Death metal legends Benediction return to the fold with not only a crushing new album in the form of Scriptures, but also an equally impressive lineup.
Big shoes needed to be filled when vocalist of 20 years Dave Hunt announced that he had decided to take some time away, but with his blessing the rest of the band pushed on to find a replacement. One phone call was made, the person at the end of the line – Dave Ingram! The same man who worked on some of the earlier releases such as The Grand Leveller and the obscure Transcend the Rubicon. It is as this point Big Bang Theory fans would expect me to hold up a giant sarcasm sign as, of course, you would’ve heard of the last album mentioned! It is easily one of the most influential death metal releases to date.
The opening riff to “Iterations of I” clearly states the intention of the album and sends the message that Benediction have no intention of taking it easy on the listener. An early contender for track of the album is “Scriptures in Scarlet”. More than anything it’s the drumming in particular that I love in this.
“The Crooked Man” paves the way for the first single from the album, “Stormcrow”, before my actual highlight track “Progenitors of a New Paradigm”. There are so many things I love about this and it is no doubt going to be a live favourite. One of the shorter tracks on the album, “Rabid Carnality” snarls its way into the bass-heavy “In Our Hands, The Scars”. Just a PSA at this point – don’t listen to this in the gym when doing chest presses, your body won’t thank you in the morning.
Another bass-heavy track follows with “Tear Off The Wings”, lyrically the most OSDM of the album. “Embrace The Kill” is unwittingly going to get people to gravitate into mosh pits, whereas “Neverwhen” manages to enable the listener’s head to continually move throughout. “The Blight At The End” disperses into the final track – the anthemic “We Are Legion”.
In accordance with the Scriptures, Benediction have risen to effortlessly claim a slice of death metal sovereignty. Brutally current and yet nostalgic in equal measures.
Header image by Karen Rew
Scriptures is released on the 16th of October