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There could be disadvantages in progression, but surely also in stagnation. 'Organized Chaos' is Benediction's sixth album in their over 10 year career. Considering that theoretically they still play same style of music that they already did on their debut album 'Subconscious Terror', Benediction succeed in stagnation. I take it more as "staying loyal to your fans" type ideology. Just like Bolt Thrower, the other well-known British death metal legend.
Benediction deliver death metal, which is affluent with riffs, not technicality or total brutality. There's not much (if any) soloing on this record. Every metal freak should know the power of a riff! If you don't like some riff, then wait for the next one, because you might love it! This happened to me with some of these songs... Some of them are a bit long, but I never got bored during listening to this. The duration is almost 54 minutes, but the album does not stall at any point; these stalwarts know how to let it roll. A lot of hacking riffage is heard, as usual. It's not about loose jamming, right?!?!
This is not totally old school stuff, though. Whereas the title track reeks of true old Benediction, 'The Temple of Set' and 'Charon', for example, are even more straight hardcore metal assaults. Slayer and The Haunted keep coming to my mind while listening this album, but it's still Benediction. 'Diary...' sound more like Pissing Razors mixed with Pantera, but happens to be a good song. 'Easy Way to Die' is surprisingly melodic by Benediction standards, but nonetheless, a great metal song. And let's not forget that punk/crust influence the band had... It's not forgotten.
The lyrics are about killers (there's that The Haunted connection partly explained), church (of Satan), drugs and other well-known crap of human life itself. This kind of summarises it all:
"And so we stand in the light of a new dawn
Nuclear fires scorching the horizon
The time ahead become a time of rebirth
To recreate man in the image of man"
New throat-mangler Dave Hunt bring new energy to the band's attack. Old vocalist Dave Ingram left to Bolt Thrower and sounded weaker than Mr. Hunt, who has more hardcore-style approach to his vocalisation. Sometimes the new guy gives growling and spoken vocals too, which all spice it up. Still, he does not carry a very strong voice, but it definitely isn't weak.
The production job is modern, but still very simple; audible instruments with that certain raw edge to everything. The ancient-sounding guitars don't bite as rigidly as wanted, but the bass comes to save a lot. And I love that tight snare drum sound! By the way, this is more like mid-paces death with some double bass drum attack. Drummer Neil Hutton's style is "airy", but still he makes it pounding. Drumming is like making love to a beautiful woman: Sometimes you nail it deep and hard, sometimes you more like tease around a bit. Generally put, it breathes, but does not destroy.
This is a good English death metal record; not their best one, but definitely not the worst either. Definitely nothing ground-breaking (or maybe these days it is!), but simply a good slab of old school stuff. This tastes the best when consumed in shorter portions. Hail the riff!!! Or RIFFS, as I should put it...
(Originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2002)
The revelation that Benediction's Killing Music was to me inspired a strong listen to Dave Hunt's previous album with the band, his debut as vocalist on Organised Chaos. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly as rewarding a listen. Killing Music's unbridled intensity and extreme heaviness is sadly absent from this record, which sounds perfunctory, tied to the band's previous legacy as a functional yet unfulfilling second-tier death metal band.
I gave up on Benediction in the 90's because I found their albums to be rote, repetitive, and nowhere near as heavy and catchy as the majority of their peers. A solid listen yes but nothing to set my world on fire. Organised Chaos sounds like an extension on those albums, in that it features a lot of similar sounding mid-paced death metal that lacks that extra kick of excitement and adrenaline. Dave Hunt's vocals, so manic and unhinged on Killing Music, sounds restrained and more indebted to Dave Ingram's previous stylings here. Perhaps he was trying to fit into music already written or else thought Benediction fans wanted a similar vocal patterning but I am glad he shunted this style soon after. The band being in a real musical rut here lends credence to the idea that Killing Music was all about rejuvenation, a band with something to prove. A couple tracks on this one indicate a potential towards that future, such as the d-beat attack of "Don't Look In The Mirror" and the short trash attack of "Charon," easily the most intense features on the record. But too much time is taken up by bland, baldly groovin', and very dated mid-paced numbers that sound like the bad ideas Napalm Death had in the mid-90's.
In the end, Organised Chaos tallies as one of Benediction's weakest records and I find it amusing that Dave Hunt's two records with the band are polar opposites in terms of quality in the Benediction discography. Stick with Killing Music or backtrack to one of Dave Ingram or Barney Greenway's better outings with them.
Benediction, the stoic, elusive englishmen with a penchant for turning out consistently kick-ass LPs return with a new fire under their ass, and (Coincedence?) A new vocalist by the name of Dave Hunt. Upon first listen, Hunt sounds like a Hardcore Dave Ingram, but after consecutive listens, he turns out to have a pretty unique style all his own that meshes pretty well with Benediction slightly toned down, yet still Thrashable Death Metal.
Opening with "Suicide Rebellion", one of the few songs here that sound as if it could have come right from Transcend The Rubicon or Subconscious Terror. One of my favorites. The next few tracks aren't anywhere nearly as memorable as this one, but are all good in their own way.
Nothing On The Inside is another favorite of mine, simply because of it's absolutely levelling breakdown. The stop and go riff in the middle of this one is known for causing stress fractures and herniated discs. The stout Andy Sneap mix does a lot for songs like these.
Keeping with tradition, nothing on this album deviates from the formula set by the first few songs. Where Benediction is concerned, this is a good thing. They don't need wanky fag solos or "I cry when I see flowers and ponds" acoustic interludes. Nor is there any spoken word or female vocals. Yessir, this is 100% Death fucking Metal, the way it was and should be.
I still miss Dave Ingram though. :'-(