Could have benefited from being rawer

In 1999, a little band  from Richmond, Virginia called Burn The Priest released a self titled album that raised a lot of eyebrows, created intrigue and ultimately kicked open doors to segue into what they became – one of the biggest metal bands on the planet without a doubt: Lamb of God.

Despite their meteoric rise, they know where they came from – their early days where they forged together an amalgamation of punk and metal. So as the 20th anniversary of Burn The Priest is nearly upon us, they decided to resurrect the Priest name and busted out a bunch of covers from a diverse array of their influences and bands that helped them evolve into what they are today. This is Legion: XX.

You could think they could just play it safe and cover artists you would associate with a band like Lamb Of God – Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Slayer, Motörhead. As that would come across as rather predictable, instead they decided to embrace their formative days and give a nod to their punk and hardcore roots.

When they tackle Bad Brains’ ‘I Against I’, Cro-Mag’s ‘We’ve Gotta Know’ and The Accused’s ‘Inherit the Earth’, they stay loyal to the track’s respective original approach; SOD’s ‘Kill Yourself’, Agonostic Front’s ‘One Voice’ and  The Melvins’ ‘Honey Bucket’ come across dynamic and hard hitting with Lamb Of God’s intensity and aggression, Big Black’s ‘Kerosene’ brings some swagger, Quicksand’s ‘Dine Alone’ gets a southern metal/doomier twist and their take on Ministry’s classic ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’ definitely has that fun and loose tongue in cheek feel the original did.

As Lamb Of God are a well-polished and tight musical unit, you would not expect less from them now, but as this revolves around their hardcore and punk roots, it’s surprising that it sounds so polished and tight. It could have benefited from being a little bit more jam room-like – stripped back, warts and all – raw and dirty similar to the simple and honest times when the original tracks emanated and LOG was born.

Legion: XX is a fun and proud celebration of their roots and the development to where they have evolved nearly 20 years later. Some of the covers have a vibe and feel like the originals, while others sound like another slick polished Lamb Of God song they churned out in the album sessions. All in all, it’s all in fun and celebration, but it could have been better being a bit dirtier and raw overall  .

  1. Inherit the Earth
  2. Honey Bucket
  3. Kerosene
  4. Kill Yourself
  5. I Against I
  6. Axis Rot
  7. Jesus Built My Hotrod
  8. One Voice
  9. Dine Alone
  10. We Gotta Know