Legionnaire - Dawn of Genesis
Gates of Hell Records
Mid-80s Epic Heavy Metal
8 songs (30'34")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Finnish Legionnaire have at least two things going for them right off the bat with Dawn of Genesis, a super cool moniker (why don’t more heavy metal bands use it?) and cover art which could classify as my 16 yr old artistic daughter trying to draw an illustration for a Conan the Barbarian story she just read. The aforementioned cover art then is almost a giveaway that Legionnaire are about to play us something epic.

Epic Dawn of Genesis certainly is, in a mid-80s traditional metal sense of this word. That, and the album also makes me think of the first two Maiden albums, probably because of the slightly narrow diapason production. The Finns, on just about every song on Dawn of Genesis, are masters of short bursting circular riffs, which repeat, prod themselves forward, sometimes at absolutely fiery speeds (Calirvoyance, beginning of Enigma of Time). There is hookiness in these melodies, sometimes to the level of downright addictiveness (The Guardian), a sense of originality, Legionnaire definitely came up with these tunes on their own, and also a dash of folk. From mad twirling the band can go to more measured gallops, and Black Harbinger has slower moments at times sounding always as a rough ballad with gurgling bass, but epic schizophrenia (Olympian Aegis) prevails in the end. Legionnaire have a knack for a fantastic intro, almost in every song, but then they can take the rest of the tune in an entirely different direction (Millenium), creating the sense of an unexpected surprise in these short impactful cuts. The other positive trait Dawn of Genesis has are meaningful and well-crafted solos. These emerge unexpectedly (Millenium), open or close the song, veer it off in a different direction, and some of them feature superfast finger noodling, something that definitely took a lot of training before dazzling display could be put on.

Aku Tiensuu is singing a little behind in the mix, as if he is rather proud of his guitar, but a little shy of his voice. The vocals on Dawn of Genesis aren’t the highlight, but in some weird way, maybe because of Aku’s accent, they reminded me of Mike Scalzi (Slough Feg), although Mike is of course an American. In fact, Slough Feg is an excellent reference for Legionnaire, as well as Brocas Helm and Liege Lord. Along with Legionnaire Finland has shown significant propensity for the bands of this style, Lord Fist and Heavy Cross being recent examples. Legionnaire seems to be the most technical of the bunch, while still carrying the epic heavy metal banner proudly.

Killing Songs :
Clairvoyance, Enigma of Time, The Guardian
Alex quoted 82 / 100
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