It’s common knowledge that a person’s train of thought can be completely derailed by the sounds of good music, but sometimes an album can be so intense that not only will you lose your thoughts but also also your rational way of thinking, effectively running you over by the same train that usualy keeps you on those tracks. Heavy hardcore band Legion has always had this ‘vibe’ that bombards you with the weight of a continent: from the raw and gritty screams that can be heard on This is the End to the deep bass slams of Bottom Feeder: Legion has always delivered the heavy, standing at the front lines with some of the best bands the metal genre has to offer. With the aforementioned EP’s under their belt Legion has returned once again, this time with a full length: Woke. Dare I say that this latest effort shows so much progression and improvement for the band that it puts their previous work to shame? In order to determine that we need to look at some the aspects that Woke brings to the table.
The first thing that should be noted are the vocals; as has always been the case in the past Michael Guilford perforates your eardrums with a constant flurry of his signature sharp screams that are present from the moment they can be heard on And Then, The Devil Said. The biggest improvement over the old material are the new and improved deep death growls, which have a bigger impact on the overall package because of the downright filthy tone to them.
The second (and by far the biggest) improvement are of course the instrumentals; Woke is filled with a fuckload of distinctive grooving and some of the filthiest breakdowns known to man. I can hear lots of influence from bands like The Acacia Strain here, imagine if they had made an album after Continent but before Wormwood and you have a pretty good idea what to expect. This is not the whole deal however; add some malicious death metal influences to that and cover that in a thick layer of pure unadulterated hardcore rage and you got a flak cannon spewing lethal shrapnel through your speakers.
The third (and final) aspect that stands out is the production/atmosphere; this really adds the final touches to this beast of an album. In my opinion the production is in a league of its own when compared to the last EP, Woke has a layer of distortion and a dark atmosphere so thick that you can actually see it, this all adds to the magic and distinctive production. The exact same thing can be said for the atmosphere generated by the instruments; whether its the unearthly breakdowns or the creepy dissonant tones that can be heard in the background, Woke has lots of moments that will send cold chills running down your spine, even in the summer heat.
If you take these improving aspects and add some nasty ass lyrics to the formula the verdict here is obvious: Woke is the heaviest and best Legion release that ever graced this rotating ball of shit we call Earth! With its addictive nature Woke is the head turner wherever you choose to jam it, playing it in a crowded area will result in a gore bath; complete with bloody puddles and severed limbs flying all over the place. Witness for yourself how the mighty Legion marches forward; pulverizing all who stand in their path with this damn solid release.