Death metal boomed last year, big time. Seriously, the amount of great death metal albums I came across in 2007 was astounding and what’s more so is the variation that has been provided. Virtually every sub-sub-SUB genre of death metal has been favourably represented whether it be straight up blasting death metal, total guttural slamming death metal, traditional death metal or ultra technical and progressive death metal.

France’s Benighted, now on their 5th album have bought forth not only one of their finest works but one of the most downright enjoyable and listenable death metal albums of 2007. What’s most impressive is how they are able to allow their violent tendencies to swing in uncontrollable fits of fury but then effortlessly harness all these constituents back into their control to converge them into a crushing, cohesive wall of sound.

They even take risks, risks that shouldn’t work, risks that if some bands even thought about trying to integrate into their sound they would be hung, drawn and quartered on the spot. This mob have no such problem, and the one moment of sheer lunacy that best exhibits this and which screams to me as SACRILEGE is near the close of ‘Grind Wit.’ Riding on the back on one of their numerous monstrous pile driving grooves, everything suddenly slows down and vocalist Julien begins to…rap, yes you read that correctly, rap, its brief but its there and guess what, it somehow meshes into the framework of the song.


How they do it is still beyond me, I mean, imagine if Karl Sanders of Nile slipped some free-styling into one of his Egyptian epics, how the hell would that sound? Regardless, from then on the album continues to crush and impress until its conclusion. One of the numerous highlights is ‘Smile then bleed,’ featuring buzzing, whirring and scything riffing that bites and gnaws furiously through the speakers.

Benighted are on to something here and easily one of the most impressive European death metal bands in current circulation. Whereas Aborted seem to subside in their brutality and quality with each release its reassuring to know that there are bands like Benighted to offer a bludgeoning but daring and refreshing alternative.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
January 5th, 2008


  1. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    I am having trouble deciding whether this is better than Asylum Cave. They’re both outstanding.

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