Boys and ghouls, get ready for a heaping dose of old school cool. Legionnaire’s Dawn of Genesis is a callback to the heavier underbelly of 80’s metal and is pretty damn awesome. From the get-go, Legionnaire reps traditional heavy metal without apology and unleashes some killer riff work while doing it. Dawn of Genesis is one of those albums that feels eerily familiar but at the same time wholly new, which is what callbacks are supposed to do. Evoke that “I’m home” feeling without sounding contrived or tiresome.
One of the best features of Dawn of Genesis is the dedication to shredding guitars without becoming overbearing or too busy. Take a look at a track like “Black Harbinger” or “Olympian Aegis” -the riff work is so powerful and harmonizing that when the bass and drums follow suit they don’t even need vocals to get you feeling some type of way. If anything, the vocals would be my one “negative” critique here. While they are by no means terrible, in most cases they’re very standard to the genre. Not boring but also at times kind of distracting from how good the actual music is. A perfect example of this would be the track “Enigma of Time”. It’s hard to hear that track and not want to know what an instrumental version would sound like. The vocals just don’t necessarily seem to add to the flavor of the music.
Dawn of Genesis is an album perfect for the guitar lovers of the world – it highlights stripped-down, substance-over-style playing. It is not pretentious or over-produced, and it is an exercise in futility to hear these guys shred and not want to see them do their thing live. Dawn of Genesis is like a love letter to straight up solid guitar skills and the heydays of metal where having sick riffs was more important than fashion, stage personas and all the fringe elements of metal that weren’t the music itself. While I don’t see Dawn of Genesis crossing over into the more pop/radio friendly top 40 crowds any time soon, I do see this becoming an example of a new era in metal, meeting acclaim from artists and fans who legit only give a shit about how slick your solos are. It is a very straightforward album that cleanly delivers some great music without lots of flash (because they don’t need it) – the work here speaks for itself and it rarely gets much better than that.
2. Enigma Of Time
3. Shadow Upon The Metropolis
5. The Guardian
6. Dawn Of Genesis
7. Black Harbinger
8. Olympian Aegis
Aku – vocals / lead & rhythm guitars
Pete – lead & rhythm guitars
Ransu – bass
Aksu – drums
Bloodrock Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 axes
Written by Ken Kaizer for Bloodrock Media on July 2, 2017