Release Date: 16th February 2018
Label: Self Release
In theory, Of Legions represent a British take on the traditionally American dominated Hardcore genre. With a spike in popularity, thanks to bands like, Knocked Loose, Code Orange and fellow Brits Gallows, hardcore bands are in a place where they can grace Warped Tour as well as enjoy Grammy nominations. Stoke band Of Legions are the latest band to try and infuse energetic Hardcore Punk and slabs of heavy metal. On paper this is a winning combination, combining a British-Punk ethos to a well-established genre, with a dash of metal and deathcore influence added for special measure. All said, it adds for a winning combination, unfortunately, ‘Face Value’ doesn’t lives up to what the band have set up for themselves, or the genre of which they are a part of.
My main grievance with this album, comes down to its disappointing recording and production, which is a shame; being a massive fan of the DIY underground scene as well as heavy music. I am fully aware of the chaotic, spur of the moment, emotional ethos surrounding hardcore punk, however, with the vast majority of songs having vocals and often other instruments following a seemingly different time signature to each other, it gets old fast. The off beat nature is particularly grinding when the band change time signatures at multiple points during a track which, with no pertaining themes, means it’s easy to get lost within a song, thinking the track has skipped or even changed. Perhaps these were conscious song writing decisions, but aside from stand out track ‘Suicidal Thoughts’, the nine songs of ‘Face Value’ seem to merge into mess of blastbeats, fuzzy riffs and endlessly strained vocals. In regard to production, the vocals are far too high in the mix most of the time, leaving the important instruments to blend together, which as already mentioned leads to this forgettable album of blurred songs. However, the few times that the instrumentals are given their time to shine like the breakdown in ‘La Familia’ or on Deathcore dominated final track ‘Wormfeeder’ they really do come into their own and present a band with promising attributes.
It’s this last point that makes the album so disappointing as the band is clearly able to create tracks and moments of chaos that truly work together (as oxymoronic as that sounds). Instead, Of Legions attempt to presents ‘Face Value’ as as a packing a ‘serious blow to the senses’ and in a way, I think they may be right but not in the way that they had hoped. However, despite my reservations, it would be good to keep an ear out for the band in the future, and I do hope that they could release a more well-rounded and professional record in the future.
Favourite Tracks: Wormfeeder, No Loyalty