Legion of the Damned – Ravenous Plague (Napalm Records)

Wednesday, 1st January 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

Ah, Legion of the Damned.  Ever the consistent bunch, the Dutch death/thrashers aim to keep up their top notch brand of European death/thrash with their sixth release, titled Ravenous Plague.  With their previous effort, Descent into Chaos being a solid piece of work, the band had a high standard of which to match.

Match it they did, as this new disc starts out with fury and some riffs crunchier than a bowl full of Cap’n Crunch without milk.  That’s some brutal stuff, especially for you cereal lovers out there.

“Howling for Armageddon” is the opener – after the obligatory intro track, of course – and it flies along in typical LotD style.  “Black Baron” definitely feels more death than thrash, and is one of the more straightforward tracks on the album, while “Ravenous Abomination” is a good mix of everything the band has to offer.  “Morbid Death” is all about speed, with galloping guitars that don’t give one much opportunity to relax.  And it’s all face-smashing fun.

Really, these dudes aren’t going to be making some sort of progressive craziness.  We want fast, hammer to the face deathy thrash from the cursed Legion, and that’s what they deliver.  And for their sixth album (more if you’re counting their previous incarnation as Occult), they’ve never been more potent, which is impressive in and of itself.  Quite simply, these Dutchmen know how to rip one’s face off and continue to do so without getting stale or overly gimmicky like a lot of bands do these days.

Ravenous Plague is a sure-fire winner, and surely to be one of the top releases in its respective style in 2014.  You want good thrash with that goes on the heavy side, Legion of the Damned still is one of the best choices out there.  It’s a crime they have almost no exposure here in North America.  Let’s change that, shall we?