LEGION – Shadow Of The King

LEGION - Shadow Of The King


Legion Records
Release date: June 15, 2005

User Review
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The band Legion is a newcomer in this vast, expansive, competitive market called the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal music entertainment business. Legion began writing and recording demos in their makeshift studio in the Fall of 1999. They hail from Central New Jersey (United States) and were formed by guitarists Frank and Joe Adamo, presumably brothers, and long-time friend and drummer Collin Bianchi. The Summer of 2005 actually brings their hard work to fruition in the form of their first release entitled Shadow Of The King. The band proclaim to be “… determined on creating a hard-driving, powerful, and melodic style, while drawing heavy influence from 70s and early 80s Hard Rock and Metal.” In actuality, this seemingly enlightening statement by the band isn’t too far from the truth.

The weakest thing about this release is the production, and probably rightfully so. The band themselves handled the recording and production chores, and the label itself, Legion Records, is presumably the band’s own “label.” The production suffers from being too thin in spots. For example, Bianchi’s snare exudes a rather flat tone in some areas, while his bass pedals, and Marinov’s bass, just don’t come through enough in the mix. On the other hand, the guitars and vocals come through the mix quite clearly. Given the assumed tight budget and self-financing of this album, the uneven production is probably something most listeners can initially understand and overlook, especially if the music is able to stand on its own.

The album begins ominously, and perhaps too stereotypically, with an approaching lightning storm and duel vibrato bars. This all melts away to a dual guitar riff and the sense that the opening track, “Shadow Of The King,” has arrived. Comparisons throughout can be made to Rainbow, Deep Purple, and other Classic Hard Rock 70s bands. This track is commendable, but certainly isn’t the best the band has to offer here. “Illusion” is rather upbeat, catchy, and almost Malmsteen-like, with a nice melodic riff. Interestingly enough, the snare on this track seems to have more reverb included than the CD’s opening track. The band deems “The Watcher” track as their “Stargazer,” and oddly enough, it ends up having a Black Sabbath feel to it, almost like a live version of “Heaven And Hell.” The track won’t bowl anyone over, but it still stands as a commendable attempt at writing an epic tune. “Medicine Man” is a catchy, melodic, soulful number that’s worthy of a listen and stands out as a favorite, while “Heart Of Stone” seems vaguely familiar, as it appears to borrow a harmonic guitar line from Rainbow’s “Man On the Silver Mountain.”

No single band member stands out as a shining star, yet they all contribute solid efforts. Singer Mike Bunk handles vocal duties adequately, albeit with what seems to be a slight strain in some areas. His singing is reminiscent of a fuller-ranged Marc Storace (Krokus, Bliss). The Adamos’ guitar playing is very akin to a Ritchie Blackmore or a Dave Murray/Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) style. The rhythm section is solid; they just need the bottom-end turned up in the mix so listeners can hear them without straining one’s ears.

Overall, the Castle Rock-like music and themes does borrow influences from 70s Rock/Metal groups, and tends to have a certain mediocrity to it. Bottom line, the band needs to create their own identity somehow so it doesn’t all sound so vaguely familiar. The question, then, is should you fork over your hard-earned cash for a copy of this bugger. It’s tough to recommend spending money on such a freshman release like this because one can sense that the band can do better given the proper resources and direction. The recommendation, therefore, is “try before you buy.” Visit their website and listen to their sound clips, request a track of theirs through the Metal Express Radio DJs, and then make a clear cut decision for yourself. Or, if that sounds like too much misspent energy, then at least keep an eye on this band and see what their next release brings.


Mike Bunk – Vocals
Frank Adamo – Guitars
Joe Adamo – Guitars
Nick Marinov – Bass
Collin Bianchi – Drums
Legion – Production


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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