I’ve said before that French Metal is ridiculously strong and only just starting to get its recognition. Now one band to hold up the banner of French Metal paved in dirt, sweat and blood, whilst being ripped apart for your pleasure are Benighted. They are without a doubt amongst the most brutal and its strange noting they’ve actually been strong for so long. With psychology inspired lyrics and influence of Deathgrind, Death Metal and a spot of Black Metal they are something unique. Necrobleed is the first studio album since a few line-up changes and so come almost as a rebirth for the band. It’s almost a pressure, how will it all hold up?
‘Hush Little Baby’ is the first of many songs with guest appearances with Asphodel (Chenille) and with dark comedy it is haunting in set up for the album. ‘Reptilian’ sets up this intense energy and is unafraid to throw up why Julien Truchan has been the bands vocalist for so long. Varied and brutal this has always been one true strength for the band. ‘Psychosilencer’ allows for a few stabs into pounding rhythms and eerie sounds but is ultimately between two giants. ‘Forgive Me Father’ is with guest vocals from Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder) and the two monsters really give a power to the songs vocals. Despite this it is the guitar riffs and eerie sounds that bring the song into a complete piece of carnage and it shouldn’t be overshadowed by just the vocals.
The sheer speed and energy can find you lost in the blows like being in a really good moshpit. This means that some songs that’d catch your ear if heard alone will fade to the background here. ‘Leatherface’ has a strong melody to it but it can easily be lost in the rest of the album. ‘Der Doppelgaenger’ has the same bad luck. The title track, again, has a sense of this but as one of the shortest songs on the album it’s a bit more understandable.
‘Monsters Make Monsters’ boasts a relentless and almost ever-changing rhythm that lies at the heart of what keeps the band so memorable and brutal. ‘Cum with Disgust’ (with guest: Arno of Black Bomb A) showcases how this same formula can run an unconventional path. The moments of eerie silence just make way for a new brutality, a bass-line thuds and a scream tears its way through. The drumming gets a bit more of a moment in ‘Versipellis’ but otherwise is happy just pounding it all forward. A fight between songs in the intro of ‘Reeks of Darkened Zoopsia’ is brief but the sheer energy is where the song truly lies. We finish with ‘Mass Grave’ which gives a haunting and more experimental touch to the vocals as we descend into a close.
Despite the songs that are easily missed it’s important to note that the album doesn’t have dull moments just a sheer force. Necrobleed is far from an album that shows one or two trees but a heavy mass of a forest. The album proves that Benighted are still on top form and still boasting a catchy and interesting set of carnage both brutal and eerie. It is this sense of guitar riffs that are catchy and new whilst a complex layer of vocals that keep the band important. The creepy touches and dark comedy is just for that little bit extra.