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Killing with style - 82%

Felix 1666, July 2nd, 2014
Written based on this version: 2008, Digital, Nuclear Blast

Benediction are as cool as a cucumber. It took them seven years to create and release this album. This was irritating, because its inconspicuous predecessor did not have a long-term effect. Honestly said, I thought that they had split up. I was fortunately wrong. They came back with a bang. This album sounds raw, angry and purulent, it is a statement against high-gloss polished metal. The brilliant production is a pretty decent slap in the face and highlights the songs due to the hammering drums, the deeply-resonating guitars and the menacing voice. Singer Dave Hunt has most likely animalistic tendencies and he knows well how to express them. Frank Healy who seems to manage the bass guitar on almost every British extreme metal album is very active, too, while the guitarists create tons of threatening melody lines. Do not misunderstand me, this album is definitely not characterized by its melodic harmonies. Benediction just have a knack for integrating the necessary amount of melodies so that their punk influenced death metal gets the right balance between murderous violence and ugly musicality. Therefore, it seems fair to assume that they are men of conviction. They only do what they like without taking care about other people´s opinions.

Benediction´s stubborn aggressiveness impresses more and more the longer the album runs. Nevertheless, the best tracks are placed in the first half of the album. "Dripping with Disgust" is a brute rabbit punch while offering a very tough beginning and high velocity after a succeeded break. The title track presents the strongest guitar line while the fast "Controlopolis" blows you away due to its mechanized and misanthropic aura which is combined with nightmarish lyrics. Sinister science fiction metal at its best, of course without spherical sounds! There are also two very strong cover songs at the end of the album. "Seeing through my Eyes" with its explosive chorus, originally written by Broken Bones, and the thick "Largactyl" (Amebix) are Benediction´s final offensive. Without being a friend of cover versions in general, these tunes can really be termed a bonus. It also has to be said that the entire album does not include any boring songs. Consequently, this full-length offers a very coherent flow and only evil tongues would claim that the pieces seem to be interchangeable.

The cover motif has not been chosen carefully. If I am not mistaken, I have seen one or two skulls on metal album covers before. Maybe even more. However, as long as metal musicians act in a musically creative manner we do not need to complain about the fairly unimaginative look of the package. Just listen to the disc and put the package on the shelf. Finally, let me peer into the future. Of course, I do not know where Benediction are currently hanging around. But 2015 will be a good year, if these British troublemaker release a worthy successor again after a wait of seven years. I am actually very hopeful, because as I have already mentioned, Benediction are as cool as a cucumber.