Dennis : After the Dutch thrashers of Occult changed their band name in Legion of the Damned in 2006 and started a cooperation with producer Andy Classen, the band made a very successful relaunch of their career. In short succession the band released six studio albums between 2006 and 2014 and toured and toured the world, gaining international acclaim for their aggressive and catchy thrash metal style. After the last album ‘Ravenous Plague’ the band decided to take it a little bit easier and took their time to write a follow up album. The wait is finally over after five years and on January 4th their seventh album ‘Slaves of the Shadow Realm’ will be released.
As before the band worked with Andy Classen at the Stage One Studios and asked long-time LOTD lyricist Tony Manero to write the lyrics for the new album. ‘Never change a winning team’, they must have thought and they are quite right, because ‘Slaves of the Shadow Realm’ was without a doubt worth the wait. The band continues the more melodic approach that was taken on the last album ‘Ravenous Plague’ and refines it in the eleven new tracks, while not laying low on aggressiveness and catchiness. Legion of the Damned’s music is of course deeply rooted in thrash metal, but combines influences from black and death metal, giving the sound a very dark atmosphere. The band’s motto for this album was ‘less is more’ and it sure pays off on ‘Slaves of the Shadow Realm’. The songs are catchy, fast, aggressive and melodic at the same time. The combination of simple and recognizable riffs, tight play and the big fat sounding production make this seventh Legion of the Damned album a pleasure to listen to. Besides that, the razor-sharp aggressive vocals lines of front man Maurice Swinkels are fit in perfectly in the mix and he delivers one of his strongest performances on a LOTD album ever, with very effective vocals lines and raw yet understandable thrash metal vocal techniques.
With ‘Slaves of the Shadow Realm’ Legion of the Damned sets the bar high for 2019 and I have to see if there is going to be one other band that can match this thrash metal perfection. Legion of the Damned couldn’t have a better start in the new year with this release! Definitely one to pick up in 2019!