Once upon a time I considered the French Metal scene to be a joke. Ten years ago I didn’t listen to one single band from France. It could be because I didn’t look hard enough, not likely, or because there wasn’t any decent Death Metal bands around. Times change is a fitting cliché. BENIGHTED isn’t the band that made me count French Extreme Metal as a force to be reckoned with, but they are confirming it firmly. I know BENIGHTED from their previous release, “Insane Cephalic Production”, a recommendable album as well. “Identisick” is BENIGHTED’s fourth full length release, in my opinion they have improved since their third.
Their label, or the band itself, labels the music as Brutal Death Core. I’m not disagreeing as I hear both INIQUITY and DYING FETUS in their music. The only band I could confuse them for being would be INIQUITY, though. This is like hearing INIQUITY on acid prescribed by Mr. Hoffman, the inventor of LSD that is. The pig-like vocals of Mr. Truchan reminds me a lot of what Mr. Haarløv did. The main difference between them is the varied approach of Mr. Truchan, what unites them is the fantastic ability to grunt along to any heavy Death Metal riff. It’s on these occasions I think that BENIGHTED sounds most like INIQUITY.
BENIGHTED deserves more than comparisons, here comes more praise. The playing skills of these individuals are nothing short of great. If Eric Clapton tried to play this kind of music he would fall apart. Of more Metal related people I would like to mention Lars Ulrich who would have exploded during the drum sessions.
The production shines as well. It’s a clinical production fitting the music perfectly. Kohlekeller Studio gets a recommendation from me. It may sound a bit polished to those who hate producers, though. I remember some Norwegian Black Metal bands participated in a campaign against Scott Burns. They saw him as the manifestation of the commercial Death Metal scene. It may be one of the most ridiculous campaigns in the history of Norway. If you, unlike the tr00 ones, desire to feel surrounded by music, rather than having a fly in your ear, I recommend you “Identisick”. In the same package you get heavy riffs, blasting drums and some very good songs. Most of them are very good as a matter of fact. (Online April 15, 2006)