Legion of Two Are as Bleak and Black-Hearted As You Could Hope

Despite some Enya-friendly tracks, Riffs (Planet Mu) keeps death metal alive

I have to admit that cranky middle-aged rock-critic me is not completely up-to-the-minute on this dubstep stuff the kids are so crazy about. Still, as a fan of black and doom metal, I felt right at home in Alan O'Boyle and David Lacey's trudging apocalypse. Here the zombie Vikings have been replaced by giant, digitally controlled cement mixers crushing you beneath their inevitable tread, while the gutteral squawls of tortured werewolves have given way to hissing jets of infernal steam and the occasional free-jazz ensemble being quietly and painfully assimilated in the background. And, yes, I'll admit that there are a couple of nods to electronica's blissful leanings, as at the beginning of "Turning Point," where the swirling synths head for lighter, more Enya-friendly territory and the live percussion loosens up into a funkier strut.

Still, I was pleased when the last track demonstrated once and for all that the duo really do have as bleak and blackened a pair of hearts as any metalhead could ask for—"Cast Out Your Demons" descends into howling ambient sludge, where even the ominously heavy percussion is swallowed up by ghostly shrieks and gaping despair. It kind of brings a tear to my aging eyes to realize that the youth today still want to drown the world in its own boiling filth.


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