Released: 2001, Nuclear Blast
Birmingham England’s Benediction formed in 1989. As any fan of the band knows, the original vocalist was Barney Greenway from Napalm Death. Being in two bands of course led to conflicts and thus Barney had to leave after releasing one full-length album in 1990. A replacement was found in the form of Dave Ingram. His stint with the band lasted until 1998. He was replaced by Dave Hunt who has proven himself more then a worthy replacement on the band’s TENTH album ORGANIZED CHAOS.
I haven’t heard ALL of Benediction’s past efforts, but from what I’ve heard their new album is not quite as intense as some of their past efforts. I would still say they are are death metal band but not as “brutal” as say Deicide or Rebaelliun. The bio calls Benediction “old school” death metal, perhaps that is why there is a difference. There are influences on ORGANIZED CHAOS that range from thrash, punk to of course death metal. There are some moments on here that remind me of early Sepultura. The song tempos are not at the blast beat level. The songs are not slow, but I guess my ears are spoiled by hearing the blasting from the “newer” death metal bands who are a bit more intense. The guitar riffs are also not 1 zillion miles an hour, it’s easier to follow, rhythmic and well structured. I would not hesitate to say that this band would have an appeal to those who don’t listen to many of the ultra heavy death metal acts. Fans of thrash and aggressive stuff like older Sepultura should be able to get into this with one listen! The sound of the album is also excellent as a result of having a pro like Andy Sneap (Nevermore, Kreator, Blaze, Arch Enemy, Testament, etc.) produce the album. “Suicide Rebellion” opens the CD and right away the riffing made me want to bang my head…it’s that kind of primal feeling you get from hearing well played kick ass death metal. Some of the “outside” influences can be heard on songs like “Suffering Feeds Me” which has some punk-isms and “Diary of a Killer” with a few nods to early Machine Head with less emphasis on the death metal vocals and a slower tempo. “Nothing On The Inside” has hints of Max Cavelera (ex-Sepultura) meets Dave Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel) on the vocals. In my books, new vocalist Dave Hunt is in good company when he is comparable to these two! Not all songs are all out aggression. For example “Easy Way To Die” begins with clean guitar…something most death metal bands steer clear of!
I was surprised at how much I liked this Benediction album. As any reader who knows my musical tastes can attest to…I am not “Mr. Death Metal.” There are a handful of death metal bands that really do something for me and now I’ll add Benediction to that esteemed list! More Benediction info on Benediction is on their label’s website: http://www.nuclearblast.de