Legion Of The Damned – The Poison Chalice (blackened death thrash)
There's a lot of cool, progressive metal out today, including stuff we've covered on the blog already, like A Constant Knowledge of Death and Victory Over the Sun. Personally though, I'm in the mood for something a little more straight forward and Legion of the Damned's perfectly balanced blend of black, death and thrash metal is hitting the spot nicely. This is an album where the highlight is titled "Beheading the Godhead" for Christ's sake and while The Poison Chalice doesn't quite live up to the lofty bar set by the band's previous two records but it still provides solid evidence that they're one of the more underrated genre acts out there.
The Dutch outfit have also upped the blackened element of their sound on this one, with a lot of the riffing and vocal lines bringing to mind mid-period Immortal and Abbath's early solo outings. In many ways, this album is a more suitable, ambitious and successful follow-up to All Shall Fall (2009) and Northern Chaos Gods (2018) than the fine but forgettable Immortal album out today as well. While the riffs are still the main focus, there's a bit more adventurous shown in their composition and the album's thematic coherence.
My only criticism is that this seems to be one of those albums I find a lot more compelling if you switch it around, so it starts with "Retaliation"and the rest of the second half and then looping it back around through the first part so that it builds up to the climactic double-feature of "Skulls Adorn the Traitor's Gate" and "Behold the Beyond", but I imagine most other listeners with an inclination for this brand of aggression-forward extreme metal perfectly palatable as is.