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Benediction - Subconscious Terror (Reissue)

Benediction
Subconscious Terror (Reissue)
by Lior “Steinmetal” Stein at 27 January 2015, 11:33 PM

As I shrivel back into the old days of Death Metal, right in the peek moment where it raised to power both in US and Europe, there it was, an volcanic eruption filled with vigorous bands fighting to elevate the genre even further in the hearts of Metalheads. One of the prominent names of that Death Metal era, which I have to admit that is showing sights of a comeback nowadays, were, and still are gladly, the British BENEDICTION. With the grand campaign of Metal Mind Productions to reissue the band’s discography until their latest release “Killing Music” of the late 00’s, I now unveil my point of view for the band’s thick and meaty early old school releases, starting with the band’s debut album of 1990, “Subconscious Terror”.

Honestly, after listening to plenty of Death Metal bands of the late 80’s and mostly early 90’s, there is no such a big difference between them, only if you count out pioneers in the evolution of early Death Metal such as DEATH, ATHEIST, CYNIC or CARCASS. When it comes to BENEDICTION’s music, their routine at the beginning was adamant to the primitive and grinding type of Death Metal, which appeared to me to be rather tied with a strong associative to the US Death Metal scene that already began devouring in the mid 80’s with POSSESSED, DEATH and the Floridian butchery. Furthermore, and it shows on “Subconscious Terror”, there is that nebulous Punkish flavor hoarding through the material, seething its rudimentary and repetitive sense yet not in a way that it would deter the Metalhead from feasting upon the flesh of the tunes. On the other hand, I found several reminders of BLACK SABBATH within the riffs of the release.

In general, “Subconscious Terror” introduces Death Metal as a rhythm based experience, simple arrangements, most of the time letting go of the manic lead guitar inducements of Thrash or American Death, yet still nurtures the need for chug robustness in Metal. Gladly that the band’s rhythm guitar riffery, though immensely simple, became quite favored by yours truly, and you might add the high class gruesome grinding guttural vocals of NAPALM DEATH’s Mark "Barney" Greenway, which fronted the band in its first years right until permanently leaving after this album. Going through the tracks, I was actually captivated by the band’s primitiveness and utmost direct approach, attacking mercilessly, battering tune after tune. There isn’t too much to distinct between the songs, and I believe that it might instigate a wrongful reaction from the nowadays Metal fan due to the solid direction of music. However, I argue that tracks like “Experimental Stage”, which also appears as a bonus demo, “Spit Forth the Dead”, “Grizzled Finale”, instrumental “Suspended Animation” and “Confess All Goodness” might shake things up a bit, unfolding the band’s strong attribution of the old US Death Metal sense. Moreover, the bonus demo versions of “Jumping At Shadows”, “Foetus Noose” and “Forged In Fire“ are true crushers and maintain the brutal image of this band’s career point that seemed to be only up.

I consider “Subconscious Terror” as a noticeable starting point for BENEDICTION; it has a wholesome of meat and potatoes of the genre, not reaching far at being intelligent but offering a massive dose of heavy and foreboding attitude allover. In comparison to the late 90’s offerings, I regard this album as one of the band’s darkest ventures. Be sure to check this one out soon through Metal Mind Productions.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro - Portal to Your Phobias
2. Subconscious Terror
3. Artefacted Irreligion
4. Grizzled Finale
5. Eternal Eclipse
6. Experimental Stage
7. Suspended Animation
8. Divine Ultimatum
9. Spit Forth the Dead
10. Confess All Goodness
10. Foetus Noose
11. Forged In Fire
12. Dark Is The Season
13. Jumping At Shadows
14. Experimental Stage (Demo)
Lineup:
Mark "Barney" Greenway – Vocals
Peter Rew - Lead Guitars
Darren Brookes – Rhythm Guitars
Paul Adams - Bass
Ian Treacy - Drums
Record Label: Metal Mind Productions
     


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