There are times when a band needs a fresh start. An example that springs readily to mind is when Creed split up and regrouped as Alter Bridge. In this case, Indominus (taken from the Latin, meaning True King) is born out of the ashes of ForChristSake. The two remaining original members are Mark Payne (bass) and Simon Cochrane (lead guitar & backing growls). They are joined by Alan Duddy (lead vocals), Logan McKee (rhythm guitar) and Nathan Glasgow (drums).
Now don’t get me wrong, I did like their previous incarnation as FCS. But it was lacking a certain something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on at the time. With a change of personnel, it sees the Northern Irish thrash / melodic death metal outfit playing harder, faster and more brutal. The production and sound quality on ‘Legion Within’ (2016) is far superior to their previous efforts and will be released by Roxx Productions. They had ditched the orthodox imagery and seem more at ease with their new identity as they have matured. All of which is in their favour, so all hail the newly empowered Indominus.
This EP takes several tracks from their previous incarnation and makes them more brutal. A case in point is ‘Leeches’, as the shredding is incendiary and the death growls made me quake in my boots. The pace is ramped up to nose-bleed inducing speed as their new drummer, Nathan Glasgow, makes his mark. “Under a governmental unit, the leeches apostatize / All who disobey, all who rebel will pay”.
Next is a new composition, ‘Backbone’. It starts off with plenty of chugging riffs and a leaden stomp, before moving into technical riffage as it reaches ramming speed. “The fear of man has bridled your tongue / The fear of man has stitched your lips / You’ve lost your voice… silence / Don’t wait too long… to speak out”.
The revamped ‘Shadow’ further cements my thoughts. I wouldn’t go so far as to say their previous drummer was ham-fisted, but Nathan takes the drumming up a level. The sound rages, guitars squall and Simon’s fingers fly through a flurry of notes. “Death is my shadow / Shadow on my life / Death is my shadow / More than I can stand”.
‘Fragile Existence’ is a reworking of an older song and hones it down to an angry venting. “Death is but a breath away / Existence is fragile, for death is but a breath away / We live our lives, oblivious to the state of our decay”.
The final track, ‘Legion Within’, lays the claim to the future of Indominus. It has several time-changes and has a spine-tingling air about it. The lyrical content refers to a biblical encounter where Jesus healed a man from Gadara possessed by a group of demons. It works on so many levels for the metal community as it exhorts you to “Exorcise the legion within”.
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
4. Fragile Existence
5. Legion Within
Alan Duddy – Lead Vocals
Simon Cochrane – Lead Guitars & backing growls
Logan McKee – Rhythm Guitars
Mark Payne – Bass Guitars
Nathan Glasgow – Drums
Record Label: Roxx Records, Sept. 2016
Video below: “Legion Within” (teaser)