An Entire Legion
An Entire Legion demo

An Entire Legion is a band with a personality conflict. It’s a band that strives for a traditional feel, but at the same time wants to be current. It’s a band that lives on hard rock guitar riffs, but at the same time works to appeal to an artsy commercial crowd. In short, it’s a bit schizophrenic and not always in a good way.

One of the biggest challenges the record faces is vocalist Chris Kerley, who seems to have a voice much more suited to an artsy act like Coldplay or Radiohead than a hard rock act. While he occasionally adopts a snarly voice, as on “Free Man,” one of heavier more straightforward hard rock numbers on the record, more often he sounds a bit whiny.

One thing that you can’t say about this EP, though, is that it lacks variety. You shouldn’t give up on a song early because most of them will make a shift – good or bad – before the end.

Opening track “Avalon,” is a perfect example of the dichotomy that An Entire Legion presents. The song opens with a very traditional metal feel and transitions from very commercial moments to heavier moments. A nice marching guitar riff toward the end seems to plant the band squarely in a heavy mode but a surprising poppy turn spoils the mood. Likewise, “I’ll Never Leave” starts as a commercial alternative number with some nice guitar noodling about a minute in. Halfway through, though, they continue to muddy the identity of the band with a heavier sound, followed by a bouncy Korn-like break.

When they drop off the hard rock sound completely, the results are still mixed. “Doomandnogloom” is one of the more interesting moments on the record. A nice jazzy opening and a catchy melody make it entertaining, though how it fits in with the rest of the record, I can’t quite figure. Then there’s the mellow, droning “No Pity,” which is probably the least dynamic and least interesting song on the record.

The high point of the EP is easily “Twelve Ton a Foot.” The new wave-ish 1980s rock opening blasts into a proggy high energy riff that produces the least schizophrenic mix here and is easily the best track here.

While I always appreciate a good Star Wars reference, An Entire Legion is probably not a band I’d listen to regularly, because the commercial elements are simply too commercial for my tastes. They don’t seem to be able to blend the elements quite as effectively as their sister band Tricore (review coming soon). There is, however, definite talent here, although it seems a bit unfocused and a bit unsure of itself. If you don’t mind some artsy, pop leanings here and there, it’s an interesting listen.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
December 17th, 2009

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