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Benediction is one of the few worthwhile death metal bands to come out of England. While their debut featured one Barney Greenway on vocals it is album number three, Transcend the Rubicon that is the bands best contribution to the genre. I lost touch with the band around the time of the lackluster Grind Bastard and it was only recently, when I found out that Anaal Nathraakh and Mistress vocalist Dave Hunt was fronting the band that my interest was rekindled in this unapologetically old school death metal band.
Killing Music is their latest offering and second featuring Hunt on vocals and it’s a bit of a disappointment. On first listen, the tones and feel of the songs on the album are refreshingly old school. It’s only when the repeat listen happens that you figure out there’s no depth to these songs at all. That’s not to say that the songs are bad. If you don’t listen to a lot of death metal then chances are you’ll probably find something to like here and be suitably impressed by the constant pounding but when it’s over there won’t be a single song of the dozen songs on offer that will stay in your head. There is no Violation Domain or Foetus Noose on this album. What you get instead is basically the same damn death metal song on repeat for a dozen times. It’s like the band is stuck in mediocrity and refuses to get out.
Another thing that works against the album is Dave Hunt’s vocals. I love his work on both Anaal Nathraakh and Mistress but here the man sounds like he’s forcing the death grunts and growls and ends up sounding like he’s fronting a crust/ hardcore band instead of a death metal band.
Killing Music is still unapologetic old school death metal. It just feels like the band has recorded the same damn song a dozen times and it will leave you with a strong sense of déjà-vu. You’ve heard all of this before. It was boring the first time and it’s boring now.
Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com