Legion Massacre - Caged and Tortured - (8/10)
Published on March 29, 2017
Legion Massacre is a semi-new international death metal band. The band was originally formed in 2011 by Greek guitarist Stavros (ex-Daylight Misery) and rounded out by Ecuadorian bassist/vocalist Carlos Reyes and drummer Riccardo Grechi. Caged and Tortured is the band’s debut release, coming in the form of a four song EP. I’m pretty sure the band’s name is drawn from Rome’s disastrous defeat at the battle of Teutoborg Forest, where three Roman legions were ambushed and destroyed but information about the band is rather scant.
Caged and Tortured was mixed and mastered by George Bokos (ex-Rotting Christ, ex-Nightfall, and Stone Cold Dead) and he does a great job of giving the release a big, beefy production. Caged and Tortured has a strong thrash component in the riffs, and this aspect gives the EP a strong Vader vibe, which is a high compliment.
Stavros cranks out the riffs on Caged and Tortured and the band does a great job of mixing tempos and borrowing from different riffing styles, ranging from the speedy, thrashy riffs that open “Caged and Tortured” to the Bay Area rhythms on “Carnival of Blood.” “Doomed Society” opens with a slower stop/start riff before moving into a crushing old school groove. The EP really does a nice job of mixing mid-paced, riff heavy old school death metal with more modern thrash sensibilities.
Asides from the strong riffing, the rest of the band turns in a pretty solid performance on Caged and Tortured as well. Carlos Reyes’s bass is pretty prominent, and he also provides a good vocal performance consisting mostly of really harsh rasps that obviously owe a huge debt to Martin van Drunen. Grechi’s drumming is reliable and precise; it’s nothing flashy or overly technical, but it fits the music and propels it along efficiently nonetheless.
There is a sea of Bolt Thrower/Asphyx clones out there, but few add in thrash so well as Legion Massacre. More to the point, few bring the riffs like Legion Massacre. Caged and Tortured is an easy recommendation for fans of modern death metal and I’m excited to see what the band can do with a full-length.