This is a debut album from a band from Finland who have been active for some five years now. They play barbaric traditional metal in some quarters, old Swedish metal and NWOBHM in other places. Laden with galloping riffs associated with the NWOBHM scene, musically this is a pretty cool release, its certainly going to be enjoyed by fans of Heavy Load, Manilla Road, Terminus etc etc…The only occasional hit and miss point is the vocals. They are quite strong, but the tone is quite flat in places, leading to moments where songs could be a touch more epic, but sound somewhat restricted. That said, it isn’t bad, far from it, no one is perfect, think back to some of these now cult bands from the early 80’s, then look at what’s happening now. The style is much more appreciated now than it was back then, with a younger generation carrying the torch of traditional metal further than it has been in its history and becoming more involved in the scene.
‘Shadow upon the Metropolis’ is a great galloping tune and vibrant musically, all the key elements are present within its traditional song structure. ‘Black Harbringer’ is another fist pumper. Now here the vocal changes key and is much more fitting and oozes a touch more emotion. ‘The Guardian’ kicks into gear a nice touch of speed with a flowing melodic lead break and main gallop, prior to a touch of classic riffing with some twin harmony included. All in all, very enjoyable and I have to check the year, it does sound typical of classic early 80’s metal from across the seas.
As I have come to play this a lot, I have really grown in my appreciation and despite some earlier wavering critique, I can honestly say in the grand scheme of the release, it really doesn’t matter as it all fits. Legionnaire are a perfect fit for festivals such as “Live Evil”, “Up the Hammers”, “Keep It True” and “Musklerock”. It’s not going to be too long before you see their name around the block a touch more. There’s a really cooking scene in Scandinavia, some have travelled well and I think Legionnaire will do the same. For fans of basically cool heavy metal and tirades of fist clenching head banging metal, it’s a damn fine record, although I will say give the album a chance and some intense listening, you’ll pick up more positive qualities the more you get immersed into the ‘Dawn of Genesis’.
(7.5/10 Paul Maddison)