“Dawn of Genesis”

By Dr. Abner Mality

During my recent chat with Finland’s Ranger, I asked what new Finnish bands they could recommend and the name of Legionnaire immediately came up. So I hopped on this sucker the minute it turned up in my inbox.

One aspect and one only keeps Legionnaire from being a top band at the same level as Ranger and that is the vocal performance of Aku Tiensuu. His singing is painfully average and detracts from Legionnaire at every quarter. I know many bands are trying to recapture the raw, unvarnished feel of the NWOBHM and early speed metal. In this case, Tiensuu’s flat and generally toneless vocals are too far down that road. Just listen how that flatness hampers the otherwise bracing tune “The Guardian”. Tiensuu is also a guitarist here and he really needs to focus on that or else vastly improve his vocal performance.

In all other facets, Legionnaire is an enjoyable band to listen to. They are not quite as speedy as Ranger and they stick to the galloping early Maiden feel of the NWOBHM, chiming in with a lot of twin guitar harmonies. The production is crude and raw, but not to the point where the music sounds like slop. The bass guitar in particular is really strong. Highlights would be the blazing speed of “Shadows of the Metropolis”,  the opening salvo of “Clairvoyance” and the final, guitar-heavy blitz of “Olympian Aegis”. In all cases, though, Tiensuu’s vocals hurt the overall impact.

A new singer or vast improvement from the current one and Legionnaire will be a name to be reckoned with. But not quite yet.