I Legion – Overcome the Tides (Self-Released)Tuesday, 5th January 2021
In total transparency, this scribe usually makes every effort to bring up I Legion when chatting with any member involved, so to say that it’s been a while since 2015’s Pleiona would be an understatement. The band’s second release featured a mountain of talent of modern metal’s biggest and most promising, delivering melodic death metal of the highest order. It may have taken a bit of time, with the project being solely Fred Riverin’s to design, but third album Overcome the Tides is here, and succinctly put, it continues to raise the bar higher for this all-star squad.
While Pleiona saw a major expansion in vocalists involved, Overcome the Tides takes a look back towards the debut Beyond Darkness in that the only vocalists involved (outside of one track with assistance from Marie-Pier Gamache), are the original trilogy of Bjorn Strid, Jon Howard, and Chris Clancy. So in that sense, it’s a more focused release that does something more similar in that it gives each vocalist three tracks to perform on. That said, there’s still some considerable talent that Riverin pulls from instrumentally, but with his writing, each track has a remarkable flow to it. It’s still melodic metal/melodeath of the highest order, full of some massive riffs, powerful choruses, and gorgeous melodies. Riverin has a great sense of matching the vocalist with a suitable track and plays to their strengths. “Requiem” starts things off with some frantic speed and blast beats, and is a perfect match for Strid’s vocals. Chris Clancy shines with that urgency in his clean vocals, something that “Silent Tears” quickly reminds the listener of. Jon Howard has that intensity to his screams, and its effectively played off of with the more melodic “Everybody Hurts,” with some singing alongside of Marie-Pier Gamache to great effect. There’s not a dull moment in the mix though, and the mostly upbeat and energetic numbers all ooze a combination that’s undeniably heavier than the previous release but still captures a strong sense of melody. If anything the added contrasts help raise the tracks up to even greater heights, such as the thundering closer “The Bitter Betrayal.”
One of those cases where it’s hard to figure out how the world isn’t abuzz with I Legion chatter, given the immensity of talent involved, and how rich the soundscape truly is, Overcome the Tides dishes out modern metal glory from beginning to end. Any fan of the members involved will be thoroughly impressed by Riverin’s continued ability to craft frantic yet melodic metal with a cast of premiere performers.