Released on Friday 20 January 2023
For fans of Carcass, Arsis, Kataklysm
72 Legions is a “savage and visceral death metal band” from Cleveland, Ohio. This is their debut EP.
The band takes their name from the myth of Ars Goetia, the first of five books within The Lesser Key of Solomon (aka Lemegeton Clavicula Salomonis). It explains that there are 72 elite demons of Hell, with their own noble rankings (kings, princes, dukes, counts, marquises and presidents) and their own legions of demons that they command into battle.
Musically, 72 Legions, which was formed in 2022 by Devon Wirick and Curran Murphy (Nevermore / Annihilator) play a unique brand of melodic and brutal death metal, thrash with elements of black metal.
The review copy EP that I received contains three original songs at studio quality, plus live demos of two further original tracks, concluding with a live demo of track 3. The version on Bandcamp contains only the first three tracks.
Straight out of the gates, this is a killer release and each time around the playlist the music sank deeper and deeper into my heart. “Procession” (track 1) opens with a lurching, wailing riff that is as heavy as anything I’ve heard before launching into a frantic battery of vocals, guitars and drums. When they come up for air it is to create an entwined acidic melody—like sucking on a lemon while being hit by a train. The procession has begun, join the queue!
“Paradise” (track 2) begins with a stop-start riff before settling into a throaty vocal and focused groove occasionally opening up to subtle melodies and tempo changes. The lead up to the outro is particularly pleasing with a riff that cannot fail to make your head bang!
The dual guitars that open “Muted empathy” (track 3) weave an intriguing melody that draws you in just in time to be crushed by a galloping death metal riff and gruff vocals that are spat out with passion.
The remaining three tracks, “Meat’s back on the menu” (track 4), “Nuclear bereavement” (track 5) and (again) “Muted empathy” (track 6) are live demos. The first and last tracks are prefaced by some in-rehearsal-space banter (around 30 seconds in the case of the final song), and while the quality isn’t as crystal clear and balanced as the three studio tracks, this does introduce a retro late 80s feel to the recordings.
From the first spin of this EP, I knew we had something special—the instrumentation, the arrangements, the cadence of the songs themselves that give space for the various riffs to breathe. And while many EPs fill up the latter tracks with anything to pad it out (live tracks, demos, etc), there is something special about these three final tracks that offer an insight into both the talent and humanity of this band. I do hope the band makes these three live demos available at some point.
Review score: 85%
MDPR contacted me inviting me to preview 72 Seasons’ latest EP, thank you. I have no connections to either MDPR or 72 Seasons. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Zach from MDPR, and to 72 Seasons for continuing to create fresh, exciting new metal.