Something You Might Have Missed/Forgotten and…
Something Plucked Screamin' from the Vault of Cult
Label: Nuclear Blast
From the very first note onwards it's plainly obvious. This release contains the melody and the trademark Hedlund vocal rasp Unleashed became popular for, sadly an ingredient that's been absent as of late. There's just enough Viking-esque atmosphere inserted in exactly the right places to pull in new fans (who may well have heard some disparaging things on the band in the past) of course, the catchy mid-tempo rhythms don't hurt matters in the slightest. I can't help but tap my tiny feet and nod my head to every track thus far in as each one is commendable. Where is Your God Now? is downright impressive to be honest. I can't help but ponder on the track The Bolt Thrower, as it may in part be an homage to the band of the same name (I may be horribly inaccurate) a few of the riffs seemed awfully familiar (again wishful thinking?).
Label: Season of Mist
Julien Truchan has the vocal prowess equivalent to a cage full of angry apex predators (*Nice Naplam Death reference Cult!) eagerly awaiting their next meal only to discover it's naught but jello... again. Seriously though he has talent and, as I'm sure my scribblin' partner has mentioned before (*I did!), it’s not often that you hear the likes of his vocal range, usually all displayed in one song. Fuckin' wow just doesn't begin to cover it! Julien's range blankets several genres covering everything from traditional death growls, slower death/doom grunts through the rapid barking tones of extreme brutal grind. Random pig squeals (Bree-bree-bree-bree) make an appearance too and why wouldn't they as they've become quite the recognizable staple of the brutal death/grind genre since it's very inception (over thirty years ago, wait how long?).
Benightened's music is extremely tight, intricate and easily on the same level with the better known leaders in the technical death genre but what really sets them apart are the little touches. Creepy soundbites and voices to introduce certain tracks, the alarm tone as an introduction to the album itself and detectable from very early on is an aspect that is growing increasingly more rare in the music industry a sense of humor (unless of course you're referring to SOD, MOD, Crotchduster or a shrinking collection of other acts – *Feind covered one in Joey Siler today!). Imagine watching a wall of a hundred monitors, displayed on each a different metal video, then imagine a huge remote that controls them all. Keep your finger on the channel button and the resulting scenario is Benighted. Simply mind blowing and very addictive! This is a band whose output you do not want to ignore.
Label: Willowtip Releasing
Human Larvae IMO is a fine example of a grindcore gem (that may well take you back a few years) with polished production. Is that a contradiction in terms or an oxymoron? Perhaps. But then this is a release that may have you thinking twice about your preconceived assumptions upon the genre. Keep those pain pills handy you might feel a tad sore in the morning. Metal twisting limbs and heads every which way for upwards of forty years!