Hide the children and lock up your wives. Another specter from thrash past is coming for your souls, Legion Of Death has risen seeking glory.

Len “Lenzig” Leal (vocals), Mike McFarlin (guitar), Joe Howard (drums), and Chris “Pito” Petersen (bass) are the current members of a little band from Denver, CO, Legion Of Death. Originally formed in 1985, the current members are remembering the fun of the old LOD songs and breathing new material into being moving forward to Full Terror Assault 2015. National Rock Review managed to corner Chris “Pito” Petersen for a few minutes, but let’s be honest, the bassists are the slowest of the band animals that we’ve encountered. And remember, one bite from him and it’s Gonerville! Enjoy the show.

NRR: What’s been going on with the band in the last year to catch the Full Terror Assault fans up to speed?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: Honestly we have been on a six month break to allow other members to catch up with their other projects. I am the vocalist in a band, Zombie Hate Brigade, Joe plays for Scalafrea, and Len is with Cephalic Carnage. So, we’re coming back into the light to begin working on new material.
NRR: Hopefully you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at FTA?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: The show in general honestly, it’s been a while since I have been out of state, especially for a show. It’ll be nice to see some old friends and have a good time. And just have a good time. This is something new to North America (metal festival setting in rural Illinois) and were quit humbled to be invited to play with such amazing bands.
NRR: The first Legion of Death LP and the 89 demo will be on one slab of black wax. How did you go about deciding to enter the vinyl world and where can fans grab one to make a second pressing necessary?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: We were actually approached by To The Death Records with it. And Mike and I decided it would be a good idea to re-press it… especially with the demo and the full LP. Konrad at To The Death Records has done a wonderful job of remastering it and not taking away from the original sound. We think it sounds much better than the original versions, we’ll let the fans decide that, but were excited to have it reissued.


Legion of Death – Apathy

NRR: What would be the biggest difference between the original version of the band and this new and improved version that fans are getting a taste of now?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: Well the vocals I think are the biggest difference between old and new, Len has a more death metal approach where John had a hard core approach. John was a very unique vocalist, kind of a tie between death metal and hard core vocals. It’s hard to put an exact name on his vocal styling. He was very unique. Also Joe’s drumming, he’s a more technical drummer than Damion was. And the sound is more modern, those songs were originally recorded in 1987, the demo in 1989. So they needed to be refurbished if the band was going to add new members. And we wanted to get into the studio so the new fans would be able to hear what the band is now. I honestly dig it, like a death/thrash sound.
NRR: Tell me about bringing the LOD name out of the locked box from the cellar and brushing off the dust of anarchy from of it. What caused the fire to “get the band back together”?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: At first it was going to be just one show, at a festival in Denver, Colorado. Once the show was finished we just decided to continue on. We were excited to be playing those songs again, and it was fun. So we continued on and here we are now almost four years later and still jamming.
NRR: What can we expect from the band after FTA is a dark, slithering dream of a tortured metal demon until 2016?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: New material, the band needs to concentrate on a new album, something to show were not going to live off those old songs for the rest of the bands life span. We have a few songs written and a couple other penned as ideas. But the concentration will be new music for sure.
NRR: Is there a band or bands on this year’s FTA line-up that you are looking forward to seeing as fans?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: There is so many to be honest, Waco Jesus, Gruesome, In Defense, Drogheda, Eyehategod, and Murder Construct. Those are just the one’s I can think of off the top of my head.
NRR: You guys are one of the more established bands playing FTA this year. Is the merch table as important to you now as say the mid 80s when you were first starting out?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: Well I like to be well centered around the merch. And make sure we have availability and a couple different prints of shirts for people to choose. So it’s cool when someone buys a shirt or you see someone wearing your shirt. It gives you a sense of self-respect and it makes you appreciate what you have with the band a little more. It’s a very cool feeling to have someone buy your shirt or sign their CD, it’s a really cool feeling that someone values your music as much as we value our music, so I like to have merch available for people to buy.
NRR: For you guys, what is the magic between you and the crowd? Is it just the need to have fun, the stage presence, or all that and more?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: Yes, fun!!! And once that washes away I don’t see a reason to do it anymore. I mean, let’s be honest, if we were in this for the money we certainly would not be playing death metal, LOL… And of course the fans, the people that enjoy the music, without them, we wouldn’t have as much fun playing live. Plus all of us have a good sense of humor and you’ll see us poke fun at each other on and off stage. It’s part of the game and way to have fun.
NRR: In the many years LOD has been around, what might be the most bizarre, strange, or simply hilarious experience that comes to mind? A Spinal Tap moment if you will?
Chris “Pito” Petersen: Well no Spinal Tap moments… But, I fell on stage one night, banging up my bass, that’s embarrassing. And it wasn’t just a “oops I stumbled,” it was a run and jump and land and crash onto the floor type of fall. I’ve had many stumbles, but this was a crash. I’ve watched Joe lose sticks. I’ve had to catch his cymbal stands from falling on several occasions. I watched Jeff get unplugged from his amp head and still jam out like he was active, (laughing). That was funny too. Like he was air guitaring on the stage. Didn’t even notice he had nothing coming from his rig except static, (laughing).


Legion Of Death
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Full Terror Assault
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About The Author

After getting the photo bug in the far, past days of black and white film, Erich continued to develop his eye for photography which lead to stops in the sporting, art, wedding, and eventually concert music worlds. Now, doing more writing for National Rock Review, he has entered into the journey of getting to know the artists and the industry, not just the faces on the other side of the lens.