I’ve been listening to France’s Benighted ever since I reviewed 2004s Insane Cephalic Production for Digitalmetal.com and it blew me away. And it struck me as I prepared for this review that the band is 8 albums and 17 years into their career and all the albums are simply killer (how many current, active death metal bands can we say that about?), yet the band never seems to get mentioned in the elite category when it comes to deathmetal/grindcore.
To me, the band has always been the illegitimate love child of Cephalic Carnage, Cattle Decapitation, Despised Icon (just listen to “Cum With Disgust”) and Aborted. And maybe that mix has the band being a little too fringe for regular death metal or grindcore fans, an along with an irreverent and atypical sense of quirkiness in their work, and that does not change for Necrobreed, a completely blistering album that sees the band as locked into their sound as anyone in metal.
What separates benighted above and beyond their blend of grindcore, tech death and a little deathcore is the band’s ability to pen simply killer songs within and outside the confines of those genres. Their great big, beefy death metal riffs, grindcore expulsions and breeee filled grooves (another reason they might get left out of many ‘best of… ” death metal arguments”), is as tight, brutal yet catchy as anything being released right now or over the last few years.
As sudden, brutal and unexplainable as being assaulted by a gang of hammer wielding monkeys in a back alley, Necrobreed blast, burps and lopes with complete confidence. The 11 songs (there is an intro), all slay with ample brutality and heft, but the band adds enough little quirks and shifts for then to bee a little ‘out there’. Whether its the weird little bridge in “Leatherface”, gang chants and discordant DSO riff in “Der Doppleganger”, lullaby/piano break in “Monsters Making Monsters” or the unbridled chaos that is “Reeks of Darkened Zoopsia”, the band is always doing something a little more off kilter than the average grindcore/death metal band.
But if it’s a simple beatdown you want, tracks like “Necrobreed”, “Reptilian”, “Forgive Me Father” (with a guest appearance from Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder) and savage “Versipellis” deliver in spades with face melting abandon and crushing breakdowns. And frankly I’m not sure if a band has been as consistently ‘on’ for as many albums as Benighted has. Brutality has never been this fun, and it’s time we started talking abut Benighted in much more revered tones, though I’m sure the band would have none of it.[Visit the band's website]