Benighted – Asylum Cave (2011)

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Music

France’s Benighted has long been one of the few – and favorite – grind bands I listen to. Having served up 5 previous albums of ferocious, technical brutality, it was with much anticipation that I sat down to give their 6th release “Asylum Cave” the Nutwork treatment. What drives me to this band is simple. In a genre of mostly noise and pig-squeals, Benighted comes off as mildly accessible. Granted, they are a style all their own, but it’s not hard to squeeze one of their recordings between listening to – say – The Black Dahlia Murder and Deicide, for example. All the grind elements are there: the brutal vocals, the over-the-top bass, the frantic guitars and the breakneck drumming. It’s the technical aspect of Benighted, coupled with a pinch of melody, that makes these Gaelic headbangers stand out from the rest.

I’ve always found them a combination of the rawness of Devourment mixed with the hardcore elements of Aborted, so you can imagine my surprise when BOTH bands provide guest appearances on Asylum Cave. From the alarm clock that opens the album, you are immediately made aware that it’s time to wake up and pay attention to this band.

The production on this album shines as bright as ever (which is not typical from music from this genre.) In fact, over the course of their career, Benighted has polished its sound more and more over each release. For purists of the scene, this is probably an atrocity – but it works for me. I don’t care what type of music it is, if it sounds like you recorded it in a bathroom closet while screaming through a cereal box, it turns me off. Thankfully the mix of this album is clean and bombastic – and it truly adds to the overall experience. The definition of the guitars and drums through the frenetic parts identifies the band’s sound – which has grown to the perfect balance of all combined parts.

Standout tracks include “Hostile,” “The Cold Remains,” “Swallow,” and the epic closing track “Drowning.” That said, there is no track on this that should be skipped over. This is a career-defining offering from Benighted, and while it will go undetected by most metal “experts,” it is definitely an album that should not be missed. It is a is a satisfying dose of metalheaded brutality, with just enough melody, surprisingly atmospherics and adrenal gland-milking mosh parts to make it more than a simple endurance test. And that says a lot.

Tracklist:
01 – Asylum Cave
02 – Let The Blood Spill Between My Broken Teeth
03 – Prey
04 – Hostile
05 – Fritzl
06 – Unborn Infected Children
07 – The Cold Remains
08 – A Quiet Day
09 – Shadows Descend
10 – Swallow
11 – Lethal Merycism
12 – Drowning

MySpace: Link | Wiki: Link | Download (256kbps): Link

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