By Laura Wiebe Taylor
As agonizing as the cover art looks and the song titles read (culminating in “The Reaping of Flesh and Blood”), A Bliss to Suffer is hardly a ferocious monstrosity. The Legion’s third full length album is mostly a fusion of symphonic black metal and Swedish death, melody and orchestration at war with grim ferocity. At its most bombastic, A Bliss to Suffer layers it all on. Melodic leads, pulsating rhythm guitar and bass maintain an intense momentum – aside from a few short atmospheric lapses – all driven by blast beats delivered with mechanized precision. These sounds make up the more straightforward sections of the album. But multiple synth tracks and tones fill out The Legion’s sound, combining and switching between strings, horns and organ, thickened even further by droning chants or choral harmonies. “The Luring Depths” even strays into an interesting church music satire. Otherwise, the strongest material clusters toward the beginning of A Bliss to Suffer. As the record moves forward The Legion gradually fade into a brutal background.