Dutch thrash masters Legion Of The Damned rose from the ashes of Occult in 2005 with their brutal style of thrash Metal.
Six albums further on and their latest release, 'Ravenous Plague', follow up to 2011s 'Descent Into Chaos', has all the intensity that was present in their debut release, 'Malevolent Rapture', a thrash classic.
With this release there is an extra edge to the sound not seen on the previous five offerings, with the addition of Twan Van Geel, who has taken over the guitar duties from Richard Ebisch. His playing style is more diverse and goes beyond the brutal adding a little more intricate detail to the riffs, a lot more leads and a bit more variety with the tempo.
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In many other ways Legion Of The Damned have put a lot of thought and effort into making this release, pushing their creative boundaries and bringing onboard composer Jo Blankenburg, who wrote music for 'X-Men' and '300: Rise Of An Empire', to compose the intro, 'The Apocalyptic Surge', which does have an apocalyptic, ominous feel and sets the scene well for the tracks that follow.
As 'Howling For Armageddon' opens up the first thing to greet you is that old school quality, packed with speed and aggression. There is a consistency across the ten tracks, maintaining a pretty even degree of pace, a mid tempo, making it a chugging, exciting journey through the tracks, where you meet some good riffs along the way and throughout 'Mountain Wolves Under A Crescent Moon', a rather good, sinister riff rears its head on a regular basis.
Importantly, also, the vocals are good, brutal but clearly definable. 'Ravenous Abominations' has a great opener that is ponderously dark and ominous, before ramping up the tempo and not relenting until the end.
There are a few stand out tracks for me, the first being 'Doom Priest' which has a great opening build, garnished with a spoken lyrical element and as the track progresses a dark groove develops beneath the chugging intensity.
'Summon All Hate' continues with this dark groove, which adds so much appeal for me. The other standout track is the catchy and memorable 'Bury Me In A Nameless Grave' with its fast chugging groove and catchy chorus.
I do hope that 2014 will prove to be a pivotal year for Legion Of The Damned with this release, they have put such a lot of effort and thought into this release including bringing back Andy Classen to produce the album. The artwork was created by Wes Benscoter who has also done artwork for Slayer.
Finally the bands message to you is this: "There is a storm brewing in the camp of Legion Of The Damned and it won't be silenced anytime soon. Face the storm and let the renewed Legion Of The Damned blow you away!"