The Dutch Masters
Soaring out of the abyss with their seventh record, Legion of the Damned set the bar high early in 2014 in the world of thrash/death metal. Ravenous Plague is a scathing and visceral slab of vinyl that will keep head-bangers happy well into festival season when they can work it out in the pit.
This release reunites the band with producer Andy Classen, who recorded Legion of the Damned’s seminal record, Malevolent Rapture. Ravenous Plague also marks the departure of original guitarist Richard Ebisch, who was replaced by Twan Van Geel. Van Geel brings a fresh perspective to the band, with brutally heavy, catchy riffs and amazing solos. He also guides the band through some new territory, like varied tempos and slick time changes.
Ravenous Plague‘s cover features beautifully bleak drawings provided by veteran album cover artist Wes Benscoter and an intro by composer Jo Blankenburg, who normally works on projects for major motion pictures like The Hunger Games or X-Men. What follows is a little more than 42 minutes of expertly executed metal: no ballads, no catchy vocal hooks– just pure European metal.
The band has never been tighter, either. Erik Fleuren drives this metal locomotive from his drum throne with standout performances on the tracks “Black Baron,” “Summon All Hate” and the closer “Strike of the Apocalypse.” Flanked by his longtime bandmates Maurice Swinkels on vocals and Harold Gielen on bass, these scene behemoths unleash ten meaty tracks for their greatly respected fans from all around the globe.
For nearly 20 years, these guys have pummeled our eardrums, either as Legion of the Damned or in their earlier incarnation as Occult. These Dutch masters have written the book on Euro-thrash, and they remain at the top of the heap. Experience the legend that is Legion of the Damned and pick up a copy of the brand spankin’ new Ravenous Plague.