Benediction
Organized Chaos

I still listen to The Grand Leveler, along with Gorefest’s Erase; they ranks as one of my favorite all time Euro-Death albums. Since The Grand Leveler, however, Benediction has done little to recreate the magic on that release. I am happy to say that Organized Chaos presents a return to form for Benediction.

After two average releases (1995’s The Dreams You Dread, and 1998’s Grind Bastards), Benediction took some time off, changed vocalists and came back with a new sense of energy. New growler, Dave Hunt is just what the Doctor ordered for this ailing and aging stalwart of the British death metal scene. Previous vocalist Dave Ingram has moved on to Bolt Thrower, and this was a good move for Benediction. While Hunt has the same overall sounding voice, he has far more range and emotion than Ingram. There’s even a few of the whispered passages that made The Grand Leveler so atmospheric. (I Literally was “Jumping at Shadows”, when I listened to that album with headphones!) He also seems to have injected the entire band with a new sense of vigor and fire, which burns through all of the eleven tracks.

Bolstered by a pristine Andy Sneap Production, this album has everything you would expect from a quality Benediction release. Thundering mid paced to fast riffing, interwoven with some slower controlled chugging. While none of this re-defines death metal, or flows with originality, it harnesses everything that made death metal so basic, simple and fun in the early 90’s (before all the sub genres and pigeonholing). There are faster songs, (“Suffering Feeds Me”-a personal favorite), and some slower songs (“Diary of a Killer”). The fast songs certainly are not nearly as brutal as some of the more modern death/grindcore (In fact I don’t think there is a single blast beat on the album), but have a certain throwback charm that reminds us the roots of death metal. Benediction shows that heaviness isn’t necessarily equated with speed. By allowing control and strong songwriting to be the focus of the album, Benediction have shown the slew of younger bands how it is done; with class, structure and a nod to the past. This is Benediction’s best material since The Grand Leveler and Transcend the Rubicon.

Listeners should not expect anything new or ground breaking musically or lyrically, just a solid death metal album form one of the most consistent bands in the scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 30th, 2001

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