Consistency is something of a rare thing in the world of Metal. Very few bands remain consistent in their sound while keeping up the energy and vigor of trying out something new, but its bands like LEGION OF THE DAMNED that show the rest of the Metal world that not only can consistency happen for an Extreme Metal outfit but it can still remain excellent. From their time under the name OCCULT to “Cult Of The Dead”, their fourth studio album under their current moniker, this band has always been about being steadfast in their musical ways.
So if you have heard LEGION OF THE DAMNED before then you know exactly what to expect. Thrash Metal that leans towards the more extreme end of the genre (think somewhat similar to DESTRUCTION like chaotic nature that met VADER head on) dominates the majority of “Cult Of The Dead” and the band doesn’t stray from the path very often. Whether it’s the very chaotic and frantic riff and drum combinations of “Black Templar” or the slightly more Death Metal oriented mid tempo monster, “Black Wings Of Yog-Sothoth” this band still keeps their music fresh and brisk on the album. LEGION OF THE DAMNED rarely disappoints.
It’s a great abrasive album on its first listen that will have a guaranteed headbang from its listeners, but it’s the repeated listenings that make “Cult Of The Dead” truly a great album. It’s a deeply written album that has lots of subtle melodies and nuances that keep it in my playlist. The keyboards the lead into the title track or the rhythmatic chugging riffs to “Enslaver Of Souls” keep those as high priorities for listening. Ganted, I did find that the somewhat cheesy introduction to the album kicked it off in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner and it doesn’t fit the ferocity of the rest of the album. Other than that, “Cult Of The Dead” is memorable track after memorable track.
LEGION OF THE DAMNED remains one of the few Thrash bands out there that remain as awesome as the day I first heard them without ever compromising their signature sound. They remain memorable with amazing songs (and astoundingly they do it without soloing which normally is a big no-no in the world of Thrash Metal) and “Cult Of The Dead” doesn’t falter. One more amazing record to add to their stellar catalog.
Songs to check out: “Cult Of The Dead”, “Black Templar”, “The Final Godsend”.
(Online December 25, 2008)