Legion of Hetheria (The) - Choices 2.5/5
1. Listen and remember
2. Forgotten years
3. Invisible mask
4. The ancient ones
5. Wrath is unleashed
7. Der holle rache
8. Spiritual deceive
9. Eyes on me
10. World of fantasy
11. A red sun rises (bonus track)
The Legion of Hetheria is a symphonic/gothic metal band with the "beauty and the beast" vocal style. They have a full-length debut 'The gate' and this 2nd CD 'Choices'. Though they've gone through numerous line-up changes both before and after the release of 'Choices' (in 2005), the line-up for this CD includes female soprano vocalist Marivi Victoria Perez (the "beauty"), male vocalist Rick Loera (the "beast" - though he also provides some clear vocals), who is also one of the guitarists, along with Ricardo Said Padilla. Jesus Loera (who I assume is Rick's brother) is on drums, Jassir Guarnero is on bass, and Harif Hinojosa provides the keys/synths.
Surprisingly, the band is from Mexico, and the only other similar band I can think of that is also from Mexico is Tetriconia. For more band comparisons, and generally speaking, The Legion of Hetheria can be lumped with Via Mistica, Myriads, Even Song, Penumbra, To Elysium, early Theatre of Tragedy, Odes of Ecstasy, Eeriness, Epica, and maybe Tristania, Vanguard and The Sins of Thy Beloved, but The Legion of Hetheria doesn't have the presence of a violin like these bands do (along with the aforementioned Tetriconia). Still, the band is comparable in some way to all of these bands.
While their debut 'The gate' is just okay, the band has improved a little with 'Choices', though at best I'd call this CD good. The problems are, firstly, the production of this CD (and also the debut) is merely decent and lacks the power that some of the many previously mentioned bands have obtained. In addition, the songs all hover around a level somewhere between average to good, with none of them really leaving a lasting impression. I think the vocalists do a solid job, and the "beauty and the beast" performance is typical of the style, but the band as a whole, mostly regarding songwriting, just doesn't seem to have that extra something to take them above a decent level. Sure, there are some catchy musical parts and some well done vocal parts that grab my attention (track 9 "Eyes on me" is probably the best song, by the way), but nothing sticks and has me wanting to spin the CD over and over again.
In the end, what we have with The Legion of Hetheria is a band that now has 2 average to good CDs, but I'm confident that unless they really increase their quality with their 3rd CD, we won't hear anything else from them in the future. In fact, with as many line-up changes that they've already gone through, we may not even see a 3rd CD. So this CD (along with their debut) is only recommended to the extremely die-hard fans of the the "beauty and the beast" variety of symphonic/gothic metal. Everyone else will most likely find this to be non-essential and will move on to something better.
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