Benediction
Scriptures

England’s Benediction, is one of the UKS oldest and earliest Death metal bands and have some notable vocalists since their inception in 1989. From Barney Greenway, now the long term face of Napalm Death on the band’s 1990 debut Subconscious Terror, to Dave Hunt, now known as VITRIOL in Anaal Nathrakh, who served on the band’s last 2 albums (Killing Music, Organised Chaos) before going on hiatus in 2008.

But I think most would agree, that Dave Ingram would be the vocalist that most associate with the band’s discography. From 1991’s The Grand Leveler, (arguably one of England’s best death metal outputs) through Transcend the Rubicon, The Dreams You Dread and Grind Bastard, he served the longest time through the band’s most consistent output. Though I will admit, past Transcend the Rubicon, I found the albums a bit dull.

So a now much more grizzled Ingram (who sounds as good as ever, Yes…I’m looking at you Chris Barnes…) has taken a break from all his other projects (Down Among the Dead Men, Echelon, Ursinne, Hellfrost and Fire) and is back in the fray along with original guitarists Darren Brookes and Peter Rew, and newcomers Dan Bate (bass) and Giovanni Hurst (drums) and the result stands toe to toe with the albums he served on in the 90s, but with bigger, modern production from Scott Atkins (Cradle of Filth, Sylosis, Vader). (Man Id love to hear this production for Subconscious Terror!!!!!!).

Admittedly, the album takes a while to get going, even with Ingram’s unmistakable growls, grunts and cadence. But once it does, about a third of the way in, and delivers some instantly recognizable Benediction moments it becomes and album that slots in nicely somewhere between The Grand Leveler and Transcend the Rubicon and The Dreams You Dread.

After some decent, middling opening tracks (“Iterations of I”, “Scriptures in Scarlet” and “The Crooked Man”) the fiercely classic “Stormcrow” starts the album’s ascent into something far more memorable. Then there is tracks like personal favorites, “Progenitors of a New Paradigm”, “In Our Hands, the Scars”  and “Tear Off These Wings”, which have killer, classic instantly recognizable Benediction gallops reminiscent of “Opulence of the Absolute” from The Grand Leveler, as well pure rager “Embrace The Kill”, classic throwback sound of “Neverwhen” and “The Blight At The End” and varied moody closer “We Are Legion”. Making the last 2/3rds of the album a nostalgic, chugging joy to behold.

If you are familiar with Benediction, you are well aware they were never the fastest, most technical or most brutal. They delivered, and 12 years after their last album, continue to deliver, meat and potatoes, mid paced, simple, riff based chugging death metal made that much better by Ingram’s triumphant return to the band.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 12th, 2020

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