soggy and wooden; the guitar tone is acceptable, but lost in the muddy mix; the kick drums pack little punch. The vocals are largely confined to a mid-range operatic style, with the occasional jump into a falsetto wail, and neither the lower or higher registers are anything more than competent. As technically sound as some of the components may be, the sound itself is lacking, and thus Glory Or Death is robbed of what few saving graces it might once have had.
The songs aren’t awful, but yet they meander through riffs and ideas without any transcendence or true power, finding a spark here or there but never burning. There are some moments of merit in the mire, like the tribal bit in "Riders Of The Mark" or the epic "Carnage On The Walls Of Delnoch," but the lack of vigor or focus saps them of anything more than novelty factor. In the end, they’re little more than a brief flash of "huh, that part’s kinda cool" amongst the frequent "yeah, sounds kinda like Manowar, but not as cool" and the occasional "yeah, sounds kinda like Blind Guardian, but not as cool." All in, the record feels unfinished, like demos by a better band or perhaps tracks that Lost Legion hadn’t quite wrangled in and then decided, "Screw it, put ‘em out anyway; we’re on a tight schedule here." By the time the listener reaches "The Last Scion," which holds a few of the album’s finer points, what final moments of redemption lie within its brooding bombast are too little, too late.
Given the choices in the album title, Lost Legion would do well to interject more moments of glory into their next record.
Register to post comments.