Of Legions – Face Value

With already a rather potent reputation for their voracious live presence, UK outfit Of Legion offer the fullest introduction to their hardcore ferocity with debut album Face Value. Enticingly irritable, enjoyably raw, and emotively abrasive, the nine track trespass is a potential rich suggestion of a band carrying all the qualities to make a lingering mark on the British hardcore/punk scene.

Emerging in 2015, Stoke hailing Of Legions have evolved a sound which could be said to have found its true roar around the release the following year of second EP,. They have continued to hone it with essences of metal, rock, and punk blossoming within and as evidenced by their first album, though it still feels like it has a way to go to fulfil its potential, it is a sound that has grown into one ear grabbing, imagination stirring proposal. Alongside, the quartet has further earned increasing plaudits with a live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Gideon, Desolated, Silent Screams, Liferuiner, Martyr Defiled, TRC, Machete 187, Continents, and Brokencyde. Now it is Face Value looking to push the band’s growing presence and fair to say it makes for one hefty invitation to ears and awareness.

The album’s title track opens things up, Face Value looming in from a distance with heavy coaxing riffs and crisp rhythms; already that multi-flavoured mix of sound grabbing ears. Once in full view, the initial vocal blast from Luke Mansfield triggers a rapacious surge of sound and emotion but one which prowls rather than violates to great effect. Swiftly it is all over the song brief but a great start setting up a real appetite for the rest of the album which the following Let Loose soon feeds. It instantly walls ears in a tempest of intensity and noise, the scything swings of drummer Nath McCue full of ill-intent next to the thick grumble of Ollie Lewis’ bass. With Mansfield venting with emotive passion, the guitar of Sam Morrey casts an enterprising web of intrigue and animus which just grips attention, the four way combination uniting in another two minutes plus of creative animosity and pleasure.

La Familia is another which prowls the listener, its threat and energy in check but fully felt as riffs and rhythms badger rather than strike the senses. With hungry hooks and rhythmic imagination at its centre, the song easily keeps predictability away before Worthless springs a bedlam of acidic grooves, vocal discontent, and rhythmic voracity. It similarly twists and turns with adventure and tenacity, blending familiar essences with real imagination carrying Of Legions individuality.

Grouchy bordering on choleric, Scum crowds and bullies ears next, Mansfield leading its corrosive holler with his throat scraping outpourings. Yet at its core is the most irresistible of grooves which inspires a similarly infectious lining across all traits as it leaves the senses withered, even more so with its final bearish incitement.

Even in their individuality, all songs to this point have their seeds in recognisable hardcore beddings but with Suicidal Thoughts the band really push themselves as progressive lined melodies and atmospheric intimation envelop ears as vocals share emotional scars. It is a compelling start which develops into a melodic rock/punk stroll, Morrey colouring it with some great fiery yet suggestive melodies. Leaving food for thought and a whole new current of potential flowing from the band it is another inescapably enjoyable moment within Face Value.

With the adversarial and constantly shifting dynamics of No Loyalty and the bullish rock ‘n’ roll of Hard Time, the album only confirms its potency if neither track quite stirs personal tastes as forcibly as other songs. Nevertheless, each only builds on the blending of styles the band embraces before Wormfeeder brings things to a close with its snarly intrusive quarrel. With death metal essences in its barbarous and suffocating tempest, the track is sonic pestilence and so easy to willingly succumb to.

Face Value is a great next step in the Of Legions’ growth, yes there are elements which might not grab as much as others but its promise is undeniable as too the enjoyment it delivers.

Face Value is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/OfLegions     https://www.instagram.com/of_legions_uk/

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Seething Akira: Incoming Transmission EP

Having just released their new Incoming Transmission EP, Seething Akira emerge from its four tracks to stand strong as possibly if not right now certainly in the future, the biggest UK rival to the likes of US bands brokeNCYDE and Hollywood Undead. Combining a blistering brew of electro, rap, dubstep and crunkcore, the Portsmouth band leaves the senses writhing in pleasure with their stark and intrusively blistered trance manipulations. Their EP is a frenzied surge of filthy sonic fingerings and distorted atmospheres thrust forth with a challenging imagination and punk attitude. The Incoming Transmission EP shows that Seething Akira may not be the finished article yet and is itself not quite flawless but the promise and striking pleasure it gives marks the band and their acclaim by the masses as an explosion just waiting to happen.

A trio on the EP but now a duo looking for a guitarist and drummer, Seething Akira forces the ear into attention from the off with a sampled storm and old easy listening radio sounds introducing Come Here****Chickens! Scathing scraping electronics tease and niggle to announce the forceful vocals of Kit Conrad with Charlie Bowes alongside as the band begins to bully the ear, the provocative distortions and disentangled sounds meshing with impressive ease for a startling effect. The track persistently switches and surprises with an aural slight of hand merging dub elements with caressing melodic play and hypnotic trance metal intensity into caustic rap brought with a screamo tint. Like a merger of Enter Shikari and Hollywood Undead without the need to persuade with open hooks and stereotypical rhythms the band waits until the climax to unleash their pent up energy in a rampage of infectious wantonness brought with scorched eastern promise and senses scrambling invention.

The track is the best on the release though closely pushed by the following Dead Rabbits. Another dramatic intro leads the ear into a more expected rap vocals delivery over epic strikes of sound as the atmosphere intensifies. The song is more ordered than the opener though always unpredictable and enterprising and though arguably it lacks the same contagion its oppressive intimidating breath makes it a song just as effective and compulsive.

The EP is completed by Even Angels Break Hearts and Neil Buchanan. The first is a stark social commentary brought with anger and defiance within a mellower yet striking weave of sounds. As the anger rises the track flexes its muscles with a darkening of its now oppressive intensity and ear seizing guitar invention. As with all the songs on the release the band brings an expansive yet concentrated assault on the senses with layers of synths and programming speared by disorientated beats to captivate and unsettle in equal measure, this particular song the most atmospheric and provocative of all. The second of the pair splatters the senses with a dark carnival swell of sound off of a child spoken intro. It then spends its whole four minutes jabbing and pinching nerves and synapses with biting heavy rhythms and snarling bastard intertwined sounds all soundtracked by a soaring electronic swarm of warmth. At times it reminds of Senser  without ever revolting into a fully balanced song, but it is exactly the constant corruptive barracking of unconnected sounds, like a sonic version of walking on hot coals for the ear, which makes the song so exhilarating.

Seething Akira and the Incoming Transmission EP will not be for everyone but if the likes of the aforementioned brokeNCYDE, Hollywood Undead, Enter Shikari and Senser leave you twitching with pleasure then Seething Akira might induce you into a full on meltdown.

Grab the Incoming Transmission EP for free through the link http://bit.ly/KDAbjl

https://www.facebook.com/seethingakira

RingMaster 22/06/2012

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