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Benthos - II

Benthos
II
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 February 2021, 1:58 PM

BENTHOS is an Experimental Progressive Metal band from Milan, Italy. Since 2018, the band have been developing a growing fan base due to their unique songwriting style. By combining ethereal atmospheric song structures with geometric heavy riffs, the result is a unique universe of sounds which you must hear to believe. “II” contains seven tracks.

“Cartesio” leads off the album. Following some tense opening tones, the song springs to life with easy listening vocals and some instrumental prowess. Harsh vocals join in, but the melodies stay very active. “Back and Forth” follows some really groovy bass notes and lively guitar notes. The vocals come in pensive at first, then Landillo stretches out in the chorus. At times, they remind me of COHEED AND CAMBRIA, but with a heavier edge. The audible bass notes are wonderful. They way the band combines the bass with the guitar is quite inventive. It’s a melodic charge to the ending.

“Talk to me, Dragonfly!” begins with some guitar feedback and speedy work from Taglinai on the kit. This song is a bit darker than the previous two. Harsh vocals return, but I honestly think that they are not needed here. Still, they are done in support, so they don’t really take center stage. An ambient passage smooths everything out after the half-way mark, then staccato guitars take the song to completion. “Facing the Deep” is a short two-minutes of slow, dreamy tones…like you dare to peer off the edge of a mountain peak into the abyss below.

“Debris Essence” begins with easy listening rhythms and sleek melodies, with poignant vocals. Heavier guitars and bass join in, and it’s back to smooth melodies in the opening. This ebb and flow is augmented with harsh vocal passages and absolutely fantastic musicianship. “II” opens with some darker dissonance and a faster pace. It opens up with soft and sublime melodies. The interchange from harsh to clean is starting to come just a bit predictable.

“Dissolving Flowers” is the seven-minute closer. Opening again with those soft and charming tones, the transition to heavier sounds isn’t quite as abrupt, and the entire song breathes much better without the super choppy and aggressive sounds. Towards the end, the sound drops to just ambient tones. Overall, the album was excellent, but could use just a little work here and there. Being a newer band, this is something easier to expect. Let’s start with the good…as musicians these guys are outstanding, and the compositions are about as tight as anything you have heard in a while. They also do a wonderful job of crafting dreamy, soft passages with vocals parts that will linger on your tongue like a piece of candy. The areas of improvement? I don’t think the harsh vocals are needed however, and at times some of the transitions were predictable.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Cartesio
2. Back and Forth
3. Talk to me, Dragonfly!
4. Facing the Deep
5. Debris Essence
6. II
7. Dissolving Flowers
Lineup:
Gabriele Landillo – Vocals
Gabriele Papagni – Guitars
Enrico Tripodi – Guitars
Alberto Fiorani – Bass
Alessandro Tagliani – Drums
Record Label: Eclipse Records
     


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