Forever Advancing...... Legions

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Produced by: Leon Macey and Rayner Coss
Engineered by: Leon Macey
Recorded / mixed at: Alphasound Studios July 2001 over 10 days
Mastered / digitally edited: July 2001 and remastered February 2004 by Leon Macey at Dreaming Studios

Keyboards / sfx on Tracks 1,4,5,6 & 12 by Leon Macey
Additional keyboards/sfx on mid-section of T4 & start of T12 by Ben White, no keyboards in any other songs

All music / arrangements by: L Macey
All lyrics by: L Macey / R Coss

Album cover artwork and all illustrations by Desmond Sia (
Original Mithras logo design by Justin Joyce / Leon Macey
Greenman photo by Leon Macey
Band photos on original pressing by Shelley Farmer
Band photo on reissue by Lisa Macey
Layout and design of original pressing by Brutallica
Layout and design of reissue by Lisa Macey (

Leon: Basically this track conveys the idea / image of the unstoppability of the Roman army / empire at its apex. It's a rhythmic march, with loads of obscure sounding melodies and solos in there towards the end.
Rayner: This track is basically designed to set the scene for the album to come...

L: This song deals with the Roman conquest of Carthage; the African city, which the Romans conquered many times. A very brutal song, and the second fastest song tempo wise on the album, really starts the album up like an army rolling over everything!

L: Thematically this song is based around the rituals of certain Druidic sects, who were hated by the Romans. The idea of a future king / leader being born is hinted at in the song, who represents Julius Caesar (who hated the druids and distrusted them). There are some really heavy and thunderous sections in this song.
R: Equally, it could almost be hinting at the idea of the councillor character, keeping it relevant to the ideas on our later albums.

L: Gladiatorial combat! This song was inspired by the classic film 'Spartacus', then the film 'Gladiator' came out, and when we saw it, we thought "Yeah! This is exactly how we imagined it!" It's a varied song, the mournful contemplation section in the middle before the final conflict, when it all surges forward. The lyrics are very succinct, man pitted against beast for the cruel enjoyment of the Roman populace. It's very fast tempo wise and barbaric sounding, it's got the crowd roaring, the animals roaring, it's got it all.

L: The first of two instrumental tracks which split the album into two sections. With Timpani, apocalyptic melodies and a real marching rhythm which in essence depicts the fall of the Roman Empire, leading to the next song...
R: This track's also almost 'mournful' in places.

L: The dark ages sweep over Europe, the great Roman civilisation has crumbled away, and nature has retaken what belonged to it. The song features harps, flutes and choirs as well as a fair amount of guitar. The "Green Wanderer" is actually another name for the "Green Man", the spirit of the forest and woods. The picture behind the cd in the tray is actually the face of the Green Man from a stone carving my father owns.
R: It suggests that the 'man of the woods' passes and returns all that man has created to an almost 'feral' state - everything returns to being part of the habitat. In a lot of ways it shares links with some of the stories on 'Behind The Shadows...' in that man has left and wasted away; almost as if this track is a prophecy of what is to come later.

L: A song about the crusades of the early middle ages. The Christians were incredibly ignorant and barbaric in the crusades, far more so than the Arab peoples whose lands they were trying to conquer in the name of Christianity. The Arabs were very civilised and tolerant, but had their tolerance repaid in blood. This is the slowest song on the album - it's got no blastbeats, which is unusual for us. It's got very powerful vocals and loads of double kick drumming, and a really shredding Van-Halen esque lead near the end, definitely one of my better leads from the album.

L: The lyrics are pretty straight forward on this track - Using your will as a "tool" to achieve anything you want, it covers some of our personal "beliefs" and the way we saw society at the time and there's some leaders / followers type imagery in it... It’s quite an old song, and has some different tempos and leads etc. It's actually got my favourite lead part on the entire album right at the end (outro solo), which I think is amazing. It's the only solo on the whole album that wasn't meticulously worked out before entering the studio and has a lot of magic and meaning to me.

L: A really varied song, with loads of tempo changes. It's also the fastest track on the whole cd; it gets up to 340 beats per minute on the opening blastbeat (and repeats). It's quite chaotic, a crazy lead at the start, leading to the stomping mid section, which literally crushes. Its fantasy based lyrics are inspired by supposed historical events, namely the effect that a solar eclipse had on a sun worshipping culture, so I guess it's an amalgam of fantasy and history in that sense.
R: Again, it touches on the idea of gods “failing” their people, which we use again in the track 'They Came And You Were Silent', making this track another prediction of the future, suggesting that man should, but never actually does learn from past events.
L: It's got a great atmospheric section, with a really strange guitar solo in the middle, which was one of the first times I used these guitar "themes", which went on to become part of my trademark sound later on...

L: The lyrics to this song speak for themselves. These types of lyrics are more prevalent on our second album 'Worlds Beyond The Veil' - much more spiritual and abstract, dealing with some of our "beliefs", and ideas about after death experiences in this specific song.
R: It also shows the birth of the ideas we covered much more fully on 'Worlds...'; almost as if they were 'born' at this point and mankind has begun to realise so much more about the existence of spirituality and souls.
L: The middle section has a weird guitar part that some annoying people keep saying is actually a keyboard, even though it plainly says "no keyboards in these songs" in the inlay! IT’S A GUITAR!

L: BRUTAL! This song is really, really fast and extremely heavy sounding. It's a story which leads onto our second album 'Worlds...', about discovering and awakening something that should have been left undisturbed, but that idea is given form in the song, just to make it easier to relate to.
R: It’s the idea that at some point in the future man will inadvertently become aware of something that he shouldn’t try and reach out and touch, but succumbs to his own intrigue and breaks the seal, awakening something which is now aware of earth and hears the calling for a saviour from so many religions and holy sects. But truly, they know not what they've unleashed.
L: More almost "choir"-like guitars, and great vocals! Lots of blastbeats and the ending drum solo leads into...

L: An unsettling instrumental track, which is obvious and literal in its meaning. Strange guitars and samples. This song leads right into our second album. The guitar at the end is very odd, and said exact part actually kicks off the next album 'Worlds...'. The thunder sample recorded in this song was recorded was captured by our old guitarist Ben. That day we had some incredible thunder over our town for 30 minutes and thought "damn, I wish I'd managed to record that as it'd be perfect for the last track". Anyway an hour later he rang me and told me he'd recorded it, so perfect!
R: As a song it is meant to show the disturbed entity not only noticing the break between the worlds that occurred in 'Tomb of Kings' but actively starting to move through space and time to reach the calling that it now hears.

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Trample Their Works
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(Lyrics / Music: Macey)

Trample their works

Level their church
Bury it deep beneath the ground
Destroy their ways
In time they'll be forgot
String them up
Along the roadways of their land
Make as slaves
Any that survive

Burn their cities
Topple their towers and their spires
Crushing underfoot
Centuries of their works

Scour their lands
Burn the crops and destroy the dwellings
Kill their beasts
Salting the ground as you pass
Pile their corpses
Into vast funeral pyres
The mountains of bone
A monument to their death

Solo: Macey
Solo: White

Bring their leaders
Drag them before the councils

In chains -
Begging for their lives
On display
Pulled along the bustling roadways
Their despair and example
As the last of their kind


(Lyrics: Coss / Music: Macey)

Hear the chant
Across the breeze
Cloth of white
Sons to believe
All of them make their way
To the place of mass
Surround the haven await the time
Chanting the words of power

Read from the book of black
Believers kill to predict
Sacrifice the one
Dark ritual begun

Circle forms within the henge
Stones loom with eerie silence
High priest enters, a king to these
Bring the one forth
Release a call from under robes
I hear the words foreign to me
Here comes the one to be
The teller of a prophecy

Solo: Macey
Solo: White
Solo: Macey

See the dagger straight and true
Only silence never a scream
Under robes so thick they hide
Never to know who did this deed
Blood runs into the altar
To tell of things to come
Sacrifice predicts a tale
A tale of a future king

Solo: Macey


(Lyrics: Coss / Music: Macey)

And so the silence shall fall
Enter ‘O warrior of the past
Greet thee with jubilation
Rise hero to this mass
Slayer of mighty beasts
Please this crowd - with butchery

Come forth ‘O demons killer of man
Go forward beasts of blood lust
Take these offerings blessed to you
Prey upon the weakened one
Wretched demons burst from the gate
Feast upon the human man

Solo: Macey
Solo: Macey

Roman god of the arena
Surrounded by your hunters
See eyes glaze with the dreams of death
Their hunger commands they feed
Attack this human for the flesh
Appease thy ravenous beasts

Silence falls on the sea of man
Blood spills from the butchered beasts
Saturate the arena sands
Wounded warrior stands
Rises arm in victory
And the ovation falls


(Lyrics / Music: Macey)

Riding forth - For the greater glory of their god
Riding forth - To rage against their infidel
Taking by force - Claiming holy lands as their own
Allachibar - Can no one withstand the power of their god?

Sent by their pope
They rewarded tolerance
With no mercy
To reclaim their
Holy lands
They had to have slaughter
Diplomacy a concept
Lost on these uncivilised barbarians

Solo: Macey

I come forth
An unstoppable wind of the east
Taking under my vast wing
New lands for my governance
Horsemen of the open steppe
No one can withstand
"If you had not been so evil, I would not have come"
For I am the wrath of god

Solo: White
Solo: Macey


(Lyrics / Music: Macey)

Your will shattered
Like an egg beneath my feet
Your nature to obey
Marked as a follower
You accomplish nothing
Too blind to see the way
You are as sand
As the wind blows

You cling to it
Your faith as your shield
Against the perils
Of this world
But blind you cannot see
Hidden by this guise of faith
An ultimately superior

Solo: Macey

My will - crushes your will
Our will - sends
Tidal waves of fear
Throughout your mundane empire
Unseen we reign supreme
We stand ignored with sight
In your kingdom of the blind

A breed of men apart
We are the ones who shape our lives
We tread our way
Along these paths seldom trodden.

Dual Solo: Macey/White (l-r)

Outro Solo: Macey


(Lyrics / Music: Macey)

The fire in the sky
He who gives us light
The sun - our lord
Giver of all life
His coming has been the herald
The dawn of a new cycle
For as long as it has been remembered
It has been this way

He is life eternal
The focus of our worship
We dared not look upon him
Until this fateful day

Solo: Macey

His flames diminish!
Shadows begin to fall
At the apex of his journey
This cannot be so!
In terror I look into his heavens
I need not shield my eyes
Dust rising from afar
Is swallowing our lord

Solo: Macey
Solo: Macey

The ground trembles
In the distance thunders roar
His powers blast the lands
Fierce winds whip up the sands
How have we displeased him?
Not in lack of dedication
We cower as the skies darken
Our lord is nowhere to be seen

Solo: White

He did not return
Deserting us in twilight
Without his solar powers
Our crops withered and died
Terrible winter froze the sand
Killing the sick old and young
Our faith is all that binds us to
These lands our lord has left us to


(Lyrics: Coss / Music: Macey)

I see a world
Structured from my soul
Palaces from my dreams
My spirit can embrace
You attack my body
Making me ever strong
I shall stand tall
I am everlasting

Souls rise to the eternal sea
The weak crumble away
Strong becoming ever stronger
A force beyond the mortal
Hear the souls call
Lifting me from within
Embraced I rise
A god in my death

Reaching the invisible mass
It engulfs me with sanctity
I am caught with the others
The ones who dream in splendour
My beacon burns so bright
Becoming brighter still
My call cries over all
I have risen beyond the physical

Solo: Macey

I rise
I soar
I am everlasting

Solo: Macey

Call out to me
As I soar above
Beyond the power of sight
I exist in a world of dreams
Physical state gone from my memory
I rise forever more
Immortality beckons
I exist eternally

Solo: White


(Lyrics / Music: Macey)

I travelled far and wide
On paths trodden
Only by so few
I uncover the doorway
My journey nears its end
I complete the ritual
Which grants me passage unto -

This ancient tomb
Of kings - I open
I break the seal
Of three thousand years
What foul enchantment
Will befall me?
What will I

Leaving the sun behind
Down passages so dark
The torch my only weapon
Against this vault of darkness
Soon I lose my way
Attempt to trace my footsteps
My torch fading fast
As I see a chink of light

My pace quickens
Running towards the distant glow
I stumble on the entrance
The awesome spectacle brings me to my knees

I behold the tomb of kings

On huge pedestals they stand
Mounted, weapons in hand
Once kings of this land
Their statues stand
Monarchs long forgotten
Rising towards the light
Once proud lords
Will rise again......

Terror in the air
Ancient tombs opening
Grotesque figures emerging
Still dressed in regal splendour
Followed by their servants
Entombed when their lord died
Empty eyes look towards the surface
As foretold: They rise again

Solo: Macey

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The below are notes transcribed from Leon and Rayner talking about the album 'Forever Advancing.... Legions' and it's genesis:


Leon: Ok let's kick this off.
Rayner: When Golden Lake heard the Dreaming In Splendour EP they approached us and asked if we wanted to sign. We actually met them in Derby on the day of Bloodstock. We met them in McDonalds! This was a high profile signing!
L: Haha I'd forgotten that completely.
R: A Big Mac and a bottle of champers all round!
L: We hadn't even considered doing a full album until they suggested signing us.
R: Yeah we were still having problems with members!
L: We didn't even go to Bloodstock, all I remember was drinking whiskey on the train and playing chess for the first time since I was six against Rayner with a massive hangover. Once I beat him the once I immediately gave up to avoid taking a hammering later on!
R: Draughts - rugby players chess!
L: Anyway the Golden Lake guys were really cool and we discussed stuff with them and sorted out the contractual stuff then they went to Bloodstock and we went home.
R: We had to pay for our own McDonalds as well as the album!
L: Haha.
R: They were pretty positive about the album and encouraging.
L: Yeah I thought so...
R: It gave us a kick up the arse to get on with it. If we hadn't had that impetus we'd have still been searching for members and trying to assemble a line-up as opposed to recording as a duo. Back then we really wanted to be a live band, it was never our intention to go it as a duo.
L: Hell yeah. Still, we're still trying to a point. It was cool actually signing. Back then people didn't give a shit about Mithras and we really worked our bollocks off to get where we are.
R: At one stage we practiced three times a week, some weeks, 7pm till 4am! I remember it being light, walking home at 4am thinking "fuck I've got to be up at 8 for work!" I wouldn't even try and do that anymore.
L: I can't drum for more than 2-3 hours at a time now at full speed, so it's never going to happen again! Oh to be 21 again.
R: Yeah we really put in the rehearsal time, for our entire career really.

The Situation / Songs
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L: A lot of the material was written way back in 1998 when we formed Imperator, before we changed the name to Mithras in 2000.
R: We spent ages rehearsing, going through band member after member.
L: Yeah we had loads of people. Notably our original drummer Justin was replaced by Ben, which in hindsight was maybe a mistake as Ben didn't spend long in the band as our drummer that time and Justin ended up coming back after he left, like musical chairs!
R: Like you've said before, we've spent a lot of our time teaching people how to play extreme metal, while learning ourselves to be honest.
L: Back then we weren't as jaded and really thought a super drummer was going to come out of nowhere to drum for us.
R: Now we're so jaded we're Emerald!
L: Lol
L: Steve Crompton was one of the most reliable and solid members we ever had, he joined in late 1999 then left in 2001, just after Ben re-joined the band, this time on guitar. Steve was on his way to uni and was getting into loads of different sorts of music at the time, so he left the band eventually and went away.
R: He actually came back to some rehearsals a lot later on, but with his classical guitar. It'd degenerate into him playing and us listening, as opposed to the other way round!
L: Yeah he's really talented on all forms of guitar. During the period he was in the band we probably improved the most and did the most useful work on technique and playing, although it isn't that obvious from the Dreaming In Splendour demo which he played a bit on.
R: It just got better all round really.
L We didn't play to a click track back then, and always used to play everything as fast as possible to test ourselves, not that I'd recommend that now.
R: 'Tomb Of Kings' became a race, we used to say "see you at the end"!
L: Suffice to say this caused some issues in the studio when recording as Rayner kept having telling me to slow down.
R: The joke was in rehearsal I was always the one speeding it up!
L: I was originally trying to drum the faster songs 15-30bpm faster than they eventually ended up on the album, and as Rayner pointed out, I'd have never been able to record the guitars to them; as it was on the album there's "mistakes" which sound like drum errors, but are actually ..
R: Ben!
L: Haha! No, they're the guitars not able to quite keep up with the drums. Amen.
R: It's hard to remember anything specific song wise now it's so long ago...
L: I know songs like 'Vae Solis' and 'Wrath Of God' were completed quite close to the recording date, i.e. end of 2000, and 'Wrath Of God' too.
R: 'Tomb Of Kings', 'Arena Sands', 'Trample...', 'Sloping...' were all older songs. And 'As The Wind Blows' was as well. Wasn't that spawned out of the track 'Plagued Lands' ?
L: Yeah I guess it was. I remember playing you all those proto songs on a tape back at your house back in 1998! I've got the tape somewhere, it's probably worn out now.

The Recording Session
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R: 'Legions...' was recorded and mixed in 10 days, 3 days on the drums...
L: Err.. about 14 hours on the rhythm guitars, about 4 hours on bass...
R: And the vocals were also completed in a matter of hours, just an evening if I remember rightly.
L: That doesn't stack up to 10 days! What the fuck did we get up to, haha. I seem to remember we had a lot of people "dropping into the studio" drinking copiously throughout the entire session.
R: I fell asleep at the mixing desk at one point, so Leon had to record his own drums, then run in and turn the multitrack machine off!
L: Basically I lived in that studio for the entire 10 days, and Rayner was there for the drums then left me to it in the days and came down each evening.
R: Yeah I was working in the days.
L: The whole thing was a bit of a nightmare tbh, I felt like I was going crazy by the end of the session. I famously said afterwards that the drumming was the hardest thing I'd ever done, I was pretty naive as the session for 'Worlds..' would teach me.
R: Didn't it cost us about £500 in the end?
L: Yeah I think that was more or less the "total" for the entire recording, lol. I mastered the album at home eventually.
L: Notably everything on this album was recorded straight to the multitracker, there simply wasn't any editing facility or a way of editing anything, so everything had to be played direct to “tape”, and triggered accurately to “tape”, which was a bit of a fucker! Anyway there's about one misstrigger on the final thing so that's a good result considering.
R: No punch ins at all!
L: It took 1.5 days to get the drums to Wrath Of God down because of the triggering issue, there were constant misstriggers whenever I played the most simple part, or stopped playing, or whatever. I was listening to the triggers in my headphones and eventually I just had to ditch the phones as it was driving me nuts and making it impossible. Thankfully the other songs were almost perfect without the extra stress of the triggers in the headphones, weirdly enough.
R: Didn't I press play on the cd player at one stage when you were recording drums and Angel Corpse started up. Obviously we had to do that take again! I was definitely "helping" haha.
L: It probably spurred me on if anything!
R: The album ended up just being the two of us, as our other guitarist at the time Ben didn't really want to sign the contract with Golden Lake before recording the album.
R: We got him to do his solos anyway, just because we thought it'd fill it out and give it a bit more flavour.
L: Some of those leads are actually pretty damn good considering he just came in and made them up on the spot more or less.
R: We videoed a lot of the session and messing about, loads of ex-members on that video.
L: Yeah, Steve, Liam, Justin...
L: I actually sold my ADA preamp, Marshall Amp and cab that I was using to record the guitars with during the session, and the guy who bought it (Tom) actually turned up to collect just I was finishing off the leads, it was lucky I'd finished in time!
R: A lot of people turned up to see us and a lot of time was spent with them and finding our feet with the whole recording process in a “proper” studio, it was the first time we'd done it on that scale, previously it was always 8 track recordings at rehearsals on a portastudio.
L: What a great song that is (listening to Awaken Man And Stone from 'Shadows...')
R: Anyway back to the subject!
L: Yeah the studio was called Alphasound studios run by Pete Bain, we rehearsed there and recorded there for years before and afterwards too.
R: It's dead local, we got a really decent rate and Pete basically gave us the keys and we didn't see him for 10 days!
L: Cheers Pete!
L: It can be quite a weird place actually, sometimes when we were there really late at night (i.e. half one in the morning ;) ) there were loads of strange noises and odd atmospheres, which added to the recording a bit, and at one point made me leave early after finishing 7 of the 8 tracks of rhythms. Basically there was the sudden feeling of something being in there with me, and in a huge creepy empty old building it wasn't a great feeling, so I scarpered! We did utilise the weird vibe when I did the extra solos I hadn't written yet, and recorded them really early in the morning. The notable one was the solo to 'As The Wind Blows', I just went for it and did a take, then said "I think I can do a better one" then did the one that's on the album (which is my fave solo on the entire thing).
R: We've actually got the unused take on video amazingly!
L: But not the really good one, hence me struggling to play it ever since!
R: I was helping by being asleep by the time the real take came round!
L: Haha.

The Artwork
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"Yeah this inlay's pretty good" says Rayner as he studies the original release inlay for the first time in years
L: We got into contact with the artist Desmond Sia as he was suggested by the people who did the original layout (Brutallica). We sent him some music first off, then he emailed over some examples and we said ok, go for it. Then he just produced the art right there. He did a colour pic with a different aspect ratio (the Roman esque one) which he wanted us to use as the cover, but it was the wrong shape...
R: Yeah that's on the reissued version of the album on the back, we really liked it at the time and we used all the other pics he did on the reissue too.
L: For some reason the layout people didn't use any of his artwork like the song themed pics other than the cover, and they used all these strange stock pictures instead, which was a bit disappointing.
R: Yeah it was. Well we didn't really know what we wanted out of the booklet, as opposed to on later albums when we knew exactly what to do. It was really Golden Lake giving control of the booklet to Brutallica, not that they did a bad job by any means.
L: It was suitable even if it wasn't exactly what we wanted. They did a much tidier version of the booklet which was missing the thankslists, sadly when we told them they crammed it all in, and it doesn't look as good now. You can see the original layout in the gallery on the website.
R: In the original artwork there that bit of art which is almost "The Portal To...."
L: Yeah Desmond did a great job though...
R: He got the Roman edge on them and then added that weirdness, the images are almost skeletal. Didn't we have to send everything to him as self destructing tapes?
L: Yeah we had to hide all the merch we sent him to see because of the government in his country being really against metal. Sadly we're not in touch with him anymore unfortunately.
R: We paid him nearly as much as the total recording costs for the cover and the inlay art!
L: He did let us use the colour pic for free later on though, which is cool as he wanted a lot of money at the time for it. The figures on there remind me of the Olmecs in Mysterious Cities Of Gold (the Cartoon). We do own the original artwork too for the main pictures which is excellent.

Rayner checks out the Candlelight reissue layout...
R: The paper's better quality. Not having the printing on the disc looks much better. The quality of the artwork on the cover looks way better.
L: I hate the typeface / font on the original pressing font cover.
R: That's Roman Marble that is!
L: And the turd tinged brown tone of the picture. The reissue looks a million times better, and the cover art image is exactly the same as the actual picture, so it's a proper representation.
R: If you don't yet have the reissue, I suggest you purchase it from our website!

The Photoshoots
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R: We spent more time doing 'comedy' pictures for this era than before or since. Our ex-guitarist Liam Kavanagh looks like a hobgoblin in some of them!
L: We did the main shots for the album at Kenilworth Castle. Since then loads of other bands have copied us and done shots in exactly the same places.
R: Benders!
L: I was extremely hungover that day.
R: Didn't we have to edit an ice cream stand out of one of those pics?
L: Haha yeah! Also we had a bit of stick from this creepy English Heritage guy in the castle who was convinced we were taking pictures for a "college project" and kept saying we needed permission in advance. Anyway after we'd lost our tempers and I'd been extremely rude to him and asked him if what he was doing was his "real job" Ben went and drew this literally massive spunking penis and testicles in this huge gravel area the guy had been raking out neat all afternoon, hilarious!
R: Haha!
L: Some people said me and Ben looked like twins or got us confused from the pics, that was down to him copying me, not the other way round! Honest! Lol.

The Release
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L: Although we recorded 'Legions...' in July 2001, it wasn't released until March 2002, which was an agonising wait for us.
R: We'd been playing the songs for how many years with different members? By the time we'd recorded 'Legions...', we'd already started on 'Worlds...' hadn't we?
L: Yeah we certainly had, a lot of the key songs for 'Worlds...' had already come together.
R: For us 'Legions...' was just old hat really, we were dying to get into 'Worlds...'.
L: Anyway, when it did come out, it was on a really limited retail basis, but many underground distros around the world carried it so it did pretty well.
R: It did get a lot of coverage too, for such a small label just starting out.
L: It did really well considering everything, and we did loads of interviews with zines all over the world.
R: Some people still prefer this album over and above anything else we've done. Each of our albums are different, and it's nice to think it can stand alone compared to the others.
L: Aye to that.