Legion of the Damned, the renowned Dutch death-thrash masters, are set to unveil their newest album, ‘The Poison Chalice,’ through Napalm Records on May 26th, 2023. This record represents the group’s eighth studio production, and devotees eagerly await its debut. Recently, a music video for the album’s eponymous single provided a tantalizing glimpse of the forthcoming release. The band characterizes this title song as “exalting the perilous rewards of the sinister path and its unrelenting, ferocious death-thrash onslaught.”
Established in 2006, Legion of the Damned hails from the Netherlands as a formidable force in the death-thrash metal scene. Drawing significant inspiration from iconic bands like Slayer, Kreator, and Possessed, their sound pays homage to classic thrash and death metal. Throughout their tenure, they have amassed a dedicated fanbase and produced an impressive discography, encompassing seven full-length studio records.
Previously noted, Legion of the Damned emerged in 2006, following the disbandment of the death metal group, Occult. Initially established as Occult in 1992, the ensemble opted for a name change to Legion of the Damned upon learning of another band with the same moniker. The founding members comprised Maurice Swinkels as the vocalist, Richard Ebisch handling bass, Twan Fleuren on guitar, and Erik Fleuren behind the drums.
The creative inspiration for Legion of the Damned’s musical compositions stems from vintage horror films and literary works. Their name pays homage to the 1969 horror movie ‘Legion of the Damned,’ which recounts the tale of a British Colonel disillusioned with his superiors after witnessing his platoon’s annihilation by German forces in what he considered a futile mission during World War I. Common themes explored in the band’s lyrics encompass war, mortality, and mysticism, resulting in a musical style characterized by its ferocity, assertiveness, and unwavering intensity.
The musical philosophy embraced by Legion of the Damned revolves around an unyielding quest for excellence. Notorious for their unwavering commitment to their artistry, the band members continually strive to surpass their limits. Their signature sound features rapid tempos, weighty riffs, and forceful vocals, while their live shows are celebrated for their vigor and dynamism.
To date, Legion of the Damned has delivered seven full-length studio albums, commencing with their inaugural record, ‘Malevolent Rapture,’ which saw its release on January 6th, 2006, via the esteemed German label Massacre Records. Established in 1991, Massacre Records has earned its reputation as a highly-regarded independent label in the metal domain, representing an array of notable bands like Theater of Tragedy, Illdisposed, Heavenwood, and Darkane.
‘Malevolent Rapture’ was crafted at Stage One Studio in Germany under the supervision of producer Andy Classen. Comprising ten tracks, the album boasts fan-favorite tunes such as ‘Death’s Head March’ and ‘Werewolf Corpse.’
‘Sons of the Jackal,’ released on January 5th, 2007, serves as a commendable successor to the band’s debut record. Maintaining their characteristic intensity and aggression, the album echoes the sonic qualities of ‘Malevolent Rapture’ while showcasing enhanced songwriting and superior production. Among its ten tracks, standout songs include ‘Diabolist’ and ‘Death Is My Master (Slay for Kali).’
Unveiled on January 4th, 2008, Legion of the Damned’s third offering, ‘Feel the Blade,’ highlights the group’s growth as artists. Recorded at Stage One Studio in Germany with Andy Classen at the helm, the album comprises ten tracks, with notable songs like ‘Slaughtering the Pigs’ and ‘Warbeast.’ This release exhibits intricate song arrangements and a broader spectrum of inspirations.
A mere few months after ‘Feel the Blade,’ Legion of the Damned introduced their fourth record, ‘Cult of the Dead,’ on December 19th, 2008. Exhibiting a polished sound and reflecting the band’s evolving musicianship, the album was once more recorded at Stage One Studio in Germany, with Andy Classen as producer. Comprising eleven tracks, the record boasts well-received songs such as ‘Necrosophic Blessing’ and ‘Pray & Suffer.’
On January 7th, 2011, Legion of the Damned released their fifth album, ‘Descent into Chaos,’ perpetuating their legacy of unrelenting, forceful music. This time, the recording took place at Abyss Studio in Sweden under the guidance of producer Peter Tägtgren, renowned as the frontman of Swedish death metal trailblazers, Hypocrisy. The ten-track album includes fan-favorites like ‘War Is In My Blood’ and ‘Killzone.’
January 3rd, 2014, saw the release of Legion of the Damned’s sixth album, ‘Ravenous Plague,’ which signified their transition to the esteemed Austrian independent label Napalm Records. Established in 1992, Napalm Records has earned its reputation as a highly-regarded independent label in the metal domain. The label hosts a diverse array of acts, from established metal icons like Agathodainmon, Unleashed, Moonspell, Katatonia, Crematory, and Diabulus In Musica to emerging artists such as DevilDriver, Wolfheart, Powerwolf, and Nervosa.
Joining forces with Napalm Records proved to be a pivotal move for Legion of the Damned, as it facilitated broader exposure and access to the label’s comprehensive distribution channels. This transition also mirrored the band’s expanding acclaim and impact within the realms of death and thrash metal.
On January 4th, 2019, Legion of the Damned unveiled their seventh album, ‘Slaves of the Shadow Realm,’ which was crafted at the band’s own studio and produced by Andy Classen. Comprising ten tracks, the record boasts fan-favorite tunes such as ‘Slaves of the Southern Cross’ and ‘Shadow Realm of the Demonic Mind.’
Legion of the Damned’s impact on the death and thrash metal scenes is unquestionably profound, as evidenced by their influence resonating through the works of numerous bands within the genre. Their distinct sound, evocative imagery, and electrifying live performances have garnered a dedicated fanbase and solidified their standing as a seminal force in the genre. Their unrelenting, forceful, and unwavering musical style has inspired a multitude of artists in the death and thrash metal realms, with many musicians frequently acknowledging their significance as an influential inspiration.
Legion of the Damned’s live shows are renowned for their vigor and dynamism, establishing them as one of the most exhilarating live acts within their genre. Their extensive touring across Europe, North America, and South America has allowed them to amass a dedicated fanbase and further bolster their reputation.
As Legion of the Damned moves forward, devotees can anticipate the band’s persistent commitment to creating forceful and unrelenting music that challenges the limits of death and thrash metal. With their most recent offering, ‘Slaves of the Shadow Realm,’ the group has demonstrated their unwavering prowess and a wealth of innovative concepts yet to be explored.
Furthermore, fans eager to support Legion of the Damned can pre-order their forthcoming album, ‘The Poison Chalice,’ at our shop. Do not miss the opportunity to secure your copy and become part of the enthusiastic community awaiting this highly anticipated release. Given the band’s track record for producing potent and unwavering music, ‘The Poison Chalice’ promises to be a remarkable addition to their already distinguished discography.