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Benediction - Killing Music (CD)

Killing Music
by Yiannis Doukas at 01 August 2008, 3:00 PM

If I had to make a 'top five British Death Metal bands' list along with the obvious (you know: NAPALM DEATH, BOLT THROWER and CARCASS), I would surely put these Birmingham noisers (the other position would be WARLORD). Their first two releases were damn good and I'm sure that Subconscious Terror and The Grand Leveller are considered by many headbangers as classics. During 1993 they unleashed the Transcend The Rubicon CD that except its absolute music had an incredible cover; every time I opened this gatefold sleeve I found myself lost inside. Since then BENEDICTION released another three full-lengths that some people find nice while some others not, judging by their previous albums. And now, after seven years of semi-dead condition, they are planning their big return.
The ironical titled Killing Music finds BENEDICTION moving a little bit into crust and punk-ish roads. This is quite clear in songs like Rats In The Mask (Controlopolis), drawing closer to DISCHARGE with a consequence of having similarities to NAPALM DEATH's stuff. The refrain is more than perfect for moshing activities and I have to say that this is one of the highlights here. The self-titled cut is a pure BENEDICTION song with the special riffing by Darren and Peter that our ears are used to.
The band does not base their music power upon speed, although the drumming is sometimes very fast but don't expect blasts or something like that. Their formula looks greater in mid-tempo riffs, like the main one on They Must Die Screaming that grasps you immediately. This goes for the majority of their new songs; another one that comes to mind now is Dripping With Disgust, starting slow and then becoming faster having a nice structure. Also a nice surprise was Crionics's influenced vocals in Cold, Deathless, Unrepentant, the only one that has something close to a solo.
The whole band's performance is good with very good vocals from Dave Hunt, too. His voice is like a thick layer of dust with a timbre that fits perfect to the groups sound. Imagine a combination of the previous singers, Barney Greenway and Dave Ingram together with Karl Wiletts. As for the end, the mighty song from the mighty band AMEBIX. I'm talking about Largactyl and - apart from the happiness that this specific choice for a cover brought me, I must say it's well-played with respect to the authentic tune. Especially in the refrain where they have invited some guests to scream (I'm not revealing anything), it seems like haunted voices filled of anguish from a madhouse near you.
Killing Music stands better than Grind Bastard or Organized Chaos and that is what I liked in the end, 'cause it reveals that BENEDICTION has a lot of things to offer being far away from bands that just release some albums based upon their older studio legacy.

3 Star Rating

The Grey Man
Rats In The Mask (Controlopolis)
Killing Music
They Must Die Screaming
Dripping With Disgust
Wrath And Regret
As Her Skin Weeps
Cold, Deathless, Unrepentant
Immaculate Facade
Burying The Hatchet
Beg, You Dogs
Seeing Through My Eyes
Dave Hunt - Vocals
Darren Brooks - Guitars
Peter Rew - Guitars
Frank Healy - Bass
Neil Hutton - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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