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Fear the French - 95%

destinedforfailure, December 7th, 2009

I must say, Benighted is one of the more unique bands out there in extreme metal today (at least from the bands I know of). Benighted is simply as beautifully brutal as it gets.

First off, the drums: they are simply infectious. A good band knows that their drummer should actually be used and play an active role in the music instead of just pace-keeping and this is where Benighted shines. Fayolle is all over his drum-set. This is especially noticeable with Fayolle’s use of the double bass. Not a song goes by where he’s just mindlessly pounding out blast beats like most brutal death metal bands. He’s either following the guitars riffs or just doing something entirely different. There are very few times during this album when you’ll just hear him pounding out blast beats. But when he does pound out the blast beats, they are very, very catchy. He also uses a range of different drumming styles throughout each and every song. At one point, he could be on the snare blasting out with flying fingers, and then he could go into the “odd measures” drumming routine, and then some intense gravity blasting, and then just playing on beat, etc. It’s really a sound to be heard. This description of his brilliance doesn’t do justice.

Now onto the vocals: Holy shit. There are about a dozen different types of vocals used in this album (I’m not exaggerating, a dozen). You get everything from the (very) low and brutal gutturals all the way to black metal screams and shrieks. And they are ALL top-notch. It’s just incredible, especially since it’s all coming from one guy.

I would say that the guitars are the weakest point of this album. However, since this album is godly, this doesn’t mean that the guitars are by any-standard “weak.” The guitars are magnificent. There are some truly great and unique riffs and power chords and the likes in this album-- not to mention how brutally heavy and crushing it all sounds. There was clearly a lot of feeling put into the guitars. The music played here has soul, not just mindless brutality. Despite all this, when I listen to the guitars on this album, I feel as if it’s already been done before. The guitars are amazing, but fail to bring anything new to the music.

The verdict: Listen to it. Now. Just try not to snap your neck headbanging.