When I saw Indominus’ cover art for Legion Within, I thought “That’s either thrash or deathcore.” Pleasantly, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Indominus play a particularly brutal brand of death/thrash that takes no prisoners, and leaves no heads unbanged (for which they will be reporting to our Human Resources office).
Things start off heavy, and there’s nary a chance to catch your breath for the rest of the EP’s roughly twenty minute runtime. “Leeches” kicks the album off with shredding guitars, as any good thrash opener would, and we’re quickly shown some of the contents of Indominus’ bag of tricks. Violent chugs, glorious guitar squeals, and stop-start riffs are all employed liberally to keep things interesting. And at the 1:35 mark, they kick into one of the grooviest riffs I’ve heard all year. Things are off to a good start.
While there’s not a whole lot of variety between tracks, there really doesn’t need to be. This is a short, sweet and violent burst of thrashy death metal whose only mission is to get in, kick in your teeth, and get out as quick as possible. and on that front, Legion Within is a shining success. The tracks rarely let off the gas pedal, and when they do, they go from “fast as fuck” to merely “speedy.” Indominus know their niche and play within it, and on a twenty minute EP, there’s not nearly enough time for the material to feel stale, despite the lack of variety in the way the songs are paced.
Though one thing I haven’t mentioned yet are the vocals. Those of you who are allergic to hardcore might find the vocals a little tough to swallow. I find myself reminded, though, of the immortal Charlie Fell, the mouthpiece of both Lord Mantis and Cobalt, when I hear them. Simon Cochrane spits lyrics out coated in acid and dowsed with venom. His hardcore shouts and grunts are aggressive and commanding, and he dominates his position on the album. At times I’ll have my attention pulled away from the top-notch instrumentation just so I can hear his vitriolic ranting. It speaks very highly of him as a vocalist that he’s able to outshine even the tastiest riffs Legion Within has to offer.
This review is considerably shorter than many of my others, but that’s because on a twenty minute EP, there’s not a whole lot of material to break down and analyze. But I will say this: if you’re a fan of death/thrash, this EP is essential. It’s got all the riffs, guitar theatrics, aggressive vocals and shredding solos you could ask for, and then some. When Indominus get around to writing a new full-length, I’m all ears. They’re a young band, and on Legion Within they’ve got themselves one hell of a ripper to their name already. Don’t be surprised to see these guys get big in future. I’ll eat my fucking hat if they don’t.