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Legion: Rising

Having recently reviewed the 21st solo outing (that’s not a mistype!) from Phil Vincent, not a few days have passed and yet another of the D’Ercole, Cranston, Tragik man’s albums arrives - this time in the shape of Rising, the eighth offering from his outfit Legion. Like much else in Vincent’s catalogue, the main touching point here is latter day Dokken, with the singer once more strongly reminding of that band’s mainman behind the mic, while bassist Gavin Cooper, guitarist Vince O’Regan, keyboard player Irvin Parratt and drummer Andy Pierce, grind out a melodic hard rock hit that fits convincingly into the same mould. Thankfully, unlike Hypocrite - the most recent Vincent solo outburst - Rising, while struggling to push its way out of a muffled production, does contain more than a few catchy choruses and memorable hooks and when aligned with one of the better vocal displays from Vincent makes for an enjoyable ride.

One of the key factors in that ear-catching surge is, of course, Vince O’Regan, a much underrated guitarist who seldom, if ever, gives anything less than a scintillating performance. On a personal level I’d maybe like to hear him in a setting that provides a little more urgency and bite and yet that doesn’t stop the likes of “Nothin’ To Me”, “Maybe Now…” and “Found Out The Hard Way” from burrowing deep into the mind.

Although it’s chorus can’t quite shake free from the Dokkenisms shown elsewhere, “How Does It Feel” moves things quite blatantly into a post-1987 Whitesnake setting and with a believability that many of Cov’s copyists could never achieve. However, there’s also no denying that the loosely rapped vocals on “Only The Strong Survive” feel more than a little left behind from a scene that moved on long ago.

With the lyrics to the likes of “Politician” and “Shame On You” digging a little deeper into current issues and climates Vincent and his band aren’t shy to make their point; something that has to commended in a genre that often lacks for lyrical depth. Although the music itself undoubtedly feels a whole lot less topical - but then that was always going to be the case from an artist who so clearly loves the sound of the late 80s and early 90s.

For me Legion finds Phil Vincent at his strongest and I personally wish he’d temper all the other musical activity he’s involved in to really focus his energies here. Rising isn’t extending any genre boundaries, or even looking to push the envelope of the melodic hard rock at its core - and I do wish that Vincent and his band mates would maybe push the boat out on the production side of things. However, those who find much to enjoy in post-George Lynch era Dokken, will also easily connect with the latest album from Legion.

Track Listing
1. Nothin' To Me
2. Full Moon Rising
3. Maybe Now ...
4. How Does It Feel
5. Got A Line On You
6. Politician
7. Only The Strong Survive
8. Shame On You
9. Found Out The Hard Way
10. Lost Soul

Added: November 23rd 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Rising at Rock Company Records
Hits: 1147
Language: english

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