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Last Man Standing

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Album Review

If one had to choose a single major thrash band with which to compare New Zealand's Legacy of Disorder, the easy answer would be Bay Area titans Testament. Just saying. For while there's nothing technically flawed about this younger quartet's competently executed sophomore album, 2012's Last Man Standing, their influential debts to those who came before are simply impossible to ignore. Particularly on second-division Testament wannabes like "Thorns" and "Impaler" — not so much album stand-out "March to Death" — which showcase a level balance between rampant speed and mid-paced restraint, emotional violence and instrumental discipline. What's more, these are capped off with the guttural power of vocalist James Robinson, whose faithful Chuck Billy karaoke also extends to tuneful growls heard on "Break," "Treading the Tainted Path," and others. And, rather than limiting Legacy of Disorder's worldview exclusively to Testament here, it should be noted that other inspirational bands loom a little further in the background as well. To wit, there are a few stray pinch harmonics nudging "Punish Them All" into Machine Head's sandbox; the somewhat poorly executed blastbeats in "Warrior Gene" recall Sweden's the Crown; the title track's semi-rapped vocals poach a few bottles from the Biohazard supply closet, and the upfront bass guitar on "Hell Tonight" and other cuts proves the band is not unaware of nu-metal and metalcore styles. At the end of the day, though, it's the thinking man's thrash template of you-know-who serving as the guiding light for much of Last Man Standing, and while that doesn't necessarily restrict Legacy of Disorder's ability to succeed (mostly average songs will take care of that, unfortunately), good luck drawing a large and loyal audience without establishing a more original voice.

Last Man Standing, Legacy of Disorder
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: Sep 18, 2012

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