A couple of minutes into the closing track on Night Legion‘s latest album, Fight Or Fall, The Hand of Death, whilst bassist Glenn Williams clanks away fabulously underneath Stu Marshall‘s ever-alluring riffage, one thing becomes clear: This band is at the top of it’s game, and there aren’t many in the power metal genre currently plying their trade to touch them when they operate at this level.
Luckily – for the Legion, at least – the band are operating in these nosebleed heights for most of this corker of an album. New vocalist Louie Gorgievski – who has worked with Marshall before in his Arkenstone and Empires of Eden projects – introduces himself on rip-roaring opener Hounds of Baskerville as a throat to be reckoned with, but to pick out standout performances is ultimately pointless on an album where ever member (the lineup is rounded out by drummer Clay T and guitarist Col Higginson) pulls out all the stops on every track to provide the listener with an absolute smorgasbord of heavy metal delights.
This is classic heavy metal in every respect – were we to be still living in 1984 then standout cut Soaring Into The Black would be a nailed-on hit single – and it’s not an exaggeration to say that, whilst the band’s eponymous first album, released in 2017, showcased a band with a very bright future, Fight or Fall is very much the work of the finished article. Marshall has, erm, marshalled his troops superbly here, in the process reaching deep into his own well of inspiration to produce some of the best ‘in the service of the song’ playing of his career. This a lean, grimly efficient killing machine of an album; Not one note is wasted, not one riff squandered as the band rumble on remorselessly in search of sonic nirvana.
The title track is another highlight, ploughing a sort of Dio-meets-Dokken-and-Maiden forrow that, if there’s any justice in the world, will become a turntable staple on headbanger stereos across the world, whilst the pummelling At World’s End isn’t far behind if it’s infectious, headbang-inducing mayhem that floats your boat.
In short, if you like proper heavy metal, heavy metal as it’s always been made, then there’s absolutely no reason at all, not one, for you not to add this album to your collection as soon as is humanly possible. It’s an absolute ripper.
Fight Or Fall releases on June 30th.