Guitarist Mark Morton says, “To truly understand the essence of the band BURN THE PRIEST , one must first consider the landscape in which it began: the mid-90s. Grunge and alternative music ruled the airwaves. Social media and the internet had yet to assume their role as our collective sources for entertainment and cultural exchange. It was a time when DIY ‘zines turned us onto new bands and regional scenes, and ‘copy and paste’ still implied a print shop and a glue stick.”
BURN THE PRIEST ’s self-titled debut album, released via Philadelphia-based Legion Records, documented what was, in essence, a primal punk band performing metal. Ultimately, as they grew in local popularity, the five-piece chose to stray away from their name to avoid being associated with satanic metal, choosing the name LAMB OF GOD .
Morton continues, “As our sound and songs developed, so did our goals… we began playing basement parties and warehouse shows and in doing so, we realized that the energy we were creating was transferable. The shows we played in those squats and warehouses [in Philadelphia] and the people we met there are forever embedded in our collective consciousness and the DNA of our band.”
As they enter their 20th year since releasing their first self-titled album as BURN THE PRIEST , the band will release a full-length covers album that reflects on the greatness of classic punk, hardcore, crossover and noise – rock sub-genres that contributed to what LAMB OF GOD – and indeed, the world – now view as modern heavy metal.
As BURN THE PRIEST , the band presents Legion: XX – featuring tracks originally performed by Cro-Mags , Agnostic Front , Quicksand , Ministry , Bad Brains , Melvins, S.O.D. , The Accused , Big Black , and Richmond punk band Sliang Laos . The tracks are performed with the unmistakable precision that has kept the band vital for two decades, but ultimately harks back to the raw, punk-driven sound first explored by four unsuspecting college students and a line cook-turned-vocalist in their formative years. Produced with Josh Wilbur at the helm, Legion: XX exhibits BURN THE PRIEST in their true element.
“Our inauspicious beginnings somehow grew into something none of us had ever even imagined possible, let alone aspired to, however, this is the story of BURN THE PRIEST ,” adds Morton . “The songs we chose to cover on this album reflect that story. They are touchstones from that point in time. The inspiration we gleaned from these bands and these songs carries through our work and our creative pursuits, even to this day. Many thanks to these bands for lighting our fire and endless gratitude to our fans around the world for keeping it lit.”
Legion: XX will be officially released on May 18, 2018 via Nuclear Blast and will be available for purchase via all physical and digital retailers. Pre-orders are available now at http://www.nuclearblaststore.co.uk/shop/nuclearblast/products.php?cat=5210. The limited edition gatefold vinyl includes a bonus track of “In The Meantime” (originally performed by Helmet ). Hear short clips of each song at: http://btp.lnk.to/LegionXX.