Legion Of The Damned – Malevolent Rapture - In Memory Of...

The recent re-release of “Malevolent Rapture” from Dutch black metal thrashers Legion Of The Damned was in dedication to former bassist Twan Fleuren who committed suicide in May 2011. Repackaged with extra bonus tracks and a DVD, the album renamed “Malevolent Rapture - In Memory Of” is a reissue of the band’s debut from 2006 which Twan played upon. As a tribute to their former band member and friend, the album is a reminder of his massive contribution to the band and of the formidable entry into metal that Legion Of The Damned made at the time.
Released through Massacre Records the album is a thoroughly riveting collection of songs which either as an introduction to one of the more explosive black metal bands or as a reminder of the band’s beginnings is an appetising release.
With the bonus tracks taken from the 2002 “Rage To Revenge” album when the band were called Occult and which many Legion Of The Damned fans may have missed, a remix version of the song “Malevolent Rapture”, the DVD and a 32 page booklet with unseen photos, the package gives a substantial reason for a purchase.
The songs within the album assault the ears with an exhilarating thrash energy and rampant sound which blends easily with the blackened twists and turns of the songs explorations and the scorched wizened vocals of Maurice Swinkels. Songs like “Legion Of The Damned”, Deaths Head March”, and the title track, rampage with a nasty aggressive mischief and dark venomous intent through the ear. The punishing rhythms of Erik Fleuren leaving their mark with artillery accuracy whilst Twan Fleuren’s bass interventions pounce on already weakened nerves to further demolish their resistance. The guitar of Richard Ebisch unleashes riffs that slice through with razor sharp precision and though the sound is uncomplicated and full on there is a craft to its assault that is hypnotic and irresistible.
The album maybe be touching six years old but it is as fresh now as when it sprung from the bands creative well with the likes of the mighty “Werewolf Corpse” and the dominating “Taste Of The Whip” as threatening and powerful as any current metal explosions. The bonus tracks do show their age a little in comparison though all offer an early insight to the band that is appealing. For a tribute to Twan this is a fine and apt dedication. (8/10)

Pete RingMaster