March 15, 2012 | , | 3.5

Infernal Legion, The Spear of Longinus

Infernal Legion: The Spear of Longinus

The Spear of Longinus, otherwise known as The Holy Lance, was purportedly the blade/lance that pierced our boy Jesus while he hung, crucified on the cross. Now, I don’t believe that’s a pro-Christian reference for these dudes out of Washington state. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb — based on the blasting, blackened death metal they sling as well as the album’s cover and song titles — and say that Infernal Legion are wholly against all things religious.

The nearly seven minute album opener, “Reborn Through Bloodshed,” has got to be enough of a reason to believe that. From the unrelenting double kick drum attack to the complex riffage to the deep, guttural vocal attack, The Spear of Longinus starts off with a solid and impressive helping of death metal tinged with a little blackness and distant melody. “Wallowing in Your Own Filth” is probably my favorite track on the album. It’s a song that is layered, has depth and shifts from complicated riffing patterns to a barbaric chug and back again quite smoothly.

At times the technical, buzzing riffs and the gurgling growls tend to overwhelm a rhythm section that could use a little more power here and there throughout the album. Don’t get me wrong, I dig the tempo shifts and loads of double bass, but with that much going on, I’d like to be able to feel the rhythms when I crank the volume up — it’s just not quite there in this mix. See “The Immaculate Deception” for an example of what I mean. There’s loads going on with the drums in this song, but it all sort of takes a back seat to everything else.

Other than that complaint, The Spear of Longinus is a solid helping of blackened death metal that also does a nice job incorporating a little doomy melody and old school buzzing guitars into the mix. Infernal Legion have something decent going on here, but there’s also plenty of room to grow. I eagerly look forward to their next full length.