“Ferly Centesms” is an album I haven’t exactly been looking forward to listen to. The reason for that is BENIGHTED LEAMS’ first album, “Caliginous Romantic Myth”, which I didn’t like at all. In fact, it’s one of the worst Metal albums I have ever heard. Still, I tried to forget all about that album and listen to their latest opus with an open mind. Fortunately, there has been progress.
In ten years of existence, BENIGHTED LEAMS has released three albums, all released on Supernal Music, which is owned by the band’s only member, Alex Kurtagic. While the first album was raw, arcane Black/Doom Metal, the second was less Black and had a cosmological theme (both albums are now sold out). The material on “Fairly Centesms” is 7-8 years old, but hasn’t been released until now.
None of the tracks on “Ferly Centesms” are of typical Black Metal style. They’re oddly structured, with twisted riffs and weird drum rhythms, creating an original sound picture. The raw-sounding distorted guitars are often suddenly interrupted by calm, mellow parts that give the songs an eerie atmosphere. There aren’t many vocals on the album and when they are present they’re way back in the mix, with a voice reminding more of preaching than screaming in the traditional Black Metal manner. Unfortunately, the tracks use very much the same formula throughout the album and when none of them really stand out, the album sounds repetitive after a while.
While not being nearly as bad as the band’s debut, this album is not a masterpiece. BENIGHTED LEAMS definitely have created a sound of their own and the only comparable records I can think of is BETHLEHEM’s “S.U.I.Z.I.D.” and FURZE’s “Necromanzee Cogent”. I you like your Black Metal experimental and with eerie atmosphere, this may very well be your cup of tea. (Online June 13, 2005)