Album Review: Last Legion – Metall Blod & Aska
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
They’ve been around in some shape or form since 2009, but it’s only now that Swedish blackened thrashers Last Legion are ready to deliver their debut album ‘Metall, Blod & Aska’.
Central themes of war and death may be unsurprising in a genre which favours the gruesome, and in some respects what Last Legion deliver is also rather unsurprising. Their music has more than a nod to the originators of the black metal movement from the early 1990s, with a sound that flicks between an array of old school legends. What Last Legion bring is a modern fire to their sound, ferocious grooves that allow a wall of riffs and blistering pace to swarm over the listener. Combined with the gnarly vocals are an undeniable thrash edge that incorporates an unholy alliance between death metal (think Entombed circa Left Hand Path) and the visceral thrash of European beasts like Kreator and Sodom.
It’s inevitably a fast-paced and highly energised record that sweeps along in breathless manner. Opener and title track ‘Metall, Blod & Aska’ (Metal, Blood & Ashes should you need a translation) is delviered at breakneck speed, and it’s not until penultimate song ‘Krutdoft 2.0’ that the tempo slows for a few seconds with the introduction of some orchestral keys, albeit that this respite is short lived.
‘Metall, Blod & Aska’ contains five new tracks as well as three re-written songs which were first released on their demo ‘Krutdoft’. The album is savage, spiky, and brings a new take on the typical blackened thrash which bands such as Hellripper, Wraith and Midnight present. Olle Olsson delivers exactly the right level of snarling, grisly vocals that the songs require, a blend of LG Petrov, Jeff Walker and Tom Angelripper.
Last Legion may not bring anything unique to the party, but they do what they do well and if you are partial to this type of metal, then ‘Metall, Blod & Aska’ may well be of interest.