A Quarter-Century of Legion

Article contributed to Death Metal Underground by Alan Nestorius.

Legion, Deicide‘s second and best album, turned twenty-five this year. Legion is the among the most aggressive metal albums of all time. Deicide went directly from the horse power of Deicide to jet engines on Legion. This served to emphasize their style of twin tripleted and tremolo picked chromatic riffs linearly progressed forward to machine gun percussion.

Legion‘s hyper-speed belligerence, like the best work of Sepultura, is almost unmatched, projecting images upon minds not of human carnage but of humanity’s own mechanical creations: A squad of uncountable bombers on a precarious mission to obliterate medieval cities to the rhythm of anti-aircraft fire for their mere existence is but a hindrance to bloodshed. The commanders in the rear knew that such a mission was practically suicidal but tenuously grounding the chaos was a looming entity of destruction, staunch and inexhaustible, incomprehensible but for the fact of its singular universal ambition fueling and aiming the chaos.

The squadron was perpetually at the brink of collapse, total cessation of one the only imparted certainty, inevitably concluding the undergone efforts of which’s abruption is at no point alluded to. Atonal leads and solos in the style of Hanneman and King are incendiary bombs cutting through the air, diving down to burn past civilizations to ashes. An unremitting barrage of, both determinedly mindless and furiously homing, fragments of a reality shattering unto itself alongside the disintegration of a force rooting itself into its substrate purposed to destroy.

Burned into the earth below were plateaus of intensity continuously overtaking one another till a point of severity precluding any extractable meanings; as in black holes all laws and rationales are broken down and everything is reduced to a nothingness soon to be characterizing all. The constructions of civilizations past were but fuel to destroy the present as perceivable existence collapsed inward upon itself as the breath of life was sucked upward into an aerial firestorm raised from the Earth to act as their vampiric pychopomp. Legion was Deicide casting their entire Promethean fire down from the heavens upon humanity as everlasting hellfire.

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48 thoughts on “A Quarter-Century of Legion

  1. Mike Okiniomov says:

    8 songs that are like 8 lances from different directions but pointing towards a same target. Deicide also knew how to use hooks to enhance aggression rather than diluting it. The definitive Deicide album, everything afterwards is less a statement than an entertainment and paycheck.

  2. Satan's Cumsock says:

    Eh, I still prefer their debut, but Legion is nice.

    1. 1488 not 1776 says:

      indeed.

      breaking news: thin, mechanical sounding sophomore slump tricks dmu into thinking it’s great with its random obscurantist song structures.

      1. you're gay says:

        i’m now getting this from our DMU correspondent: morons have opinions, more at 11

  3. Spectral Proctologist says:

    You put this phrase in both the 2nd & 3rd paragraphs:

    “an unremitting barrage, both determinedly mindless and furiously homing, of fragments of a reality shattering unto itself alongside the disintegration of a force rooting itself into its substrate purposed to destroy.”

    Was that on purpose?

  4. Brainer Rascalslut says:

    A squad of uncountable bombers on a precarious mission to obliterate medieval cities to the rhythm of anti-aircraft fire for their mere existence is but a hindrance to bloodshed.

    It can be decisively proven that there were no bombers in existence during the medieval era, to state so even in a metal review is misleading and does not lead the figure of speech anywhere useful. It would be better to stick to the facts and take the narrative in cohesive steps that reveal the on-going development which like a computer code in Linux system mutates and carries on. But to do so would obviously mean that the writers in question actually know anything about this and that they are more than simply competent coders that are more than just surviving by writing sub-standard code and commenting on C-span to feel better about their under productive lives.

    As my favorite writer, Ayn Rand, once said:

    If it is true that what I mean by “selfishness” is not what is meant
    conventionally, then this is one of the worst indictments of altruism: it
    means that altruism permits no concept of a self-respecting, self-supporting
    man—a man who supports his life by his own effort and neither sacrifices
    himself nor others. It means that altruism permits no view of men except as
    sacrificial animals and profiteers-on-sacrifice, as victims and parasites—that
    it permits no concept of a benevolent co-existence among men—that it
    permits no concept of justice.

    Carrying on these concepts would reveal a poverty of thought in the review with regards to what actually Decide may or may not have intended to do so that the result can be graduated in a measured sense that not only Einstein in his best of days would have been able to decipher. Then again, the deconstruction itself would have lead the end all of the be all to the next point in the conversation and time which would give us the correct solution to the conundrum presented in front of us all: How is it possible to have aircraft of the bomber time deployed during medieval times? The only solution that I can see, which I doubt can be improved one by anyone around here, is time travel. In considering time travel, then, we would have to take a closer look at what Michio Kaku has to say on the subject:

    Time is one of the great mysteries of the universe. We are all swept up
    in the river of time against our will. Around AD 400, Saint Augustine
    wrote extensively about the paradoxical nature of time: “How can the
    past and future be, when the past no longer is, and the future is not yet?
    As for the present, if it were always present and never moved on to become
    the past, it would not be time, but eternity.” If we take Saint Augustine’s
    logic further, we see that time is not possible, since the past
    is gone, the future does not exist, and the present exists only for an instant.
    (Saint Augustine then asked profound theological questions
    about how time must influence God, questions that are relevant even
    today. If God is omnipotent and all-powerful, he wrote, then is He
    bound by the passing of time? In other words, does God, like the rest
    of us mortals, have to rush because He is late for an appointment?
    Saint Augustine eventually concluded that God is omnipotent and
    hence cannot be constrained by time and would therefore have to exist
    “outside of time.” Although the concept of being outside of time
    seems absurd, it’s one idea that is recurring in modern physics, as we
    will see.)

    Should we even take this review seriously?

    1. LordKrumb says:

      Do you know nothing about the German and Allied bombing campaigns in WW2?! The Baedeker Blitz? Coventry? Exeter? Lübeck? Frankfurt? Dresden? Nuremberg? Munich? Caen? etc. etc.

      Some facts to relieve your poverty of reading comprehension and knowledge:

      The review does not mention “medieval times”. It only says “medieval cities”, i.e. cities that are regarded as medieval because of their origins and significance during the one thousand year Middle Ages period. Many such cities in Europe were deliberately targeted by WW2 aerial bombing offensives because of their historical and cultural value, and because the old city centres often contained many medieval buildings predominantly built of wood, which was conducive to forming an intensely destructive firestorm.

      Also, you missed the point where the author makes it very clear he is not talking about aerial bombing of cities *during* the Middle Ages: “The constructions of civilizations past were but fuel to destroy the present”

      1. ballistic penis says:

        This back and forth exchange brings me comfort knowing that the kind of autism that was the DLA still exists from time to time. Thanks be to God.

        1. you're gay says:

          i’m glad I’m not the only one

      2. Rainer Weikusat says:

        Many such cities in Europe were deliberately targeted by WW2 aerial bombing offensives because of their historical and cultural value, and because the old city centres often contained many medieval buildings predominantly built of wood, which was conducive to forming an intensely destructive firestorm.

        The Brits (NB: Not the Americans, at least not in theory) where doing night-time area firebombing of working class residental areas in German cities because these were expected “to burn well” (That’s actually a quote. It’s somewhere in The Bombing War, Overy, Penguin 2013). This was specifically targetted at multi-storey buildings constructed since the industrialization and worked by so-called pathfinders light-marking (with special purpose bombs, obviously) a target area, followed by heavy bombers dropping so-called blockbusters (a cluster of the buildings was known as block), large explosives bombs intended to smash the windows and blow off the roofs, followed by masses of incendiaries in order to set the buildings alight from the (now open) inside.

        In theory, this was based on the interwar Douhet theory of employing strategic, that is, immediately purposeless, bombing to render an enemy incapable of continuing warfare because it’s cities (and citizen therein) would cease to function as supporters of it. In practice, this was more a cause of coming up with targets which were easy enough to actually find (most of the time at least) and which could actually be destroyed by airstrikes, IOW, “We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do it”. Towards the end of the war, this was pretty much bomber command burning down whatever could be burnt down on autopilot because that’s what bomber command was meant to accomplish, eg, “Show the Russians what bomber command can do” as justification for the 1945 Dresden raids.

        Insofar this affected something “of cultural value” (presumably a fairly alien concept to the people organizing these campaigns) this was a side effect.

        NB: The Germans meant to do the same in England (and Russia) but never accomplished much because of the randomness of their efforts and because the (fairly small) German bombers had been designed for supporting ground forces in regular warfare.

    2. autist says:

      DMU needs a voting system so I can le upvote this

      1. Rainer Weikusat says:

        Pantera remains Pantera no matter what label you put on it: A maybe competent ensemble of musicians playing a kind of slowed-down and heavily rhythm-centered speed metal serving as backdrop for loads ot »taff guy«-posturing by boy-friends temporarily relieved of the oversight of her girl-friends.

        Mötley Crue modernized for the “not quite grunge”-generation, IOW, people who got into ‘medell’ during it’s brief chart music spell.

    3. Phil says:

      He meant towns originating in the medieval era you bumbaclart.

      1. Rainer Weikusat says:

        Duckhead likely knows this himself.

    4. Fratnir says:

      What the fuck? Is this what total autism looks like?

      1. Seth says:

        There should be a shirt that reads “This is what autism looks like” to compliment its 3rd wave feminist counterpart. I have much more respect for aspie’s, howeever.

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          This was a (quite superficially constructed) spoof.

  5. Mattel Marauder says:

    Amazing album. One of the best ever. Couldn’t make heads or tails of the article.

  6. His balls, Your chin says:

    good album, shitty stream-of-consciousness ‘review’.

    Should have just left it with the title and the picture of the album, instead of engaging in the bum-fun.

  7. 1488 not 1776 says:

    I think I prefer Brett/Prozak’s word salad beat poetry to extended labored metaphors

    at the end of the day I’d rather just have a review of the music though

    1. 1917 or die says:

      I concur.

  8. zmej says:

    Definitely, one of top 3 death metal albums, at least as far as classic flavor is concerned. As for triplets, hm, not really, surely not in the best songs – Satan Spawn.. and Revocate the Agitator. It’s just sixteenth notes. For triplets check out Morbid Angel – Rapture.

    1. Yuzerneigm says:

      You don’t even what “16th notes” means. Poser.

  9. Jerry Hauppa says:

    “This served to emphasize their style of twin counterpointed tripleted and tremolo picked chromatic riffs linearly progressed forward to machine gun percussion.”

    There is no counterpoint on Legion, let alone harmony of any kind unless you count the guitar solos. A lot of the writings on this site tend to have the pitfalls of both extremes of confirmation bias, where either once something is liked, terminology is invented or misconstrued to support the positive bias, or once something is disliked, witch hunt tactics are utilized to pigeonhole the music into nothingness. While both cases usually involve albums that are due either strong positive or negative reviews, if this site wants to be portrayed as the most cerebral (with dick jokes interspersed) metal review site free of the trappings of modern emotion-based criticisms, you have to do your homework before you utilize terminology you don’t have a full grasp on. Legion deserves every once of praise it gets, but by incorrectly attributing elements to its construction as a means to support emotional resonance, you are utilizing the same tactics that enemies of this site do in their severely misinformed review stylings.

    1. David Rosales says:

      All (actual) music has some kind of harmony.
      I presume you mean there are no “harmonized guitar lines alla Iron Maiden”.
      The reviewer is also probably using the word “counterpoint” in its loose sense, not indicating baroque counterpoint.
      Guitars here do “counterpoint” each other, since they do not play exactly the same but rather shadow and echo each other so that even though most of the time they are playing the same notes, they are playing them differently, giving the music a particular grit.

      1. berzerker says:

        The guitars mirror each other, they do not counterpoint each other. If the guitars mirroring each other imperfectly is intentional to create a sense of dissonance or “grit”, that is an interesting technique but I would not consider it compositional (i.e. intrinsic to the songwriting process) so therefore not an example of counterpoint, any more than the sound created by a distortion pedal is counterpoint to the guitar melody.

        There is no counterpoint in extreme metal, period. Everything follows the guitar. This makes comparisons between metal music and classical music shallow. Classical music is not typified by melody, it is typified by counterpoint, by how different melodies played at the same time interact with each other. Jazz, funk and post-rock all use counterpointed melodies and have far more in common with classical music composition than metal does. The unique influence of classical music on metal is largely imaginary, based on a few shred guitarists incorporating classical motifs in lead solos, and the reputation of metal as being difficult to play in comparison to popular styles.

        1. Jerry Hauppa says:

          “There is no counterpoint in extreme metal”
          https://youtu.be/RIueKHJE1GM

          1. Spinal says:

            I’ve been meaning to check out this band, but something makes me reluctant. Are they worth pursuing, or is it just interesting from a technical point of view?

            1. Jerry Hauppa says:

              They don’t have an overarching philosophy aside from blanket metal irreverence toward humanity and religion, so readers have may find it more music for music’s sake, but that being said, I think they have the strongest melodic sensibility of any modern metal band and I personally find their albums very engaging- although they may appear riff salad at first, upon many listens you’ll feel that none of the riffs could belong to songs other than the ones they come from. Their first release is probably the least complex and most immediately rewarding, although the melodies would probably be too saccharine for most of the readers here.

              1. Spinal says:

                Thanks

          2. berzerker says:

            The segments of that song with the most use of counterpoint are also the ones that sound the least metal – 2.58-3.33, 4.45-5.28. Those segments could be in a post-rock song or a Paradise Lost type of song. The most metal sounding elements of this song – the blast beats, double-kick drums and riff-salad structure – also sound the most reflexive. The natural evolution of this band if it continues will be to drop the reflexive elements in favour of the more engaging contrapunctal elements and build songs that flow more organically. They will then be denounced as hipster metal.

          3. you're gay says:

            in its better moments, this reminds me of early Gorguts, but I’m pretty dumb

          4. Open Borders for Israel says:

            Counterpoint is viable in metal, but not required.

          5. autist says:

            Counterpoint implies a very specific set of rules regarding how the two voices interact, so no, metal does not have real counterpoint, i doubt much music outside of Bach and friends does. Many bands do use polyphony succesfully though, see Sacramentum, Eucharist, etc.

            1. berzerker says:

              Counterpoint refers to the theoretical underpinning of compositions with intersecting melody lines, polyphony is a description of how this actually sounds in effect, but they both refer to the same phenomenon so the distinction between them is academic. Lots of popular music uses counterpoint, although in popular music it may arise out of improvisation between musicians more so than with classical composers who plan the compositions in their heads meticulously using formal rules as a guideline. The historic “rules of counterpoint” are breached freely by contemporary orchestral composers and are used mostly as an introductory teaching device.

        2. Spinal says:

          Crimson Massacre – The Luster of Pandemonium, perhaps?

    2. Yuzerneigm says:

      There is absolutely no harmony in the guitar solos on this record. Did you mean cacophonous atonality? I think you’re stupid.

      1. Jerry Hauppa says:

        I’m saying by having a guitar solo over a rhythm guitar, you have two voices creating a harmony whether one is atonal or not, you dolt.

    3. Trashchunk says:

      You typed “once” instead of “ounce” because you’re fucking stupid.

  10. Jerry Hauppa says:

    Yeah, I didn’t mean harmony as in like, notes that belong to a key but more two voices clashing with each other. As for the guitar lines, right and left guitar actually play the same exact thing for almost the whole record aside from when there are moments where one guitar drops out and the other hits accents of the riff. The subtle differences to me sound like two different people playing the same line, as shown how no two people palm mute exactly the same way. This would make sense if the Hoffman brothers actually did record it, although if the rumors I heard about Asheim playing all the guitars are true, that would be an interesting flourish.

    1. The Hoffmans probably played both guitars and Asheim is strongly rumored to have played the bass which Deicide’s live shows indicate.

    2. zmej says:

      In fact there are harmonised guitar lines. I believe they use Slayerish lines harmonised in fourths eg Revocate the Agitator 0:31 .

  11. ballistic penis says:

    ” This served to emphasize their style of twin tripleted and tremolo picked, almost counterpointed, chromatic riffs linearly progressed forward to machine gun percussion.”

    Why are the guitars ‘almost counterpointed’? If the two guitars are playing the same thing, or at most one accenting bits the other periodically in ‘staccato’ style, then this is the opposite of counterpoint.

  12. Morbideathscream says:

    Legion was Deicide’s best without a doubt, their debut was great too, but Legion was Deicide’s finest (half) hour haha. Once Upon the Cross was their last good one. Legion was a showcase of their most powerful and intense material. The peak of their career.

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