Benighted

Obscene Repressed

Written by: RUB on 24/05/2020 12:37:33

A band such as Benighted from France is not easily digested. Like their Belgian counterparts in Aborted, Benighted swear by a very grim and nasty brand of grindcore, so if by any chance you are not a fan of nightmarish shrieks and revolting pig squeals, you should just take a hard pass on this latest offering, entitled “Obscene Repressed”, from the Frenchmen. If, however, you fancy your extreme metal with plenty of the aforementioned elements spiced with a dash of gore, Benighted should be right up your alley.

There’s little new to this release when compared to the group’s previous material and I welcome this choice fully. Benighted are still an extreme metal act by heart, with blastbeats firmly centred throughout this blistering album, leaving little room for any sort of beautiful passages or captivating rhythms. Instead, you’re treated to enthralling, harrowing and menacing riffing, brutal screeches and downright disgusting death metal tunes. The band’s lyrical theme of choice is still as disturbing as the music, too; with tongue-in-cheek titles such as “Mom, I Love You the Wrong Way”, “Casual Piece of Meat” and “Smoke through the Skull”, any fan of these Frenchmen should still feel right at home when Julien Truchan lets his growls loose. Just check out the video for “Nails” at the end of this review for very NSFW-proof of this.

The titular first track ensures this concept album about a schizophrenic young man is off to a great start. It’s fast-paced and grim like half of the songs here; every other track clocks in at around 2 minutes, while the remaining six have more ‘melody’, so to speak, because of their slightly longer duration. This gives a natural flow to album, as not every song is a blistering piece of grindcore shorter than 3 minutes, and actually creates some much-needed variety in an otherwise quite monotonous genre. In these longer tracks (see “Nails”, “Mom, I Love You the Wrong Way” and “Bound to Facial Plague” for good examples), the group explores different stylistic elements than just grindcore. Generally speaking, the five musicians incorporate both heavier and more brutal elements into these, but they also delve into the many varieties of vocalisation Truchan excels in. By the way, he works in a psychiatric hospital, in case you were wondering where he his inspiration stems from.

As I’ve said so many times by now, production is key to a good extreme metal album. Every note, riff and snarl must be perfectly audible — otherwise the listening experience becomes muddy and messy. Luckily, this is mastered to perfection on “Obscene Repressed”, making the album as a whole that much more enjoyable. So when you top this off with the individual prowess of each of the five musicians, you’re left with something quite spectacular, which should cater to both the old and the new fan of extreme metal. In recent years, modern extreme metal and grindcore have largely been associated with bands such as Aborted and Anaal Nathrakh and Cattle Decapitation, but it’s about time these French guys received a piece of the attention, too.

For a large majority of the album, I have absolutely nothing nice to say. But when you’re dealing with such an extreme and repulsing act as Benighted, that’s as good as it gets. If the record doesn’t propel the band toward a larger fanbase and stardom (if one can even talk about that when dealing with this genre), I’m not sure what will. With “Obscene Repressed”, Benighted have once again shown how consistent and talented they are. They have even managed to incorporate plenty of variation into the stylistically very different tracks on offer here — and that’s on an album which clocks in at almost 40 minutes, which in itself is quite a feat. To me, it stands out as one of the highlights of the year within the genre and possibly even in general when 2020 eventually winds to an end, and as such every fan of extreme metal should definitely give this one a spin.

8

Download: Muzzle, Nails, Scarecrow, Obscene Repressed, Bound to Facial Plague; Mom, I Love You the Wrong Way
For the fans of: Aborted, Anaal Nathrakh, Cattle Decapitation, Dying Fetus, Hour of Penance
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.04.2020
Season of Mist

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