Legion of the Damned formed in the early years of the 21st century and quickly made a name for themselves, landing touring and support slots with such established names as Cannibal Corpse, Kataklysm, and Sodom. The band comprised vocalist Maurice Swinkels, guitarist Richard Ebisch, bassist Twan Fleuren, and drummer Erik Fleuren. Having recorded five albums as black metal-tinted outfit Occult, they evolved into Legion of the Damned shortly after that band's final release in 2003. Their first full-length, Malevolent Rapture, was released in 2006 on Massacre Records, soon after which new bass player Harold Gielen (Inhume, Disgorge) joined. The band followed up the release with a number of tour dates and festival appearances, including the Wacken Festival. The band only took a year to unleash their next full-length platter of thrash madness on an otherwise unsuspecting populace, seeing Sons of the Jackal hit stores in early 2007. The tradition of following album releases with shows opening for big names was established at this point, with the Legion touring in support of album number two with Celtic Frost and Kreator. In 2008, the band put out its third album, Feel the Blade. Released as part of Massacre's new deal with Nuclear Blast, it was in fact a reissue of their final Occult album Elegy for the Weak. 2009's Cult of the Dead, and 2011's Descent Into Chaos rounded out their contract with Massacre. 2011 was a tough year for the band: guitarist Ebisch quit and was replaced by Twan van Geel, while former bassist Twan Fleuren committed suicide. In 2014 the Legion signed to Napalm Records for the release of their sixth studio album Ravenous Plague; the follow-up, Slaves of the Shadow Realm, arrived in 2019 after a five-year hiatus.