LEGION (Phil Vincent) – V (2013)
“V” is the fifth studio release from hard / melodic metal rockers LEGION, just released. Despite being fronted by the seemingly boundless energy of Phil Vincent, Legion truly showcases the songwriting skills and massive guitar chops of Vince O’Regan.
Edgy hard rock / melodic metal is the name of the game, and O’Regan, Vincent & Co. deliver the goods.
Legion brings a good deal of diverse experiences together in a ‘whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ way. The band consists of Vincent at the mic (solo artist, Tragik, D’Ercole, Circular Logik), guitarist, songwriter and producer Vince O’Regan (Bob Catley, Eden and more recently AORsters Escape UK), bassist Gav Cooper (Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone / Killers), drummer Steve Hopgood (Battlezone / Killers, Tank) and keyboard player Irv Parratt (Bob Catley).
Each a veteran musician in their own right, the members of Legion work very well together and offer a meaty and impactful recording on “V”. Phil’s vocals are as solid as always, bringing to mind Don Dokken.
O’Regan’s guitar work is outstanding – a very underrated axe-man, laying down impressive rhythm lines and tight, effective solos. Cooper, Hopgood and Parratt form a very consistent rhythm section, seeming comfortable no matter the style of the song.
The album opens on a high with a very intense “Gotta Pay The Price.” This track is all about the guitars – high speed hooks, catchy rhythms and a spiraling solo. Vincent’s mutil-layered vocals enhances the song, and the band manages to keep up with O’Regan’s speedy fret work.
The raunchy “Satisfy Me” is a bit slower, blending in a bit of glam metal over a pounding bass and drum line before O’Regan unleashes a blistering break. The gritty “Who Can You Trust” follows, an old school hard rock tune with a neat, flowing chorus and kicky drum line.
“Every Beat Of My Heart” is a slow rocker with a very thick and driving rhythm line, but it almost feels like band is struggling to keep it low key / low speed, particularly during the pre-chorus and chorus. O’Regan’s leaping and diving solo on this track is very George Lynch sounding.
O’Regan and the guys continue their Dokken-esque blaze on the dark and moody “Hanging By A Thread.” This is a mid-tempo gem with nicely done layered vocals and an awesome drum pattern. The band softens it touch a bit on the power ballad “Take You Away,” a track that allows Phil Vincent to demonstrate his full vocal range.
“Living In The Shadows” roars back in with a high energy riff, while an awesome bass and drum groove drive the hard rocking “Not Fooling Anyone.”
Intense guitars are again the driving force behind “House Of Cards,” while the keyboards meld nicely with drums and bass to make “Lose Yourself” a different sounding track.
The latter is quite probably one of the strongest Legion songs to date and almost has a Deep Purple vibe to it. O’Regan’s lead breaks are short but explosive, the best on the album.
The old school sound returns on the upbeat “Brand New Day,” a great way to wrap the album.
Legion’s “V” is a very strong album, and should appeal to all fans of guitar driven hard rock and melodic metal.
It’s the perfect vehicle for Vince O’Regan to show how good he is with the six-strings and writing kickin’ rocking songs. Vince also handled the album’s production and mixing obtaining a sharp cutting sound.
Followers of Phil Vincent’s music will also be impressed, but should keep in mind that Legion’s music is a little heavier and edgier than his solo stuff.
Dokken classic-era fans don’t miss this one.
01. Gotta Pay The Price
02. Satisfy Me
03. Who Can You Trust
04. Every Beat Of My Heart
05. Hanging By A Thread
06. Take You Away
07. Living In The Shadows
08. Not Fooling Anyone
09. House Of Cards
10. Lose Yourself
11. Brand New Day
Phil Vincent – vocals
Vince O’Regan – guitars
Gav Cooper – bass
Steve Hopgood – drums
Irv Parratt – keyboards
thanx to Joe Mis
BUY IT !