LEGION – Last Man Standing (2016)
LEGION, the prolific group (an album every ten months, more or less) comprising the talents of American vocalist / songwriter Phil Vincent and English axeman Vince O’Regan – split last year, but Z Records will be releasing their last, posthumous album “Last Man Standing” in few days.
“Last Man Standing” was made during the same recording sessions of Legion last year’s album ‘Solace’, before the band split. A you may know, Vincent teamed up with Paul Sabu for their new project CranstoN (debut featured here), while Vince O’Regan continue with his solo career (albums here).
Vincent parted ways with O’Regan in good terms. The remaining members of Legion will be staying with Z Records with an all new project which will be announced shortly.
“Last Man Standing”, as happened with Legion’s previous album, sees the keyboard position taken over by renowned keyboardist Eric Ragno (Takara et all). Ragno’s work adds a fresh new dimension to Legion’s trademark sound, via nice synth flourishes and melodic infusion.
Yet, basically, this is typical Legion. Pretty much more ‘melodic rock’ than before, with catchy choruses like on ‘Read Between the Lines’, ‘I Would Die for You’, ‘Shooting Star’, ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’.
Legion always used to deliver a couple of heavier tracks on their albums, here in the form of the rapid ‘Life on the Run’ and the groovy ‘Hold Out’, and ballad / midtempo in the excellent ‘Tell Me’ and ‘Live to Die for You’.
As farewell to the fans, the album features new version of Legion’s most celebrated and known songs: ‘Leave Me Alone’, a great melodic hard rock song which in this new version sound better with a ‘big’ production, and a more punchy new version of ‘Never Be the Same’.
It’s almost like a bad joke that Legion split just when they reached their max as unit. Alongside their previous album (as said recorded during the same sessions) this “Last Man Standing” it’s the band’s best record in their relatively short but fructiferous career. Indeed, songwriting, playing and production all is better and augmented.
Legion was criminally ignored by many fans of the genre when the band was active, and if you are one of those better check this album as this is a really fine slice of classic 80/90s melodic hard rock.
01 – Battle Cry
02 – Read Between the Lines
03 – I Would Die for You
04 – Shooting Star
05 – Tell Me
06 – What Goes Around Comes Around
07 – Don’t Give up on Me
08 – Life on the Run
09 – Live to Die for You
10 – Hold Out
11 – Leave Me Alone (2016 version)
12 – Never Be the Same (2016 version)
Phil Vincent – vocals (D’ercole, Tragik)
Vince O’Regan – guitar (Bob Catley)
Eric Ragno (Takara) – keyboards
Gavin Cooper – bass (Lionsheart, DiAnno)
Steve Hopgood – drums (Jagged Edge, DiAnno)