MP3 Legion of Doom - Kingdom of Endless Darkness
Unholy old school black metal!!!
7 MP3 Songs in this album (39:40) !
Related styles: Metal/Punk: Black Metal, Metal/Punk: Death Metal, Mood: Angry
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Apart from the band''s rather lackluster demo era, Legion Of Doom has always been a cut above in the greater pantheon of black metal. The details of why this is are somewhat difficult to articulate; Legion Of Doom has never descended into the field of novelty or gimmick, or really done anything to make them stick out from black metal. You could almost call their music plain; it''s unadorned with particularly unique features that would make them stand out from the crowd. However, much in the vein of Gorgoroth''s ''Pentagram'', Legion Of Doom''s music is completely unmistakable despite this first-sight genericism. It''s actually perhaps because of this usage of only the most basic elements of black metal that really shows how the band''s songwriting ability is so far above most others in the black metal scene. ''Kingdom Of Endless Darkness'', the band''s first full-length, still exhibits the band in a relatively unrefined form, but leaves no doubt to the listener that Legion Of Doom is a band that exists on a completely different level from the majority.
''Kingdom Of Endless Darkness'' is impressively structured, with a natural flair for songwriting rarely seen in the underground reaches of black metal. Even the shortest tracks on this album, though certainly more rockish and traditional than some of the more elaborate ones, are written intelligently, with sequences of riff development and logical use of repetition making for memorable and surprisingly vast tracks. The production is raw, even a little cheap, but this is certainly an album where, though the production is not an asset to the music, it''s completely ignorable due to the pure quality of the work at hand. Similarly, the instrumental performances have occasional blips of error here and there, but they''re also easy to let go; the way this material is constructed is just that good.
Legion Of Doom''s music doesn''t follow the ultra-melodic, somewhat rocky conventions of most Hellenic black metal, and could probably be more easily compared to the Norwegians or Swedes in delivery. Blast beats aren''t exceedingly common, but double bass and thrash beats are, and the riffs are primarily articulated through tremolo and strummed chords. While Legion Of Doom''s music isn''t the pseudo-Gothenburg derived melodic work of many Hellenic bands, they''re still melodic, though in an austere and arrogant sense; in many ways this feels much closer to Manowar than Marduk, though certainly without the flash. Influences from traditional heavy metal are present but subtle; there aren''t any Iron Maiden riffs to be found, but certain sections certainly sound like they belong in the ''80s despite the brackish production and (exceedingly well delivered) harsh vocals.
Now all this articulates that this music is great, but not really how or why, so let me try to get to the heart of the matter. Take what is most certainly the crown jewel of this release, the sixteen minute title track. The typical black metal band would try to make his an epic track through use of keyboards, or perhaps some clean vocals. If they''re not quite so gimmicky, they might attempt it through protracted intros and interludes, or with some intensely melodramatic structuring. And if they''re not subtle enough for that, they might just repeat themselves endlessly and hope to god the riff they have is good enough to carry it. Legion Of Doom take a much simpler and more daring route than all of these. This track operates at essentially the same tempo and musical style throughout its length, but it generates mood and creates an intensely narrative piece simply through an amazingly developed melodic sense and unbelievable ability to captivate the listener through electric guitar. The magnificent main riff bends and shifts into new configurations, regularly leaving you at a completely different place than you began before crashing back into its main theme with absolute certainty. It''s the sort of black metal track that takes you on an absolute journey, which is not something that many can say.
It''s placement is also pretty surprising; only the second track in, it leaves you with a number of shorter, simpler tracks behind it, where most bands would use an epic track to shoot their proverbial load at the end of the album. Legion Of Doom isn''t concerned about this though for one reason: they''re aware that the shorter tracks have just as much time and care put into them as the title number. These shorter pieces are phenomenal on their own, from the sudden blitzing of ''Hymn To The Fiendish Veleth'' to the simple yet majestic ''The Black Queen''. Each track, despite its relative simplicity or complexity, shortness or length, has been clearly engineered to be its very best, no matter its goal.
In the end, like many of metal''s great works, the very fact that it''s so hard to articulate what makes it great is a testament to its greatness. Legion Of Doom does what makes many black metal releases remarkable: taking simple elements and creating something vast and stirring with them, without concern for what those unacquainted with these sounds might think. This is not what you listen to with friends, nor what you put on when you just feel like listening to some music, or any other methodology that provides too little significance to this album''s weight. It''s a release which demands attention and appreciation, and you''ll find yourself disappointed if you don''t feed this release appropriately. Listen when you''re willing to invest your time and energy into something of great scope yet modest flash; if you can do it, it''s certainly worth your time.