Night Legion – Fight Or Fall (Massacre Records)Friday, 30th June 2023
A robust melodic metal scene exists in Australia – of which Night Legion represents in the power variety category with this second album Fight or Fall. Expanding from a quartet to a quintet, there’s a new vocalist in the mix with ex-Empires of Eden singer Louie Gorgievski taking over for Vo Simpson as well as second guitarist Col Higginson – while most will be familiar with the exemplary axe play of Stu Marshall (Death Dealer, Empires of Eden, Ronny Munroe). This has all the makings on paper to be a solid, headbanging outing, which is what you’ll hear in an addictive amalgamation of North American/European influences for these nine tracks.
If you’ve yet to hear the soaring pipes of Mr. Louie Gorgievski, prepare yourself as he’s in that elite class of say Michael Kiske, early Geoff Tate, and Bruce Dickinson. He can sustain peak falsetto notes in the mid-tempo march-oriented title track while mirroring the pulsating double kick energy throughout “Babylon Burns” – and that’s all you could ever ask for in this style of metal. Stu’s neoclassical chops bristle in that heroic role for “Soaring Into the Black”, while with his compatriot Col they fill out all the necessary calmer to catchy riff/lead break aspects on “At World’s End”, the uplifting guitar harmonics beyond the melodic transitions setting up a vocal harmony-oriented chorus that won’t leave your brain anytime soon. Darker, mysterious keyboards give “Harvest of Sin” a latter day Savatage-vibe before the arrangement takes on more of a US power template, 80’s-period Riot cropping up as an influence with drummer Clay Tchakalian delivering sinister fills against his mid-tempo grooves. What’s also exciting is bassist Glenn Williams representation in terms of sound/substance – he’s given full, robust spots to add flair to these songs, “The Enemy” a specific standout in that regard.
Stu’s production role beyond the seasoned Chris Themelco mixing/mastering along with another seething cover courtesy of Dusan Markovic and you have all the makings of Night Legion elevating themselves into good company for high quality power metal with teeth for Fight or Fall. Crank this loud and proud.