Formed in 1994 in Virginia, Burn the Priest was the first incarnation of the legendary Lamb Of God, and 20 years in they have decided to honour the anniversary of their first album by going back to their roots as Burn The Priest. Legion: XXis a cover album of Hardcore and Punk classics. Most times you hear the words ‘cover album’ your mind goes ‘meh’, as that’s what most cover albums are. But not this, oh my god, not this.
From the first notes of The Accused’s ‘Inherit the Earth’ to the closing cymbal crash of Cro-Mags ‘We Gotta Know’, you are brought on a sonic trip of epic proportions, each track carefully chosen to give you, the listener, all you need to know about how Lamb of God found their sound. With tracks from Agnostic Front, Ministry, Melvins and Bad Brains, to name a few, it is great to hear Randy Blythe singing cleanly, or as cleanly as each chosen song allows, and to hear scorching solos and guitars from both Mark Morton and Willie Adler, with John Campbell dropping bass to beat the band, and all to the back drop of the phenomenal drumming of Chris Adler.
Ten tracks of pure Hardcore/Punk bliss and each song is as good as the next. ‘Honey Bucket’ by Melvins and ‘Kill Yourself’ by S.O.D. are excellent and ‘Kerosene’ by Big Black is just amazing. Sliang Loas’ ‘Axis Rot’ is nearly a carbon copy and is run very closely for track of the album but is just pipped at the post by Ministry’s ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’. It starts of slow and spoken in low tones until it explodes in your face and doesn’t let up for six or seven frantic minutes leaving you gasping for air.
As is often the case, bands try and mimic or copy the covers to be exactly the same as the original, but here there is none of that, and homage is paid to each band perfectly and with great respect. While most cover albums disappoint this one DOES NOT with bells on. It is without a doubt one of the best cover albums ever.
Legion:XX is out May 18 via Nuclear Blast.
Legion: XX track listing:
1. Inherit The Earth (originally performed by The Accused )
2. Honey Bucket (originally performed by Melvins )
3. Kerosene (originally performed by Big Black )
4. Kill Yourself (originally performed by S.O.D. )
5. I Against I (originally performed by Bad Brains )
6. Axis Rot (originally performed by Sliang Laos )
7. Jesus Built My Hotrod (originally performed by Ministry )
8. One Voice (originally performed by Agnostic Front )
9. Dine Alone (originally performed by Quicksand )
10. We Gotta Know (originally performed by Cro-Mags )
11. In The Meantime * (originally performed by Helmet ) *on vinyl only
Burn The Priest are
Randy Blyhte Vocals
Chris Adler Drums
John Campbell Bass
Mark Morton Lead Guitar
Willie Adler Rhythm Guitar