LEGION OF THE DAMNED - Descent into Chaos CD
The main reason why this Dutch thrash act never got tossed into the neo thrash pile is because the so-called "thrash revival" was more about recreating the San Francisco Bay Area sound of the 80s and nothing else. Since starting out back in 2005 this band's sound has always leaned more towards the Teutonic side of the Thrash aisle, thankfully. They also bring some death metal to the mix which adds to the ball squashing fun. Yes I'm a fan of LEGION OF THE DAMNED ever since their 2008 release Feel the Blade split my head in two. They're one of the few bands of this genre who have consistently produced high caliber releases in the past few years. While the rest of the neon colored bandanna wearing crew is still nursing a hungover from their kiddie thrash fascination. LEGION OF THE DAMNED are standing on the high ground of the metal wars. OK I'm bias so fuckin what?
If there's one thing on Descent into Chaos that I didn't care for then it's the spooky spoken word title cut intro. Stuff like that is better left to black metal bands since on here it's cheesy. Otherwise this thing kicks off with "Night of the Sabbath" and you're not brutalized with speed like some of their previous material. This time around the band is much more oriented into heavy head crushing riffs. Even on "War is in My Blood" there's breakneck speed but they break it down with some classic headbanging basics. There will definitely be some pit action when they bring that cut out into their formidable live set. "Shrapnel Rain" is pure old school crowd shout along type of thrash that's meant for blood pumping mania. The cut adds some groove to their thrash template and doesn't sound like they're catering to the wiggers in the pit crowd.
In the past I've read some reviews where the writers stated that this fearsome foursome from the Netherlands had a strong SLAYER influence. Really? Where? You blast songs like "Desolation Empire", "Holy Blood Holy War" (the meanest cut on here) plus "Lord of the Flies" and the only US thrash influence I can fathom is early DEATH ANGEL. I've said that about their past releases as well since they reminded me of what your head would be like after attending a DESTRUCTION/DEATH ANGEL show from the 1980s. On this their fifth full length LEGION OF THE DAMNED has assured themselves a place on the top tier of the genre. Those of you out there who have known that all along will also find this new one a surprise since it was recorded, mixed and mastered in Sweden at the Abyss, with Peter Tagtägren behind the console. Although I wouldn't say Descent into Chaos sounds polished in any way. Actually it has a sound and style that makes it worthy of sitting beside any genre classic of the past.