Grim Legion: Unholy Resurrection

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Grim Legion: Unholy Resurrection
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Grim Legion: Unholy Resurrection
Death Metal
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
March 18th, 2014
Release length: 26:46
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New Jersey’s Grim Legion is a Death Metal band with an interesting history. The group formed back in 1988, and over the years issued three demos in 1990 and 1991 before disbanding. It wasn’t until 2011 that the band reunited, but was joined by drummer Mike Keller (i.e. Mike Blood of Maximum Oversatan and Sacrificial Blood) until 2013 when Ryan Donata (former Hatred Embraced and Strychnia) filled his spot. The band also issued their first demo in twenty years in 2011, titled Unholy Resurrection, followed by the Unholy Resurrection of Hell compilation in 2012. For 2014, the band signed with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions to issue their long overdue debut full-length album, also titled Unholy Resurrection. Is this an album time will pay no mind to, or is this more a release that exists for pure nostalgia and what appears to be a reunion gimmick?

First of all, most of Unholy Resurrection isn’t new material, just new recordings. A good chunk of the songs actually come from the band’s first three demos. “Through Godless Eyes” is the only new composition from the Unholy Resurrection demo recording, while the title track is the only song to not have been recorded before. Most of the tracks sound like they were ripped straight out of the eighties, carrying a heavy Master vibe with some unmistakable Swedish Death Metal input from the likes of Bolt Thrower. Even the audio tries to capture a remastered eighties to early nineties analog quality, carrying a decent emptiness behind thick, blunt distortions with a faint echo similar to the crisp drums, a deeply tuned bass, and altered vocals that sometimes have distinctive layering.

The introductory track “Erebus” keeps in tradition with the past demo releases by kicking things off with a punishing march that has a dismal presence thanks to the roaming deeper vocal harmonizations that litter the performance. “Necromajesty” builds off it with a short introduction before heading right into faster groove-heavy riffs and simple drums. It’s your standard eighties Death Metal performance that doesn’t offer anything new, but is still a solid performance you won’t mind hearing again. “Dark Ritual,” however, is one of the more aggressive tracks. The groove present is a little more subtle thanks to the tight guitars in the main verses, complimented by the faster pace for the first half and the solo towards the end. There are some creeping passages worth taking note of, though not as strong as the unsettling chugging found on the bleak and dismal “Blood Addict.”

“Beyond the Grave” has a little more enthusiasm behind it, especially in the guitars and the solo later on. This really helps it stick out a little more, though stays about on par with the newer composition “Through Godless Eyes.” The influence of God Dethroned and Bloodbath is felt immediately before concluding with a solid slam breakdown worthy of an Incantation recording. Finally there’s “Unholy Resurrection.” While it isn’t the most impressive, there is some additional melody in the chorus that fans of Dismember will instantly find alluring.

Get read to hop into the Death Metal time machine once more, this time to experience an album that has come twenty years too late. While not bad, most of the material here quickly starts to wear thin due to how incredibly standard it all is at this point. Had Unholy Resurrection been issued in the early to mid-nineties like it more than likely was intended to have been by the band in the first place, this would be a far more relevant recording that would have held up over time well enough, though looked at more fondly due to nostalgic reasons. Of course when you look at the time frame these songs were composed during, you have to give Grim Legion some credit for what they accomplished before calling it quits. Unholy Resurrection seems more like a general recap of the band’s previous offerings to give them the proper release they deserve. But, if “Through Godless Eyes” and “Unholy Resurrection” are any sign of recent progression since reforming, it’s obvious Grim Legion are trying to play catch up in order to adapt to the times.

01. Erebus – 1:23
02. Necromajesty – 2:18
03. Beyond the Grave – 2:45
04. Dark Ritual – 3:26
05. Through Godless Eyes – 2:36
06. Blood Addict – 4:50
07. Alien Predators – 2:50
08. Eternal Torment – 3:23
09. Unholy Resurrection – 3:15
Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

Grim Legion
Grim Legion

Digital review copy of this release provided by Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.