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Benighted - Obscene Repressed Award winner

Obscene Repressed
by Martin Knap at 10 May 2020, 12:35 PM

The French Death Metal quintet BENIGHTED doesn’t need an introduction, since their debut in 2000, they’ve clawed themselves out of the underground to become one of the “headliners” among Death Metal bands. They are a quite hard toiling band, they have regularly put out albums every two to three years, “Obscene Repressed” is their ninth release so far. BENIGHTED’s sound stands out from the crowd, and I think that in part it has to do with their origins in Black Metal. Their self-titled debut was already quite eclectic, although in part it sounds like your typical solemn Black Metal, some parts had a more aggressive Grindcore edge. The sound of their later albums is a mix of Death/Grind and DYING FETUS-style Brutal-Tech Death, but the Black Metal venom has never really disappeared. The band has developed their style over a number of releases and “Obscene Repressed” could be seen as a pinnacle of what they’ve been able to achieve with it.

The album is 38 minutes long and contains twelve tracks – a mean and lean album, but not really short for this kind of brutal release. What strikes me about this record, apart from the memorable tunes, is how varied this record can sound and how many ideas were put into it. The album kicks off with the title song a very in your face, hard-hitting Death/Grind onslaught. Chuggy riffs towards the end bring a bit of a change of pace and the mood also turns a bit darker. “Brutus” shift fast, blasty sections and parts with a muscular, catchy groove. The song is that it’s in French – one of two or three songs are not in English – which for some reason adds an extra dose of charm to the song for me. “Implore The Negative” with its pumped up, catchy chorus is an absolute blast. It is a very layered songs with interesting twists: there is an atmospheric break followed by a cathartic part which effectively combines heaviness and atmosphere. There is also a little guitar break with 100% Black Metal sounding riff. It’s also little details like that make BENIGHTED’s songwriting so badass and on point. In some songs the instrumental breaks can go a step further: in “Muzzle” there even is a jazzy section, which is followed by a BEHEMOTH-esque blackened death onslaught. The verse of “Scarecrow” has a really nice groove, it reminds me SUMBLIME CADAVERIC DCOMPOSITION’s (another amazing French band) “Grind n’ Roll” sound, the end there is a slower, almost Deathcore-esque section. Parts of “Mom, I Love You The Wrong Way” have an almost Melodic-Black metal vibe and it features a flashy guitar solo.

I don’t think that I need to keep hammering home the point, that this album is well written and full of good ideas and hooks. BENIGHTED make dense, layered music with interesting twists and turns, that make for a really engaging listen. They definitely didn’t disappoint!

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Musicianship: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Obscene Repressed
2. Nails
3. Brutus
4. The Starving Beast
5. Smoke Through the Skull
6. Implore the Negative
7. Muzzle
8. Casual Piece of Meat
9. Scarecrow
10. Mom, I Love You the Wrong Way
11. Undivided Dismemberment
12. Bound to Facial Plague
Julien - Vocals (lead)
Pierre - Bass, Vocals (backing)
Manu - Guitars
Kevin - Drums
Fabien - Guitars
Record Label: Season of Mist


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Edited 28 March 2023

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