Mouth of Madness
'[Eight] years and three albums into their career, Legion Within are a steadily rising force in the arena of modern music, complete with the KMFDM seal of approval.' ~ ReGen Magazine. Legion Within's fourth album, Mouth of Madness, is releasing on June 16, 2009 thru KMFDM Records. Their first formal release with KMFDM Records, Mouth of Madness displays Legion Within as a mature band who have blended darkwave and industrial into their own distinctive genre of dark rock. Mouth of Madness follows up 2007's the empty men, which had exclusive pre-release online distribution thru KMFDMStore.com. Founded in 2000 by singer-songwriter William Wilson, Legion Within has weathered a few band-member changes. The line-up for Mouth of Madness, Wilson (vocals, guitar), Shannon Cole (guitars), Erica Butler-Branch (bass), Aaron Nicholes (percussion) and Jasyn Byrum (synth), is their strongest yet. Wilson's romantic tenor vocals have been compared to David Bowie and Peter Murphy, while his minimalist and ebo-laden guitar style has drawn more consistent comparisons to Daniel Ash. Cole has been with Legion Within from it's inception. His echoing "whale sounds" guitar style is evidence of his Pink Floyd and King Crimson influences. Long-time member Butler-Branch has been writing with Wilson for seven years. She's been performing music since five years old, is a multi-instrumentalist (including clarinet and drums) and has played bass in punk, goth and prog bands. Recent additions Nicholes and Byrum create a hard-hitting, electronic and industrial base on which to build. Their modern foundation supports the darkwave soundscapes that Wilson, Cole and Butler construct. Crafting Mouth of Madness over two years was an arduous process. Written throughout a time when band member's lives were rife with personal tragedy and upheaval, disquiet lays heavy within the music. The songs range from romance, escapism and tragedy to tongue-in-cheek dark humor and flights of sadistic fancy. Synth-laden, shimmering and danceable, "Someone's Speaking" opens the album. An immediate crowd favorite at live shows it had fans dancing during it's debut. In the title track, "Mouth of Madness", dark lyrics about conspiracy and oppression are set against an infectious backbeat and hooky guitar-lines. Both "Golden Voyage" and "Demon's Arm" reveal classic Legion Within roots thru it's fantastic lyrics, swirling instrumental breaks and rolling percussion. "Demon's Arm" began as a song influenced by Ennio Morricone's spaghetti-western soundtracks and was completed by recording lilting and sorrowful vocals by Wilson's mother (a trained operatic singer). On the haunting and groovy "Try to See Me", tribal drums, seething guitar and ominous synth-lines surround Wilson's desperate plea for human connection. Mournful cello and serene vocals paint a gentle grappling with the convoluted array of feelings at a dearly departed family member in "Memories of You". But don't think that Legion Within solely reflects inwardly. They have garnered a reputation for frank political opinions and abhorrence for passivity. "So Happy" is peppy and punky with anti-consumerism lyrics chiding complacency. "Mall Cops of Freedom" is a farcical poke at the reactionary tendencies of a society ruled by fear. Big-band horns and doo-wop backing vocals give a lighthearted rib-jab to the ominous tale. "The Empire is Burning" includes angst-laden shouts by The Angry Mob. The band packed almost 30 fans, family and friends into Jules Hodgson's Black Lab Studios (where Mouth of Madness was Recorded, Mixed and Produced). For each take, Wilson inspired anxiety by conjuring misery inducing and starkly realistic desperate situations like "Banks are foreclosing on your home! Your family's fighting for a cardboard box!" Wilson graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a double major in Political Science and Film/Media Studies. The double major was borne from his inability to escape awareness of the manipulation and control via The Media that feeds into political corruption and oppression. Wilson expresses these frustrations and passions fluidly thru Legion Within's music. Bouncing back from the industrial political-angst of 07's the empty men, Mouth of Madness embraces the current political and emotional climate with a firm hand. Wilson calls it, "Courageous Nihilism. From day one we are all doomed. But that's just the way it is, we deal with it." Legion Within's musical evolution has been natural, yet immense. Debut album Ayumi, which was called, "beautiful gothic atmospheres with an airy ethereal feel" (Outburn Magazine), segued into '04's goth-rock-akin-to-The Chameleons-AEONS. As a drastic change in America's political climate had been boiling underneath, so had a nearly visceral response from key band members Wilson, Cole and Butler. This expression was showcased in '07's the empty men, with tracks titled "Fascisti", "Rise" and "Wrath of the Empty Men". Their prolific history has built a diverse catalog of songs ranging from classic gothic ambience to aggressive industrial anthems. This versatility in live scenarios has allowed them to successfully open for a wide rage of bands including Peter Murphy, Collide, Voltaire, Audra and God Module. Legion Within is looking forward to opening for KMFDM in Fall '09. A dark mosaic of musical genres and styles, Mouth of Madness is set to be Legion Within's breakthrough release. "The crowd response to the new material has been tremendous," says Wilson. Legion Within has never pursued the whims of trends and have forged a release about which Wilson concludes, "I think we have really tapped into something quite special."