Review Summary: Monotony is their business, and business is a-booming
Thrash is never going to be an innovative genre. There is precious little new ground to tread, and as a result, most newer bands just try to outriff each other and do their best Kreator or Sodom impression. This is a fine plan if you are writing exciting riffs, however this is a death knell for a band without it. Legion of the Damned is a thrash band from the Netherlands who aren’t too well known, and probably for good reason. For the past ten years (twenty if counting their time as Occult, when they were basically the exact same band but with a female vocalist) LotD has been releasing the same brand of thrash: an unvaried, done to death ripoff of better bands that crafted better riffs. A lot of bands can combat their lack of originality by just playing balls out at all times, however LotD just don’t seem to have the energy to pull off such a feat. Ravenous Plague
is a continuance of past failures, showing a band with a steadfast refusal to tweak or change their assault, all while not having the songwriting skills to keep themselves above water.
After an attempt at an epic intro (which sounds like a discarded Septic Flesh passage), the album is kicked off by “Howling For Armageddon”, which basically lets the listener know exactly what is in store for 45 minutes: a repetitive slog through the depths of mediocre thrash riffs. Most songs follow the exact same pattern of chugging, all while the vocalist, sounding at times like he wants to be Martin Van Drunen, growls monotonously. The length of the songs are the real death knell for LotD, as almost every song is well over for minutes, yet it is almost always the same riff repeated for the duration. There are also a couple downright confusing decisions on the album; for example, “Doom Priest” starts off sounding exactly like Dethklok, with identical vocals to boot, before launching into a slowed down version of every song that preceded it.
Monotony reigns supreme throughout the entirety of Ravenous Plague
. The same three or four uninspired riffs show up in track after track, leaving the listener wondering if they’ve just been listening to the same song over and over. Legion of the Damned must think that they’ve settled into a songwriting groove, unfortunately that “groove” is writing every song with the exact same tempo, ad nauseam. If the band was doing something innovative or different, then maybe the monotony could be overlooked a bit, but they are just playing run of the mill, Sodom aping thrash. When a band that is neither interesting nor original, the least they can do is make it a fun ride, something Legion of the Damned is incapable of doing.